Somewhere along the path of rallying all the recent Halloween food and drink to share, I divined a Martha-esque accessory: the homemade Halloween cocktail napkin. Feeling a need for something simple to pump up the spook volume on my tablescape I created these napkins perfect for any libation or appetizer plate. They were too easy not to share; so simple, with a bit of guidance older children could make them as well as adults.
I personally love more rustic fabric choices feeling they set the tone for the holiday. I used an orange gingham check and natural colored linen. As a guide, each napkin requires 9 ½ by 9 ½ inches of fabric. Using that as a guide select the amount of fabric needed for the number of napkins you wish to make. Pinking shears both add a decorative edge as well as discourage fabric from raveling on the edges.
- Fabric (I suggest something natural, such as cotton to ensure stamp sets)
- Pinking sheers
- Halloween stamps
- Black stamping ink (or other colors if you prefer)
- Paper (to make a pattern) or paper cocktail napkin
- Pins (to affix pattern to fabric when cutting)
- Iron and ironing board
- Paper towels to clean stamps
- Either use a paper cocktail napkin or cut out a square of paper 9 ½ by 9 ½ inches.
- Lay pattern on fabric. Pin pattern to fabric or hold in place while cutting out fabric square.
- Fold fabric in half with outside showing and iron the crease. Fold in half again and repeat to yield a square.
- Gently tap desired stamp in the ink being careful not to get ink on the edges of the stamp that could leave additional unwanted marks on the fabric.
- Place stamp on desired spot on napkin, press on the back of the stamp gently but evenly to ensure the ink transfer. Remove stamp and allow to dry before use.
Want to make this even easier? Use Halloween color paper napkins and repeat the same process.
A stylish napkin is only as fun as the drink it’s paired with. I’ve scoured the net for some cocktails and teetotaling options to whip up for the holiday. It seemed apropos with a project of this nature to go to the Goddess of all things ‘holiday’; Martha Stewart. Her website has a great collection of all sorts of Halloween drinks that will undoubtedly fill the bill for your gathering.
Three boozey favorites from Boulder Locavore perfect for Halloween:
A TUTORIAL ABOUT USING DRY ICE. Even the most pedestrian of beverages is made mystical when using dry ice. Some cautions do need to be regarded when using dry ice.
Where to Buy it: It’s generally available at supermarkets, via the Customer Service desk (King Soopers on 30th in Boulder carries it). It’s cheap, about $6-7 for a 5 pound block which is about 12-18 inches long, 7 inches across and 2 inches thick.
What to Take With You when you Buy it: When you go to purchase it, bring a hard cooler, work gloves and an old towel. Dry ice evaporates so should not be purchased too far before it will be used and should be wrapped in a towel inside a cooler until it is used.
Handling Precautions: Dry ice is 5 times colder than ice and can burn you. It should never be handled with bare hands NOR should it be placed in an individual drink where someone could accidentally swallow it (e.g. only use it in a cauldron or punchbowl form which individual drinks can be ladled ensuring no dry ice fragments are also served). After it made an appearance at several elementary school parties I did some sleuthing to verify with doctor friends that indeed if a drink has had dry ice in it, it IS safe to drink (meaning there is no chemical residue presenting peril to consumers). The answer was yes.
Using it: Generally you will use smaller pieces of a larger piece of dry ice. Wrap it completely in a kitchen towel, while wearing utility/work gloves hit is with a hammer to break it into small pieces. To ignite the smoking effect, dry ice must be placed in liquid which should be in a plastic or glass container. Dry ice used in a metal container can over chill the metal making it potentially unsafe to handle.
How Long Does it Smoke: Generally dry ice smokes about 20-25 minutes. Additional pieces can be added to reignite a smoking effect and a small piece can make a lot of ‘smoke’. Any surplus dry ice should remain wrapped in a towel inside a hard cooler to slow the natural evaporation.