Please help me in welcoming Abigail of Gloaming Designs to Vintage Indie. She is sharing her Vintage Style Napkin Rings for this week's DIY project. I think these are simply gorgeous and would be beautiful on your Thanksgiving table this year.
These napkin rings are made from jute chair webbing, a very inexpensive and possibly even (if you find an old chair) up-cycled material. but cool - it is very cool! one of those functional but fascinating materials. this particular webbing is from the popular upholstery company Waverly via Joann's Fabrics, but i'd venture to say that any fabric store that carries home decor fabrics will have a roll.
-3 3/4" wide Jute Chair Webbing: enough yardage for the number of rings you want, each ring needing approx. 6 1/2 inches of length.
-20 lb. Hemp Cord: approx. 6 inches per ring
-1 large sewing needle: very thick with a large eye for the hemp cord to pass through
-optional: decorative elements (see end of tutorial and above photo for suggestions)
Step 1: Cut lengths of 6 1/2" from the webbing, one length for each finished ring you want. (Alternately, wrap the webbing around the folded napkins you intend to use, add about 1 1/2" for ease and sewing, and cut there.) This does not have to be an exact science. I usually measure the first and use it to hold against the webbing to cut more. Once they are cut, use your needle to pick out the first three or so rows of the weave. This is to make a fringe edge for the ring. Once you've pulled out enough of the rows that the fringe is a length you like, trim the hanging jute near the webbing's edge. I suggest not pulling out too much jute, though, as this will ultimately reduce the size of the finished ring.
Step 2: Once you have your fringe edge, make a tube out of the webbing by overlapping the two cut edges with your fringed edge on top. Overlap about 1 1/4" (including fringe) and pin to hold in place. Using the hemp cord, thread the needle. Begin to sew a few rows of jute in from the fringe (so the stitched won't fray out of place) with long running stitches beginning with your needle pushing through from the inside of the tube to the outside and ending with the needle pushing from the outside to the inside. Both ends of the cord will be hanging from the inside of the tube. *Do not cut a piece of cord from the hemp roll, thread the needle directly from it. This way, you are sure to have enough cord for sewing and not much is wasted. Do not make a knot in the cord, simply pull the stitches through leaving long tails of cord on both ends.*
Step 3: Once you've stitched the two sides together, hold both ends of the cord and gently tug to remove any slack from the stitches. Form a knot in the cord, snugging it up to the inside of the napkin ring (both ends of the cord should be hanging from the inside of the tube, to hide your knots). Trim any excess cord.
Step 4: Using your thumbs, fluff the fringe to separate the fibers a bit giving the edge a softer look. You can do this as much or as little as you like.
Step 5: Inspect your work to make sure the stitches are secure and the fringe is fluffy enough! At this point you can add embellishments. I like to use this with the fringe edge up but you can also attach decoration to the other side of the ring. Consider making your decoration removable - maybe specific to your event. With a small piece of cord you can tie on one or more buttons with a simple knot or a bow. I love the idea of collecting inexpensive letter pins and 'monogramming' the rings for your guests (the pins can be removed for your next gathering). Tissue paper flowers can get the kids involved and can be attached with a bit of floral wire pushed through the webbing and twist tied. What are your ideas?
Step 6: Insert an napkin and enjoy!