First of all, Happy New Year.

I love crafts so I’m always excited to try something new in the make and do line. For my latest venture I’ve gone French and seen what I can create with paper napkins (serviettes). This craft, not surprisingly, is known as serviettage.

Now, French people love their napkins. No matter how small, every little general store will have some pretty ones tucked away somewhere. Back in Ireland you could only ever get plain ones, and often they were only rolled out on special occasions. But all year round in France you can find a huge variety of fancy napkins. And the reason is mainly because of their role in brico (make and do), and not because les fran__ç__ais are particularly messy eaters.

Skilful serviettagistes can create fantastic, delicate examples of découpage (cutting out) using napkins. See the examples on this website for example.

But anyone can have a go at being creative with 3-ply paper products. I was inspired by these napkin-adorned Christmas decorations that I picked up at Nouzerines Marché de Noël in 2010. (As you see, it’s take me a little while to work my way round to actually wielding glue and paper.)

So, let’s get started. You need napkins, obviously, and also a PVA type glue, paintbrush and something to decorate. I’ve gone with large tin cans which will become plant holders. However, large shells, small glass jars, wooden bangles, notebooks – you can choose pretty much anything and everything to decorate.

Here’s the glue I’m using, although I’m not convinced it’s the optimum stuff. I’m mixing it with an equal amount of water. (Do you get the pun in the name? Quelyd = Quelle idée (what a great idea!) pronunciation wise.) It’s not often you come across witty glue!

I scrubbed and dried my tins out and then cut up the serviettes into small, unevenly shaped pieces. I sloshed a good coating of my glue mix over a small area of the tin, laid on a piece of napkin and then coated that with more glue mix.

And so on and so forth, until the whole tin was covered. Ideally it will have a shiny veneer when the glue dries, but it has to be said my first effort didn’t, which is why I think I may have the incorrect colle (glue). However, it looks very pretty and will brighten up the house in a suitably French way.

It’s a quick and easy craft, and a relatively low budget one, that you really can’t go wrong with. I found it very relaxing and it gave me a real sense of achievement when I’d finished, even though my efforts were on the humble side.

I thoroughly recommend it.

My current project drying

This site gives you the complete know-how in French. English ones here.