There are so many things to love about this beaded napkin ring project: it’s easy, conducive to messy crafting (it doesn’t need to be perfect to look good), and potentially very thrifty (you can snag beads on clearance or cut apart old jewellery and scavenge the beads). Plus it works as a cute DIY cuff bracelet, according to Vanessa – who suggested that this handmade napkin ring could be a fun take home favor for a casual dinner party with girlfriends.
Read on for step-by-step instructions with photos, or take a peek at the video below for quick instruction for making these napkin rings (and my dip dyed napkins.)
- A spool of 24 gauge wire (makes four, for six you’ll need a spool and a half)
- A spool of 16 gauge wire
- Needle nosed pliers (2 pairs makes this easier)
- Wire cutters
- Beads (see below for links)**
- Bottle (empty, full – doesn’t matter, it’s to shape the cuff)
**A note about the beads: mine were drilled through the end, while most beads are drilled end to end. You can use any style or kind or bead you like, but to create the sea anemone feel, the end drilled beads stand up nicely. Check
your local craft stores, but if you’re striking out, I did find some similar looking end drilled
coconut shell sticks online, in aqua and blue, that would look really beachy. These shell beads are also similar, but in a much more natural colour palette.
To begin, cut about 14-16 inches of the 16 gauge wire and gently form a circle, wrapping the wire back on itself to secure the shape.
Take the circle you’ve created and flatten in a bit, so you’ve got a really elongated oval. Flatten the twisted ends a bit with your pliers, because you don’t want them sticking up and poking your linens (or wrist). This is where two pairs of pliers come in handy.
Gently wrap the oval around a bottle to form a cuff shape. You can re-shape it later, so it doesn’t need to be perfect. Make as many of these forms as you need and set aside.
To start wrapping, anchor the 24 gauge wire by wrapping it around one side of the cuff shape a few times. Flatten any pokey ends with the pliers. Wrap the 24 gauge wire once around one side of the 16 gauge wire cuff, then bring it across to the other side, wrap around the other side – back and forth. Because I was on a budget and happened to fall in love with the most expensive beads ever, I didn’t wrap the beads all the way around. The bottom and sides are wire with a few turquoise beads here and there, while the dyed shell beads are really lush and full on the top. You can arrange the beads however you please and can start adding the beads anytime in this process.
Because I used beads with a hole drilled at one end of the long shape, I decided to “lift” the beads up a little and give them life so that the finished product has an organic feel – like some sort of sea anemone. To achieve this look, in the midst of wrapping the wire back and forth across the cuff, I grabbed a bead, twisted the wire, and kept wrapping. Every now and then I stopped to adjust the beads, twisting them a bit and nudging them into facing random directions.
This was my first time doing wire work like this, and my wraps aren’t perfect but because I wanted a napkin ring that felt relaxed and organic, I am going to vehemently argue that the imperfections add to the casual, beachy look.
This was a great craft project to do while my brain was otherwise engaged – perfect for in front of the television. Actually, I was dyeing a pair of jeans while I made one of these. I had to stay by the washing machine to keep setting the cycle back to ensure the jeans were agitated in the dye bath for a full half hour. I set my supplies on the washer and whipped one of these up standing in the laundry room. (Multi-tasking for the win.)
I love how these beaded napkin rings turned out! They catch the light beautifully and add the perfect beachy, seaside feel to a summery tablescape.
Here’s another look at the napkin rings paired with the dip dyed napkins I made. I loved the beads because they tied together the blue and aqua accessories perfectly.
For more photos of my tablescape with Canadian Tire and CANVAS, and some awkward videos of me, check out all of the posts about my “Backyard Oasis”. This was such a fun collaboration!