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A quick, easy way to add seasonal or holiday cheer to the decor of any room is to have a constant base to the decoration — in other wards, a perpetual decoration that can be changed-out according to the theme.

When I began doing a little decorating for the 4th of July a few weeks ago, the first thing I did was change out the pictures in my dining room.  I have several picture frames (six, actually) that match, and each season or holiday I change out the pictures that are in them.  I actually only use three of the frames — since we’re planning on putting a family photo wall there I didn’t want to hang all six and have extra nail holes in the wall to fill later.

When I found these patriotic napkins at a discount store ($.50 a package!), I scooped them up and decided that I’d use a few for the picture frames before I put the rest out to use as napkins.  The first problem I had to tackle….

…were the fold marks going two directions on each napkin, and they would show once they were in the frames.  So I figured if I got the fold marks wet and then flattened them with my finger or a spoon, the fold marks would be gone when they dried.

So, I gathered some things to make the fold marks wet…

This is one of those “Don’t try this at home (or anywhere else)” cautions.  

I have an abundance of syringes — I promise I’m not a drug addict — and I thought that would work to wet just the fold marks of the napkins.  Again, wetting the fold marks using the syringe method was a total waste of time, and I must have had a screw loose to even consider it.  But, at any rate, it went like this:

I put the napkins on plastic so I wouldn’t get the table really wet…

…then began wetting the fold marks.

And it worked!  But there was a problem…

The fold marks were wrinkled up and the rest of the napkin was smooth.  Yeah, no one would notice that, right?  So, although the fold marks couldn’t really be seen as well, I had to get the napkin uniform all over.  That meant getting the whole napkin wet.  And I didn’t have the patience to dribble water all over three napkins from a syringe.  So, I pulled out something that would make the job faster.

And, there they were.

They all looked very uniform all over, so I set them outside on the front porch and the summer heat dried them in no time.

The napkins dried with this beautiful wavy, wrinkly thing going on, and I began to like it.

I gathered my frames and removed the Spring/early Summer pictures I’d slapped haphazardly in the frames earlier in the year.

They would have looked better had I been able to find my mat boards, but they didn’t turn up, so I had just thrown the pictures in the frames without mat boards.  Lovely.

I took the 8×10 paper backing out of the frames and used them as a template to cut the napkins to the right size.  If you use anything with a pattern, care has to be taken to center the template over the part of the picture, painting or material that you want to use in the frames.  That is the part everyone will be seeing.

Once you have the pictures cut to size, you can then put them in the frames, close the back of the frames, and hang them up.  It was easy for me, since I hang them back in the same place every time.

The wavy texture of the wrinkled napkins actually has a good effect.  It would look much better with all six frames filled and hanging there, but again, we are planning on changing the whole wall soon.  I would like to eventually rip off those annoying pieces on the backs of the frames that make it so you can stand the picture on a table, but the frames do not belong to me, and I try to respect City Boy’s things.

So, that’s an inexpensive, quick, easy way to add a little seasonal/holiday decor to a room.  For Christmas I had pictures of candy canes in the frames, and for Easter I had a big egg of a different color in each, and so on.  And changing the pictures out is a snap.

You can buy anything from fancy frames to dollar store frames, bigger or smaller frames, or even one huge poster-size frame — then just keep changing the pictures.  It’s one way to fill a bare wall and make it pop for any occasion.

Here’s hoping everyone is gearing up for a fantastic July 4th celebration!