Little Details, continued…

Napkin rings.  Not a big deal except I need them for 160 guests.  I thought of just folding the napkins at the place setting, but that would mean a portion of my precious set up time would be used up by folding napkins at the setting.

Napkin rings

Pros -fold the napkins, put in ring & store away in a tote.  Take it out, plop it at the setting. Easy. Can add to the overall decor.

Cons-How much does 160-ish napkin rings cost? If I DIY, how long will that take?

In my continuous pursuit to minimize the setting up process before the wedding, I said YES to the napkin rings.  I toyed with different designs:

The bling ring: 

bling_napkins

Now this one is easy, but the raw material (the bling ribbon) is pricey. Buy about 10 yards to do 100 rings (around $40). Using a piece of paper you’ve wrapped around your folded/rolled napkin as a template for length, cut the ribbon, glue the seams.  I recommend a higher end craft glue or low temp glue gun.

But I am not having a bling wedding.

The ring to double as wine charm triple as guest favor:

images crystall charms diy napkin rings

The most expensive and time consuming choice, but very pretty, serves extra functions (favor/keep track of one’s drink).  I will admit I made a few of these using just regular wire and a few beads on each.  They looked good, but not great, on the napkins.  If I were to do this, I would use memory wire for the ease of making them, taking them off the napkin/putting on the wine glass.  Memory wire will get pricey though, and the costs of these will be about $50-$100 for 100 depending on the type of beads you use.  They will also take the longest to make.  But this would be worth it since it may serve as a favor for your guests.

A few cons though for my situation–I already made favors (doesn’t mean I couldn’t have more though, right?), the rings would need to be different for each guest if they are to serve as wine charms (no big deal for me either since I’m not a fan of match-matchy). Many/most guests would leave them on the glass creating more of clean up headache at the end of the night.  We are at a DIY venue with rented china/glassware.  All the charms would have to be removed before packing the dirty glasses to avoid extra rental charges.

In the end, I decided the extra DIY time (and it is time consuming), the extra expense, and the extra clean up time was not worth it. (Well mostly the extra DIY time).

The Ribbon Ring –cheap and easy (but still pretty & functional):

DIY ribbon napkin ringsDIY ribbon napkin rings 2

Ultimately my choice 🙂  The ombre ribbon I used was/is the inspiration for my entire wedding color scheme -from the light warm ivory-apple, sagey-willow greens-to the near black.  Imagine the above setting on the table with willow (or apple green) table cloths, black satin runner, and of course my painted flower centerpieces.

Reminder photo:

painted paper flower

So much ado about this little detail.  But here is the quick tutorial on how I made these.  The total cost was the cost of the ribbon (about $15) for 160 napkin rings.  All the napkins are neatly rolled and ringed waiting in a plastic tote.  Easiest set-up ever.

Supplies:

Cardboard rolls –as in paper towel/toilet paper innards.   1 four inch toilet paper roll = 4 napkin rings.  Plan accordingly. You could also use strips of cards stock/thin cardboard–just add and extra step to glue them into a circle.

1 to 1.5  inch ribbon in chosen color/style.  Each napkin ring requires 6″ of ribbon, so 1 yard of ribbon = 6 rings, 160 rings = 27(ish) yards. You do not need wired ribbon for this project.

A combination of these (but you don’t necessarily need them all): glue stick, double sided tape, fabric tac glue.

Napkins (ha ha)-I purchased these lovely black satin pin-tuck napkins from a previous bride for $.25 each.  A bargain!

Steps:

1.  Cut the cardboard rolls to 1 inch thickness.  A guillotine cutter works well for this, but so would a decent pair of scissors:

diy napkin rings 2diy napkin rings 3

2 (optional). Quickly paint the inside of the cardboard tubes.  Why? So they blend with the ribbon and look less like a toilet paper roll.  Spray painted black for mine, took about 2 minutes to do around 30 or so.  Besides, laying them out like this is its own art form 🙂

2013-09-22 15.32.00

3. Cut your ribbon.  You need a little bit of overlap when covering.  For standard rolls, 6″ is perfect.  You can cut the ribbon all at once, or do as I did, cut as you go by just wrapping the ribbon around the roll and cutting off.  Notice the overlap below–

diy napkin rings 4

4. Fold over one side of the raw edge cut ribbon and secure with a small piece of double sided tape (fabric glue or glue stick works as well).  Cover the cardboard roll with glue stick glue (or again use double sided tape).  I caution against fabric glue over the whole thing as it may seep through your ribbon giving it water-like marks.  I used a regular (kid’s) glue stick and it worked wonderfully.

diy napkin rings 5diy napkin rings 6

5. Wrap the ribbon around the cardboard, line up the outer edges so they meet at the seam.  You can put a small dap of fabric glue on the overlap if you feel the double sided tape isn’t enough to hold the seam in place.

diy napkin rings 7diy napkin rings 8diy napkin rings 9diy napkin rings 10diy napkin rings 11

Done.

In the time I wrote this post, I could have easily made a dozen, so it is very quick work.  The cardboard is just enough to make them really easy to slide on and off too.  These work well for bow-tie napkins to (see below), but we opted for a simple double rolled design.

diy napkin rings 12

In the end, do people really care about the napkin rings. No, not really.  I just like the little details.  When you have enough of the “little things,” you end up with a cohesive overall look and design.

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