Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Napkin Rings for Every Season

Brunches, luncheons, dinners, garden parties, whatever your get-together these napkin rings can be customized to make your table setting as unique as you are!   I've included some patterns to get you started.

Click image for full-size patterns
In addition to the pattern you will need:

Creative Paperclay®
craft knife
dimensional paint - I used Scribbles 3-D
styrofoam sheet, like that from take-out containers
scrap cardboard (enough for backing on whatever patterns you choose)
masking tape
bias tape (1/2" width, x 1 1/4" for each ring)
self-stick hook & loop tape (2 pieces, 1/4" x 1" for each)
baby powder & soft brush
strip of aluminum foil (about 2" x 12")
ribbons, embellishments
cardboard tube from center of paper towel roll

First I'm going to show you how to make quick stamps for the clay - one that presses the design into the clay, and one that leaves a raised design.

For the first one, I'll be using the leaf pattern for an example.  Print and cut out the design and glue it onto a piece of cardboard.  Trace lines with 3-D paint, then set aside to dry.


Trim around the pattern, turn the stamp over and attach a strip of masking tape for a handle, as shown.

To use your stamp, roll out paperclay to desired thickness (1/8" is suitable for all of these napkin rings) using a soft brush, dust a layer of powder over the stamp and a light layer onto the surface of the clay.  Press stamp into clay, with fingertips, firmly press all over the top of the cardboard to make sure the design is transferred to the clay surface, but not so hard as to indent the cardboard or cause the clay to come up over the edge of the cardboard.  Lift stamp from clay carefully.

Cut around design and set the clay piece aside to dry.  I've attached mine to a baking dish so they will dry without the edges curling and have minimal shrinkage.  (wet baking dish or tile, place clay piece on top, and move the piece around in small circles until it sticks)

For the second type of stamp

cut out desired pattern, leaving about 1/4" around the outside, and tape to styrofoam sheet.

trace outline with sharp pencil, pressing firmly into the pattern to indent the design into the foam underneath.  Don't press so hard that you go through the pattern, although that may happen in a few spots.

Anywhere away from the pattern, poke a hole through the paper and into the styrofoam.  This is so you can line the pattern back up if you see spots that weren't properly transferred.

Before removing the tape, lift a corner of the pattern and make sure you can see all of the design.  If not, put the pattern back down, align with pencil hole, and re-trace the missing areas.

If your design is completely visible on the styrofoam, lift off pattern and trace over design with pencil.


Use your craft knife to cut the design out of the styrofoam, attach a tape handle to the back, as shown for the first stamp.

Use this the same way, powdering in between stamping into clay.  If some of the design doesn't show or you'd like some of the lines to be thicker, adjust your stamp by going over those areas again with the pencil.

Stamp designs into clay, cut from clay and set aside to dry.

While you're waiting for the paperclay to dry, cut the 1/2" bias tape into 1 1/4" pieces, one for each napkin ring.  Open the bias tape pieces and glue down the flaps on each side.  Set these pieces aside to dry.

When all of your napkin ring clay pieces are dry, paint and decorate as desired.  I used acrylic paints, metallic watercolors, and satin and gloss acrylic varnish.

The part of my design that makes these rings so versatile is the arrangement on the back.  It consists of one horizontal piece of bias tape with vertical strips of hook and loop tape on either side.  With this configuration you can change the ribbon or "ring" part of the napkin ring, and/or use the horizontal section for adding ornaments, tags, tucking things in or tying things on!

Begin work on the back by making a spacer from aluminum foil.  Use a piece of foil about 2" x 12" and fold the short edge in approx. 1/2".  continue folding until you've used the entire strip, then press the layers together well.  Place the spacer in the center on the back of your napkin ring piece.  Put glue on each side of bias tape and glue over the spacer as shown.  Press edges down firmly, and, after a few seconds, remove the spacer.

When the glue has dried on the bias tape piece, add loop portion of hook & loop tape to sides, as shown.

Now the real fun begins!  To keep the ribbons and decorations the same length, we'll use the paper towel tube to measure and hold the ribbons or trim while we attach the hook sides of the tape.  Mark out a section that is 3/4" wide (this makes up for the bias tape piece on the front).  Using whatever ribbons suit your fancy, measure around the tube to the marked section, cut ribbon to length, and add hook portion of hook & loop tape

You don't have to use 1" ribbon, you can group smaller ones together, or, cut the hook tape to a smaller size for small ribbons.

Now here are some other styles and ideas -

 For a raffia ring, tie bundle around tube, place knot at back of clay piece, pull some strands from each side through the bias tape and tie in place.  Bring strands around to the bottom of the tie and tie loose ends together.

The clay pot design was made for tucking flowers into the bias tape section, and adding any variety of ribbons to the hook & loop tape.

 Use the welcome design with just a ribbon, or attach a tag (or charm, or?) by passing small ribbons through the bias tape section & tying a "lark's head" knot, bring the ribbons through the back side of the tag, then turn the whole piece over, bring the small ribbons to the front of the tag and tie a bow.

The possibilities for ribbon combinations & clay decorations are endless!


  1. How cool! I didn't know you could do all that with paper clay!

  2. wow, great post and projects, thanks for your interest in Creative Paperclay

  3. love this thanks for the awesome idea!