There are so many things to love about this beaded napkin ring project: it's easy, conducive to messy crafting (it doesn't need to be perfect to look good), and potentially very thrifty (you can snag beads on clearance or cut apart old jewellery and scavenge the beads). And it works as a cuff bracelet, according to Vanessa - who suggested that it could be a fun take home favor for a casual dinner party with girlfriends.
Here's how to make them (if you haven't already watched my video tutorial):
- A spool of 24 gauge wire (makes four, for six you'll need a spool and a half)
- A spool of 16 gauge wire
- Needle nosed pliers (2 pairs makes this easier)
- Wire cutters
- Bottle (empty, full - doesn't matter, it's to shape the cuff)
Take the circle you've created and flatten in a bit, so you've got a really elongated oval. Flatten the twisted ends a bit with your pliers, because you don't want them sticking up and poking your linens (or wrist). This is where two pairs of pliers come in handy.
Gently wrap the oval around a bottle to form a cuff shape. You can re-shape it later, so it doesn't need to be perfect. Make as many of these forms as you need and set aside.
To start wrapping, anchor the 24 gauge wire by wrapping it around one side of the cuff shape a few times. Flatten any pokey ends with the pliers. Wrap the 24 gauge wire once around one side of the 16 gauge wire cuff, then bring it across to the other side, wrap around the other side - back and forth. Because I was on a budget and happened to fall in love with the most expensive beads ever, I didn't wrap the beads all the way around. The bottom and sides are wire with a few turquoise beads here and there, while the dyed shell beads are really lush and full on the top. You can arrange the beads however you please and can start adding the beads anytime in this process.
Because I used beads with a hole drilled at one end of the long shape, I decided to "lift" the beads up a little and give them life so that the finished product has an organic feel - like some sort of sea anemone. To achieve this look, in the midst of wrapping the wire back and forth across the cuff, I grabbed a bead, twisted the wire, and kept wrapping. Every now and then I stopped to adjust the beads, twisting them a bit and nudging them into facing random directions.
This was my first time doing wire work like this, and my wraps aren't perfect but because I wanted a napkin ring that felt relaxed and organic, I am going to vehemently argue that the imperfections add to the look ;)
This was a great project to do while my brain was otherwise engaged - perfect for in front of the television. Actually, I was dyeing the pair of jeans I mentioned while I made one of these. I had to stay by the washing machine to keep setting the cycle back to ensure the jeans were agitated in the dye bath for a full half hour. I set my supplies on the washer and whipped one of these up standing in the laundry room. (Multi-tasking for the win.)
I had no idea how these were turn out - things are always perfect in my mind, but sometimes they flop in real life. Happily, I think they look great, and the dyed shell beads I found (at Micheal's) really catch the light and shimmer quite nicely. Mmmmm, aqua.
Here's another look at the napkin rings paired with the dip dyed napkins I made. I loved the beads because they tied together the blue napkins (the blue rug in my original plan) and the aqua lantern.
For more photos of my tablescape with Canadian Tire and CANVAS, and some awkward videos of me, check out the page for my "Backyard Oasis". This was such a fun collaboration! These small projects are so satisfying, so I find myself feeling especially crafty...