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Eco-friendly Napkin Rings: Great Table Accents, Practical Favors!

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Eco-friendly napkin ring

Don’t let that designer look intimidate you! These charming napkin rings are such a cinch to make that DIY, in this case, could actually mean the “designer is you”! Not only can you adapt our step-by-step process to suit your own unique wedding event motif, you can keep it eco-friendly and easy on the budget, too. Simply source materials that are available right in your own home or recycle household items that you would otherwise throw away. As if that isn’t motivation enough, you can choose to either use these napkin rings as striking accents on your wedding tables, or give them as lovely homemade gifts for the members of your bridal party. Or why not do both?

Learn How to Make these Napkin Rings in Just 5 Simple Steps:

List of basic materials:

  • Toilet paper cores, or cardboard sheets rolled into cylinders.
  • Raffia fiber or something similar
  • Pistachio nut shells
  • Star Anise Spice
  • Stamping pad with a stamper* (optional)
  • Craft cutter
  • Glue gun

Napkin ring materials like twine by Bellenza

Step 1: Gather your materials – Nearly all the materials for this project can actually be found right at home. You’ll need a few toilet paper cores, or cardboard sheets rolled into cylinders. Then, for the covering material, prepare raffia fiber or something similar such as burlap fabric, dried palm strips, or even raw twine or hemp cord. For embellishments, we used empty pistachio nut shells and star anise spice for their great decorative qualities. But you can substitute any other fun accents you happen to have that will suit your party motif. (See some suggestions in Step 4.)

The tools are just as simple: a craft cutter, a glue gun, and some rubber stamps with a stamp pad.

Cutter is used to make cardboard rolls by Bellenza - Napkin ring with nut shells

Step 2: Cut the rings – Make 1 1/2″ wide rings by cutting the cardboard rolls crosswise with the craft cutter. To ensure an even width all around, measure the rings with a ruler and mark them with a pencil before cutting. And of course, plan ahead as to how many rings you will need either to adorn your party napkins or to give as gifts.

Step 3: Attach the covering material – Wind raffia fiber or other covering material around the rings, taking care to have it overlap slightly so that no bare cardboard is visible. Apply glue as you progress to secure the material in place. Let the wrapped rings dry thoroughly.

Step 4: Glue on the accents – Take the decorative accents you’ve prepared, and assemble them in an attractive design to dress up your napkin rings. Here, we’ve positioned the pistachio nut shells to form a collar around each ring and then a flower-shaped base for the pretty star-shaped anise spice. Be creative and plan your own design! You may use other nut shells, seashells, little bundles of herbs from your kitchen, or even small flower heads.

Other fun ideas: If your wedding event happens to have a seaside location or theme, tiny seashells would make lovely accents as well. Or why not give an edible spin to your napkin rings? Attach yummy treats like hard candies, jelly candies, or dried fruits wrapped in clear cello. Your guests can then open these and enjoy them right at the party!

Step 5: Personalize the rings – Choose rubber stamps with your initials to form a monogram; numbers representing your wedding date; or symbolic wedding designs such as doves, bells, or flowers. Stamp these on the inner part of each napkin ring to remind guests of this most special occasion.

Now, to see these DIY napkin rings in action!

Imagine the Presentation Possibilities

Napkin rings displayed with place settings

1. On Your Wedding Tables – These napkin rings would make eye-catching accents indeed on your table settings! Whether you’re hosting an event with a Spanish tapas party motif or an eco-chic theme, they bring in a casual yet elegant look inspired by organic elements. You may pair them with equally eco-friendly elements that you can make yourself such as corn husk chargers, cork coasters and table numbers made of seeds. They also coordinate well with organic decorations like centerpieces made of shapely fruits and vegetables, a bamboo-made table runner, and serving pieces made of wood.

These rings also work beautifully with “natural” centerpieces consisting of fruits evoking the particular season of your wedding, or even lush bunches of fresh leaves in vibrant colors. And their star anise accents would make them perfect napkin adornments at an herb-and-spice themed Tuscan style gathering or a casual cooking-inspired bridal shower party!

2. As Gifts for the Bridal Attendants – Thank your maid-of-honor and bridesmaids with these napkin rings, presented in dainty embroidered sachets. Tuck three rings in each bag lined with crinkle paper and tie on a heartfelt note of appreciation. They’ll certainly welcome these practical gifts, which they can proudly display at their own at-home celebrations! Hint: If you’re hosting an intimate wedding with just a small guest list, you may be able to manage making enough napkin rings to give each guest a sachet of three as a take-home favor.

3. As Favor Decorations – Beyond being the favors or gifts themselves, these DIY napkin rings make striking embellishments for favor packaging. See how we’ve used a napkin ring as an accent for a lovely gold photo frame to be given as an autumn wedding memento! Depending on the accents you’ve used on your own napkin rings, you could use them to adorn your gift or favor packaging at any themed event.

Why not make your own variation of these rings, and share with us how you’ve used them!

9 comments

  1. Wow! I love this idea and I love when ideas don’t require purchasing too many materials. Nothing is better than a DIY with stuff you already have. Here from mostly homemade mondays

  2. Thank you for your sweet comments, Kelly!

    Yes, we enjoy using “found objects” for our DIY projects. But our favorite for this one has got to be the star anise. Doesn’t it just seem MADE for decorating?!

  3. Okay – I LOVE these and you would NEVER know that they are tp rings!!! These are so cute and perfect for gifts! Thank you so much for sharing them at the on display party! I hope you will link up again with more amazing DIY! http://www.ffflinkypals.blogspot.com/2013/07/on-display-linky-party-number-8-its.html

  4. Hi Heather May! So glad you like this project (and yup, you’d never guess about the tp cores). We will definitely be linking up again…it’s so much fun!

  5. I would have never guessed these would be made from toilet paper cores! They look awesome! Thanks for sharing with us at the Teach Me Tuesday Linky Party:)

  6. Thanks, Adrian! Hope our link helped inspire someone else on your link party to try out similar napkin rings of their own!

  7. I’m always so amazed by you! This looks so good! Pinned and tweeted. I appreciate you taking the time to party with us. I hope to see you on Monday at 7. Happy Monday! Lou Lou Girls

  8. Thanks so much, Lou Lou Girls! We love joining your party — and hope others will like this project, too!

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