The other day I had a memory lapse and was unable to recall the English name of the plant with red leaves that’s displayed everywhere at Christmas. Finally, I stopped trying and entered the Chinese name for this plant on the Internet. Of course, it’s called poinsettia! But I have every excuse not to blame myself for failing to remember this name. Is there anything in the word “poinsettia” to suggest the shape or color or smell of this plant? Anything to help me associate the word with this festive plant? Nada. On the other hand, in Chinese, we call this plant 圣诞红 (shèngdàn hóng). All you have to do is think of Christmas, 圣诞 (shèngdàn), and think of the vibrant red, 红 (hóng), of the poinsettia, and bingo!
Years ago a friend gave me a pattern for making a poinsettia napkin holder out of felt. I thought you might be interested in making a few for your Christmas dinner table or to give out to your friends. This can be a fun activity for the entire family.
You can right-click on the pattern then print it out or save the file on you computer. This pattern fills an 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheet.
No instructions came with the pattern. I put the felt napkin holder together as follows, and the result was quite satisfactory. I might add that I enjoy making this poinsettia napkin for the very fact that the process is akin to putting together a puzzle made of pieces of felt.
1. Cut the required number of red and green strips of felt or fun felt as indicated on the pattern. Cut out the diamon-shaped holes as shown on the pattern.
2. Fold the long red strip in half and thread the green strip through the overlapped holes.
3. Thread the ends of the long red strip through one of the small red strips.
4. Adjust the orientation of this first small red strip so it does not totally overlap the petal ends of the long red strip and the green strip.
5. Pull on the ends of the long red strip to expose the green felt.
6. Lift the green felt and thread the last red strip through the hole in the green strip.
7. Pull on the ends of the green strip and widen the red loop to make a tighter center. Adjust the felt strips (except the first small red strip that’s flat and that you can rotate freely) so they curve upward near the center, making a small well. Bend the ends of the strips downward to form a nice petal.
8. Adjust the orientations of the petals as they would allow, so the assembly resembles a poinsettia.
9. Add the center piece. I use a segment of pipe cleaner and color it slightly; but this could be a fuzzy ball or any other cute accent.
10. Roll up a napkin and put it into the holder.
Using this procedure, the last piece of small red felt actually does not need a hole cut in it. Also, you could make a small version of this felt poinsettia and pin it to your lapel during the holiday season.