Summer entertaining is the perfect time for fun, outdoor accessories, so I want to show you how to make a napkin ring from paracord.
Paracord has been all the rage for years now. People make bracelets, key chains, dog collars, you name it. What I haven’t seen, however, is using paracord to hold a napkin together!
So, I designed a napkin ring (aka napkin holder or napkin band) that is perfect for outdoor entertaining either at home or at your favorite campsite.
Paracord Provides Oodles Of Options
Since paracord comes in so many color variations these days, you have endless options.
For online shopping, I typically recommend Strapworks.com* because they have a great nylon paracord selection and affordable pricing ($0.17/foot).
If you prefer to look at it before you buy it, your craft stores like JoAnn Fabrics typically carry it and may even have a starter kit.
As you plan out your collection, you can make a complete set of napkin rings from one color, or each family member/guest can have a different color.
I recommend having a set of different colors to make it super easy to remember whose cloth napkin is whose.
Napkin Rings Are An Easy Family Affair
The best part about this paracord napkin holder?
They’re super easy to make and a portable crafty project that you can take with you anywhere you need something to keep your hands busy while you wait.
This is also an appropriate project for kids because the cord is thick enough for them to handle easily.
You could even set up a little knot-making station where they can practice their square knot skills with the cord before attempting to make a napkin ring.
The Inspiration Behind The Napkin Ring
But first, a short backstory…
It all started when I watched My Hemp Craft’s tutorial on how to make a macrame hemp ring.
When I was younger, I made loads of square knot friendship bracelets and even went so far as incorporating some fun beads in the knots.
I hadn’t worked with hemp cord in a long while, however, and I’d never tried to make a ring. I was surprised to find that the approach was so straightforward.
You simply loop the ‘working cord’ around part of the hemp cord as the internal structure to create the ring shape.
I was not only fascinated by the simplicity, but also hooked on hemp cord ring making.
Whenever I learn a new technique, I always think through additional ways the same process can be used with different materials or to be used for other projects.
So in this instance, some paracord I had on-hand just happened to catch my eye as I was tidying up and mentally planning for an upcoming camping trip.
My mind immediately went to all of the Sunset Magazine articles on how to create a fun camping experience or how to set an outdoor table (wherever it may be) and the idea for a paracord napkin ring was born!
Materials To Make A Napkin Ring
As I mentioned, making this napkin ring is really straightforward, therefore the materials list is simple.
The materials you need are:
– 5 feet (60 inches) of paracord. The rule of thumb is that you want about one foot of cord for every inch of square knots. In this case, you will have some leftover paracord because we don’t complete the circle of knots.
I recommend this length specifically because the extra length makes it easy to form the knots for the ring.
Don’t have paracord in your crafting stash? Try Strapworks.com. They have a wonderful selection and great pricing for nylon paracord.
If you purchase cord from Strapworks.com, a single napkin ring will cost less than $1.00. (*Please note: I am an affiliate and will receive a small commission if you make a purchase when you follow the paracord link.)
– A toilet paper roll (or something around the same size) to use to size the napkin ring.
– Matches or a lighter. You need this to lightly singe the edges of the paracord so it doesn’t unravel once you’ve finished. If don’t like using matches and are in the market for a small lighter, I have had great success at The Dollar Tree. They usually have them on hanging on display while you wait in line at the cash register.
How To Make a Paracord Napkin Ring
Fold the full length of paracord in half so the ends are touching and you have a small bend/half loop at the top.
Use the toilet paper roll to size the napkin ring by pulling the ends of the cord through the loop.
Once you’ve pulled the whole length of the cord through the loop, fold the paracord back on itself to ‘lock’ the sizing down (bottom right photo).
Don’t pull the cord too tightly against the toilet paper roll. You want to have enough ‘give’ to slide it off and start making your knots.
Remove the paracord from the toilet paper roll.
Hold the cord firmly where you’ve folded it over so you don’t lose the ring sizing.
Now you can start knotting!
You will be using a square knot (in the hemp world) or cobra stitch (in the paracord world). If you need a refresher on how to make the knot, try one of these.
Keep making your square knots around the paracord circle until you’ve got about two inches of plain cord left then stop.
I designed it like this to allow the napkin to sit nice and square (pun intended!) on the table.
Take the ends of the cord and tuck them into the underside of the last stitch you made.
Once you’ve gotten the ends pulled tightly into the stitch and feel they’re secure, tighten the stitch back up then trim the excess paracord.
Using a match or your lighter, lightly singe the ends of the paracord to seal them and keep them from fraying.
Since this is on the underside of the napkin ring, it’s OK if they stick out a little bit from the stitching.
Now, Display Your Handiwork!
After you’ve finished the napkin ring, test it out on the cloth napkin of your choice! As you can see from the picture on the left, the back of the paracord napkin ring does not have any knots. This allows it to be placed on a table or plate and lay flat.
These napkin rings are great for family gatherings because they’re sturdy and can withstand a lot of wear and tear.
They are also easy to transport because they are flexible, but will still hold their shape. So, throw a handful of them in your camping gear as part of your kitchen set.
Create To Donate With Paracord
If you’re making a paracord purchase for some napkin rings, why not to try your hand (yes, I’m feeling super punny today) at another project?
Operation Gratitude includes paracord bracelets in their care packages and is always in need of bracelet donations.
Here is tutorial they provide on how to make the bracelets they use.
Share The Goods
How do you like to use paracord for everyday craft? Please feel free to share links to your tutorials in the comments below.