DIY Wooden Napkin Rings: A Fun and Creative Activity for the Whole Family


Making wooden napkin rings is a great project to show off your creativity. Whether you want to make the same wooden ring with each set or something unique and different, you can use wood and a little skill to make something special. With some scrap wood, a table saw, lathe and chisels, you can create napkin rings that make great housewarming gifts or craft projects. In this article we’ll discuss how to make wooden napkin rings with ease.

Start by cutting 1 1/2 inch lengths of hardwood stock on a table saw. Start chamfering the ends of each length, rounding it into an octagon profile. Using a compass, find and mark the centre of each blank, so that when you clamp it onto the lathe it is in the correct place. The blank should be fixed into place in the ‘dead center’ notch of your lathe with the centre points just marked. Adjust the tool rest setting so there is 1/8 inch of space between the blank and the rest so that it spins freely.

Next, turn on the lathe and begin to cut the blank on its outside circumference. Hold the turning tool, a chisel, with the broad side on the blank and begin to smooth it into a circle. After every few centimeters make a small mark in the blank with a pencil to indicate where the cut should be, then turn the lathe off and check that the mark is in a perfect circle.

DIY Wooden Napkin Rings: A Fun and Creative Activity for the Whole Family

Turn the lathe back on and begin to cut out the designs that you have marked. Use the chisel to make different patterns, using a rough-bevelled chisel for a deep cut and a broad-bevelled chisel if you want to round a section of wood. Use calipers to measure the depth of the cuts so they are all even. Take a piece of 220-grit sandpaper to finish off the surface, folding it to get into the crevices.

Finally, remove the ‘dead center’ and use a round-nose chisel to bore the center hole halfway across. Place the 1/2-skew chisel at the center and bore the rest of the napkin ring. Use inside calipers to check the diameter of the rings. With the rings still on the lathe, sand them one last time with 220-grit sandpaper.

DIY Wooden Napkin Rings: A Fun and Creative Activity for the Whole Family

Now to finish off the napkin rings. Wet them with walnut oil and let it sit for five minutes. Wipe away any excess with a clean cloth and then lay them flat to dry for 48 hours. Once the napkin rings are ready, they are perfect for gifting or crafting. Invite your friends to make some too and you can all be proud of the project. Wooden napkin rings can last long and become a treasured keepsake. With a little woodworking skill and supplies, your napkin rings will definitely be a talking point at any gathering.
Making beautiful wooden napkin rings brings a touch of elegance to the dinner table and is the perfect gift for friends and family. While the construction of wooden napkin rings can seem intimidating, the process is actually quite simple with an array of tools and a little bit of creativity. With the right steps, anyone can create these amazing and unique rings that everyone will admire.

The first step is to collect the necessary supplies, of which a wood lathe, chisels and wood are the most important pieces; other helpful equipment includes a table saw, compass, clamp, and sandpaper. Start by cutting the corners of the wooden stock with a table saw in order to form an octagon profile. Then, use a compass to mark the center of the ring, and clamp it onto the lathe. Set the speed to slow, and begin to carve out the ring just large enough to fit a small napkin. As you carve the exterior, be sure to use a variety of chisels to gain the desired texture and design. To help transfer making the design all the way around the radius, place a pencil at each mark while the lathe is on, thus perfectly recreating the pattern. Finally, smoothing the napkin rings with fine grade sandpaper is a good way to prevent scratches on your hands and for a more finished look.

DIY Wooden Napkin Rings: A Fun and Creative Activity for the Whole Family

The next step is to bore the center hole. Beginning in the middle using a round-nose chisel, then expand out with a 1/2 skew chisel. Measuring the diameter with an inside caliper will ensure the hole is the correct size. Once the hole is complete, remove the ‘dead center’ rig.

To finish the napkin rings, sand again with 220-grit sandpaper and then wet the entire ring with walnut oil. Be sure to wipe off the excess oil after a few minutes, then the ring should be left to dry for two days before using.

Making wooden napkin rings is a great craft project for anyone with patience and creativity. With a few simple steps and quality tools, you can make a set of rings that enhance the beauty of any dinner table.

  • March 30, 2021