The Busy Bean

Napkin Rings – Tutorial

I had the idea one night to add some napkin rings to the place mats I made for my partner in the Spicing Up The Kitchen Swap. I was throwing ideas around in my head until this one popped in. I think they turned out fabulous, so I thought I’d share with you how to make them!

They are pretty simple, but pack a big punch. And all you need is a few strips of fabric, felt, 1″ webbing, a sewing machine and a glue gun.

Start by cutting your fabric strips. Instructions here will make six napkin rings (to go with the six place mats I already made). Cut one strip 2.5″ x width of fabric. This will be to cover your webbing and make the actual ring. Cut three strips 1.5″ x width of fabric, then cut those in half. These will be the strips you use to make your flowers.

With right sides together, sew your 2.5″ strip of fabric down the long side to create a tube.

Press your seam open. {And please ignore my horrible burned ironing board cover}

Turn your tube right side out. You can use a safety pin, or find yourself these nifty tube turners. There’s a tube that you slide inside your fabric tube, and a stick you use to push the fabric through. Honestly, it changed my sewing life when I found them in the notions isle at the fabric store.

Now, you’re going to cut that tube into 7″ segments. You also need to cut your webbing into 6″ segments.

Next, turn one end of each 7″ fabric tube under and press, so you get a nice finished end. You can just leave the other one as it is. {Also, please ignore my pink fingernails. Who puts a permanent ink stamp in the end of a child’s Valentine’s Day treat? I had to dig out the stamp pad so I didn’t get red M&M stamps all over my house.}

Now slide one 7″ fabric tube over each of your 6″ webbing pieces, bunching it up in the middle so you’ve got webbing exposed on both ends.

Now, probably the hardest part of the whole thing, depending on how you are at sewing at awkward angles. Take the two exposed webbing ends, and sew them together. Use a zig-zag stitch. Trust me on this one, I did a straight stitch, and had to go back later and zig-zag it.

See, it’s not really hard (none of this project is), it’s just a little awkward.

Then sew down the raw fabric edge to your webbing. It doesn’t matter where it is, it doesn’t have to be right next to your webbing seam, we just want to hold it in place so it’s easier to slide your turned-under edge over it.

See that straight stitch on the webbing there? That should be a zig-zag!

Once your raw ends are tacked down, start sliding your fabric around so the edge you turned under and made all pretty will cover that raw edge.

Then topstitch around both sides. You don’t need to worry about sewing that pretty edge across the ring, once you topstitch the edges, it will hold it in place just fine.

Now set your rings aside for a minute while we make our rolled fabric flowers.

Fold each 1.5″ strip in half, wrong sides together, down the long side. Starting at one end, start twisting your fabric strip. {You can be glad you just have to twist, not figure out a way to twist it and hold it while taking a picture with your other hand.}

Don’t try to twist the whole length of it, just do enough to get started rolling it. Now, start rolling your twisted fabric like a snail shell. Once you get a little bit rolled, maybe just a turn and a half or two, pause and put a drop of glue between the rounds to help hold it together.

Just keep twisting and rolling, putting a little drop of glue about every round. When you’ve rolled up the whole length of fabric, turn it over to the back a glue like a crazy person. You want to make sure you catch each round, and especially the outside all the way around.

Turn it over and stick it down onto your piece of felt. Give the glue a chance to set up, then cut the felt around your rolled fabric flower. Glue a flower to each of your rings, covering your seam where the fabric ends meet.

And just like that, in under an hour (even less if you’re not stopping to take care of your two adorable toddlers) you’ve got a set of custom napkin rings to complete your table setting!

I hope you make some gorgeous rings for your table. I may make myself some, and actually get fabric napkins to use them with! One day I’ll have a fancy dinner party… right?

If you make anything with my tutorials, I’d love to see a picture. You can send them to me, or upload them to my flickr group.

I’m linking up to a few parties with this. Check out the buttons over there on the left side of my page. You will get lost scrolling through the beautiful items everyone is making!

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13 Thoughts on “Napkin Rings – Tutorial

  1. Those are awesome! I just finished writing a post about Bliss fabric for tomorrow, so it makes me love them even more! Did you link up to We Did It! Wednesday? I hope so, I’ll definitely feature those this week, and maybe even get around to making some, too! Thanks for the tutorial!

    • Thanks Abby! I love Bliss. I linked them up to We Did It – I’d love to see them featured. Seriously, they are so fast to make, you could have them done in no time!

  2. Can I reach through and hug you?! These are sooo cute, thanks so much for sharing. Thanks for linking up to Fabric Tuesday!

  3. These are great! I loved them from the minute they were posted in the group. So glad you joined in the swap!

  4. I just found this blog over on Quiltstory. These napkin rings are just the project I am looking for! Thanks so much. 🙂

  5. Wao!! I love this tutorial!! I can´t wait to try it!! thanks for all the details and for sharing!! Hasta luego!

  6. These would look fabulous as a bracelet! Just add a snap instead of making a full closure. On my to-do list now!

  7. Pingback: The Busy Bean · Linky Love

  8. these are so cute – just found you through Sew Much Ado… love it !!!

  9. very interesting..keep it up dear 🙂

  10. Sue Powell on October 4, 2012 at 11:28 am said:

    I am making a basket for petals for my granddaughter, soon to be the flower girl for my niece’s wedding. I could not decide what kind of a flower to make for the basket and for her headband. Now I definitely will use your idea! Might make some napkin rings while I am in flower production. Thanks! And I will think of you–and credit you too–at the wedding.

  11. This excellent website certainly has all the information I needed about this
    subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  12. Hi

    been trying to do a zigzag stitch to like (satin-stitch) on the end of the webbing but the fabric not moving whereby I have to push a little then it will sew smoothly. Always get a very thick knot at the starting of the sewing.

    Wonder do you face this issue?

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