Throwing a killer dinner party is one of my true delights in life. I love planning the menu and setting the table just right. I really like to think of ways that guests can be surprised by what they see at their place setting and I like to think of ways to make my guest feel like they are getting more than just an amazing meal.
Out of these motivations was my idea for a menu napkin born. I was helping a local chef
put on a community farm to table dinner here in Waco and I was trying to think of a way to make it extra special. He always chooses his ingredients from what is available from local farmers in each season, and therefore his menu's are a tribute to not only where we live but also to the season we are in at the time. I decided we could make the menu of the evening into a takeaway keepsake by "printing" it onto flour sack dishtowels and using them as napkins for the evening. I wanted to think a way that I could do these quickly and affordably and I came up with iron on transfers printed on my home inkjet printer. It worked really well and came out better than I had hoped.
I simply layed out the menu on my computer and printed it off in the size I was wanting on my home inkjet printer. Make sure that you lay it out as a mirror image. The instructions are on the package of transfer paper that you can purchase at Target or any office store. Since I was ironing these onto a white dishtowel I got the ones made for a white background.
I also purchased flour sack dishtowels at Target. They are sold in sets of four.
Iron your dishtowel first so that there are no wrinkles in the fabric where you are going to apply the transfer.
Using a yardstick or ruler find the center of your dishtowel and place the transfer menu just an inch below the horizontal middle and centered on your vertical center.
Move your Dishtowel to a hard surface, not your ironing board, preferably something counter or table height. Place a pillow case down underneath your dishtowel. Applying a good amount of pressure from your body weight press down on the transfer starting from the top and slowly, while pressing down, run your iron over the transfer from top to bottom. Next starting on the right side of the transfer repeat the process from right to left. You should do this for about 30 seconds to a minute or until you can peal the paper of the transfer back and the image is left on the dishtowel. Your transfer paper should not turn yellow or brown, if it does you are leaving it on too long.
Gently peel the back of the transfer paper back to reveal your "printed" on menu.
Fold your dishtowel into the size you would like for your pacesetting and place on top of your plate. Set the rest of your table and finish getting ready.
Your guest can take them home with them and use them as dishtowels to remember your dinner party.
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