How to Make Napkin Rings: Step by Step Instructions

The Elegance of a Napkin Ring

Growing up in my house was like growing up with Emily Post or Miss Manners. You just knew etiquette – it was part of your legacy. It wasn’t a choice. So, with that, you can imagine that you had to give into the multiple sets of beautiful expensive dishes, separate salt cellars, napkins, goblets, and yes, the almighty napkin ring. Oh, how I hated the napkin ring – it always had to match! Of course, now that I am an adult, my children get to experience the dreadful multiple dishes, salt cellars with their own silver spoons, goblets, napkins, and yes…the dreadful napkin ring trauma that I endured…isn't it wonderful?

Pay Full Price? Never!

So, I have decided to share this little inexpensive napkin ring trick with you. You will never have to pay retail prices again when you see how easy, quick and inexpensive it is to make napkin rings for a fraction of the price. Moreover, when you look in your drawer (if you are a napkin ring connoisseur) you will think – I can’t believe I have spent this much money on napkin rings when I could have been making them myself!

On the other hand, if you are not a napkin connoisseur, you will be soon!


The material list is for reference - you can basically use anything you desire. For this purpose, I will just go through the basics and you can pick your own products and follow the steps.

  • Elastic Cord
  • Nail/Super Glue (fingernail glue that brushes on works great)
  • Beads (your choice) - Use your imagination - don't be afraid of color!
  • Scissor/clipper
  • Measuring tape
  • Napkins


Gather materials

**Cut a 10" piece of elastic for each napkin ring**

  1. String beads - rotating based on your pattern until you have strung 4 inches of beads - try to end so the pattern is intact when you bring the two sides together for tying the knots
  2. Take the ends and tie a knot twice
  3. Glue the knot
  4. Trim excess elastic with clipper/scissor (leave a little for tucking)
  5. Tuck ends into bead


  • free form the napkin for a great napkin ring fit
  • use a clipper instead of scissors - they are easier to handle
  • tie the knot near a bead with a larger hole and tuck the remaining elastic into the bead
  • if using a focal bead - make the elastic stop at the underneath of the focal bead
  • if using jingle bells - tuck the elastic in the bell opening to hide it
  • Use red and green jingle bells for the holidays

Visual Instruction

Napkin Ring Importance?

Do you think napkin rings are crucial in the make up of a dinner table?

  • Yes
  • Ne
See results without voting

© 2011 bellartdesigns

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Comments 27 comments

Etherealenigma profile image

Etherealenigma 4 years ago from Florida

I pinned it for my followers into crafting. Personally, I'm not that fussy about having napkins like this and napkin rings. Perhaps if I decide to throw a dinner party or something. You never know.

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada

This hub reminded me of my Mother, who always made fancily wrapped napkins whenever we had company. She would have loved this idea!

I confess I'm doing well if we get everyone down to the table, myself, but I sometimes inwardly cringe to think of how I am not keeping up the formality that I was taught by my mother. We always had a proper dinner and it's something I still believe in, even it's not practiced as often as I would like!

Great hub with wonderful illustrations. A big congratulations to you for hub of the day!

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

Congrats on your Hub of the Day award!

Lovely 7 profile image

Lovely 7 4 years ago

Really interesting hub...

nmdonders profile image

nmdonders 4 years ago

I love making things and I love this idea. I'm glad you got Hub of the Day. Nice work!

jpcmc profile image

jpcmc 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

For weddings and birthday plannings, this can be part of the reception details. It can also be part of the give away for the event.

Suzie HQ profile image

Suzie HQ 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

Interesting hub, as a jewellery maker I never actually thought of napkin rings but a great idea for presents, thanks for sharing and congrats on HOTD!

ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 4 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

Love this tutorial, even though I hadly use napkin rings (I use a fold technique for my napkins). I might try them out though. Voted Useful, and congrats on the HOTD award!

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

Congrats on HOTD. I have to be honest...I've never used napkin rings. Maybe us Southerners just don't use them. I love to go to a fancy restaurant where they are used, though.

I voted this Hub UP, etc.

Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren Morgan M-T 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

Hi. I have always loved napkin rings, but never owned stretchy ones. I have a Q - what am I missing about the need for a ten inches of elastic cord for 4 inches of beads. I am not trying to be a smart-aleck, just puzzled. Thanks. Great hub.

urmilashukla23 profile image

urmilashukla23 4 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

These seems really easy and fun to make it. You have selected a great topic illustrated well. Voted up and congrats on getting Hub of the day!

moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

Congrats on hub of the day. I like using cloth napkins even for everyday use of course I just put them on the table not with anything on them. When company comes they need napkin rings.....Your instructions are great and simple to follow. Voted Up.

randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Great topic for a hub! Your directions are simple and straight forward. Congrats on getting HOTD!

bridalletter profile image

bridalletter 4 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

Most are in a much less formal eating environment. I love napkin rings because they are so decorative. They grace my table on the two biggest holidays. Thank you for the simple directions and congrats on hub of the day!

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Clever ideas on making one's own napkin rings for a fraction of the price of those purchased in stores. I'll admit, I don't often use them but do have some special ones for the holidays and a few other occasions. Voted up, useful and congratulations on receiving HOTD.

gabgirl12 profile image

gabgirl12 4 years ago

Congrats on hub of the day today. :) I have never seen such intricate napkin rings. The ones I have seen are usually so plain. I wonder if they could also double as bracelets. Some of the rings on display I could see myself wearing.

Tonipet profile image

Tonipet 4 years ago from The City of Generals

Hello bellartsdesigns. This is very useful and creative. I haven't been using napkin rings, now they can be elegant. Thank you for this.

Phelcky profile image

Phelcky 4 years ago from Denmark

These are so cute! great hub :)

The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 4 years ago from United States

Congrats on HOTD! Enjoyed your fun, upbeat style--and it's nice to meet someone else with multiple sets of family china, etc. Thanks for the napkin ring "recipe." Up & awesome.

Julie DeNeen profile image

Julie DeNeen 4 years ago from Clinton CT

Loved it! Although my house is the opposite of Emily Post's home, so I'm not sure what use I'd have for napkin rings...but nonetheless, it was a great hub!

Attikos profile image

Attikos 4 years ago from East Cackalacky

I always wondered why people bothered with napkin rings. An ancient great-aunt at last explained it to me. Before people had washers and dryers, laundry was done on Mondays, and there were no disposable paper napkins. Everyone used his all week. The rings were markers, each one different so you could identify yours. That is the origin of the custom of putting your napkin back into its ring when dinner is done.

Now most of us wash the table linens after every use the ring's purpose has expired. There are some old ones in the sideboard, but I don't get them out for my own table. Those more interested in form than function still do, though.

Just History profile image

Just History 4 years ago from England

Wonderful- I tend to want to use them at Christmas and then won't pay the premium prices- but now I can make them myself! Thanks!

bellartdesigns profile image

bellartdesigns 4 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia Author

RTalloni - thanks! These are the perfect gift~

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

Love this idea. I would like to make a set of napkin rings that have our initial on them. Also, they would make neat gifts. Thanks!

Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco

These look so cute, and it'd be really fun to make these! Thanks for sharing the guide!

bellartdesigns profile image

bellartdesigns 4 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia Author

That is too funny! My husband just laughed because I have a degree in English and was raised by a mother who has her PhD in English. Thanks for pointing out the mistake and for the "vote up".

TToombs08 profile image

TToombs08 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

I really enjoyed this hub, however I do have one critique. I'm sorry, it's just a pet peeve: "You just new etiquette..." should be "You just knew etiquette..." Voting up and etc. Great hub! :o)

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