Easy Upcycle: How to Create Custom Napkin Rings

Upcycle an empty paper towel tube and a bit of leftover fabric into a fashion-forward accessory for your dining table.

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

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Materials Needed

  • empty paper towel tube
  • ruler/tape measure
  • pencil
  • utility knife
  • leftover cardboard
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • leftover fabric
  • ribbons

Create the Structure

Mark a paper towel tube with a pencil at 1-1/2 inch segments and cut into pieces with a utility knife by rolling the tube under the sharp blade at the lines (Image 1). To add durability, use single-width corrugated cardboard to cut long strips that are 1-1/2 inches wide. One strip will be needed for each napkin ring. They should be approximately 24 inches long with the corrugation channels running parallel to the short edges (Image 2). Hold the cardboard strips firmly against a hard surface such as a table or countertop and use the other hand to pull the strip over the edge, making the strip softer, curved and more flexible (Image 3). Using hot glue, attach one end of a cardboard strip to a paper towel tube segment (Image 4). Tightly wrap the strip around the tube segment four times. At the opposite end, cut away any excess and secure the end with hot glue (Image 5).

Add the Fabric

Cut pieces of fabric that are 4 inches wide and 7 inches long. If using a patterned fabric, be sure to match up patterns for a consistent look. Center one of the cardboard rings on the fabric with the open ends of the tube facing the long edges of the fabric. Attach one short end of the fabric to the tube with hot glue, then add a bead of hot glue around one inside edge of the tube and roll the tube tightly and slowly on the fabric while pushing the fabric into the tube and onto the glue (Image 1). When you get to the end of the fabric, fold it inward about 1/2 inch to create a clean edge. Repeat the glue process for the other side. Pull the folded end tight and secure with an extra dot of glue (Image 2).

Add Ribbon

Cut a piece of 1/2 inch-wide ribbon to 4-1/2 inches long. Apply a bead of glue over raw edge of fabric inside the tube. Press the ribbon onto the glue to cover the raw edge. At the end, fold the ribbon inward for a clean edge.

Display on Your Dining Table

Sturdy and stylish, these fashion-forward napkin rings can stand up to daily use.

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

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