My Material Life

Print Your Own Cocktail Napkins

To me, there’s nothing that says entertaining like a colorful printed paper cocktail napkin.  Shopping for them is one of my happiest party preparation tasks.  My favorites are the ones made in Germany by Caspari.  Take a look at their Caspari the Ghost napkin here.  I already purchased a pack of these at Gene’s Market in Saratoga.

If I’d had more time or wanted to spend more money, I’m sure I could have ordered some lovely napkins for our anniversary party from the Caspari website. But I knew I was going to print my own anniversary bunting (that post is coming next) and I wanted to play off that, so I decided to buy a bunch of white napkins at Smart & Final and print my own.  Long story short, I didn’t play off the bunting.  I simply went to my rubber stamp box to see what stamps could possibly work because I didn’t really have time or energy for more shopping.  I found the initial B for our family name, a sewing machine to represent me and an airplane to represent my husband (he’s an aeronautical engineer).  He was a little disappointed that it wasn’t his special airplane, but as it happens that little stamp does have special meaning for our family.

I found that stamp during an outing to Auburn at Christmas time in 1994.  My mom had just passed away in November.  My dad, my sister and one of my brothers was with us – the company was a comfort to our enormous grief and the cold – what a cold fall and winter that was!  We went into a rubber stamp shop after eating a meal together and I don’t remember if I found this stamp or Dad found it or what, but my mom was a secretary for the program manager of this very aircraft (a Douglas F40 Skyray) when Dad met her in the 1950s.  What are the odds of a stamp like that even existing – let alone our finding it just then. Naturally, that little stamp was coming home with me.

I was hoping I had some silver metallic stamp ink, but all I could find was this blue metallic.  No matter, we both love blue and it’s very pretty with that metallic shimmer.  There really aren’t any special instructions for these napkins.  Just find a stamp – or have one made – and have at it.  It was great fun to make these.  I turned out over 100 of them in about half an hour.  Needless to say, we’ll be using these for a long time to come.  A couple of notes:  I spent about $6 on 250 white cocktail napkins at Smart & Final, but next time I’ll look for a better quality napkin.  Also, stamps with lots of lines like the airplane and sewing machine work better for this than stamps with a lot of solid area to cover like the initial. Colored napkins would be fun to try too.

And yes, both my husband and my father are/were aero engineers.  Their birthdays are also one day apart.

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