How to Assemble a Last-minute Table Centerpiece Using Napkins

DIY centerpieces using white table napkins

A floral centerpiece is always lovely. But it can also be quite pricey. So we know that party planners like you are constantly on the look out for practical, but still pretty, alternatives. Have you considered an arrangement of table napkins? Especially for casual, at-home wedding parties like your rehearsal dinner, engagement party, or bridal shower, these provide a definite option for a last-minute centerpiece!

Fast Table Centerpiece with Simple Table Napkins

Since you’ll be setting out napkins on your party tables anyway, simply present them in a lovely vase rather than at each place setting. And you have an instant no-cost centerpiece in less than five minutes!

How to Assemble a 5-minute Table Centerpiece Using Napkins

Containers to use – In our example for an Arabian Nights-themed soiree, we used a globe-shaped glass vase to hold a bunch of fringed ivory napkins. For your own centerpiece containers, simply look among those you already have available:

  • ceramic, earthenware, or brass vases with a wide mouth
  • porcelain, crystal, or silver bowls
  • glass or metal ice buckets
  • wooden salad bowls or serving dishes
  • woven baskets

In our second example above, we even used each guest’s wine goblet as a container for the same fringed napkins, folded in a fancy fan shape. The result? The illusion of a centerpiece when all viewed together on the party tables!

Dressing up the centerpieces – The napkins themselves, of course, can serve as decorative elements. Depending on your party theme and color palette, you can select those with a stylish print like damask, brocade, paisley, chevron, tartan, or floral. Or those with an interesting fabric texture or an accent like lace edging, embroidery, or your monogram.

Then, the containers you choose can be decorated as well! Note the band of colored beads around the rim of the globe vase we used. You could make your own creative embellishments like:

  • colored organza fabric or silk scarves wrapped around the container to match the color scheme
  • raffia ties, burlap or jute bands, or sinamay sleeves for an organic look
  • adhesive-backed rhinestones, faux gems, or tiny pearls for a touch of sparkle
  • fillings inside the container, such as sea glass stones, seashells, or even edibles like candies, nuts, berries, popcorn, or citrus fruit slices
    Hint: For these last ideas, you can devise a double container with the napkins in the inner one and the decorative fillings occupying the space between the two containers!

In use at the party – Once you’ve assembled your napkin centerpiece, now you decide where to show it off at the party. Center stage on your guest tables is, of course, the obvious choice. But you may also opt to position them:

  • on your buffet table for guests to take a napkin as they serve themselves
  • on trays of appetizers stationed throughout the party venue
  • at the drinks bar, with the napkins in cocktail size

The point is you get the decorative appeal of a centerpiece for your wedding party, without the cost of fresh flowers! Plus points all around, wouldn’t you say?

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