Fall leaf napkin ring

In case you missed it, here is the project I did for my Naptime Crafters blog swap! I'm going to show you how to turn colorful fall foliage into a beautiful and festive napkin ring!

Before you even start your napkin ring, you'll need:
  • Colorful, smallish leaves (think smaller than your thumb)
  • Spray adhesive
  • Microwave
  • Microwave safe plate
I'm so lucky to live in a part of the world where I can literally find gorgeous leaves in my backyard! But if you need to, go on a walk in the park to find some amazing leaves.

I don't know what the name of this particular bush is, but this is where I got my leaves. You want to make sure to pick leave that are smooth, whole, and right off the plant. This way the colors are more vibrant and you have a better chance of finding blemish free leaves. Grab as many as you can, a portion of the ones you pick won't make it through to the final project.

The next thing you'll need to do is dry your leaves in some way. You can press them in books, iron them (under newspapers and kitchen towels of course), or wax them. I'm going to show you how to microwave your leaves! Arrange your leaves on a microwave safe plate.

You'll need to microwave your leaves between 30 seconds and two minutes (the fresher your leaves are, the longer you'll need to microwave.) Do it in 15 seconds increments so you don't set your leaves on fire. Also, please keep in mind that your leaves WILL darken as they are dried. See that leaf top right? It's halfway through changing, it started out that bright red and it's turning a darker red. You'll probably lose some leaves in this process.

These leaves are all ready! They should be flatish and more more stiff to the touch. Make a bunch of them, you'll probably break a few when you make the napkin rings.

Next you'll need to preserve your leaves. Use some kind of sealant/spray adhesive (check in the art section of your local craft store) and spray it all over your leaves to protect them. Make sure to do it outside!!

NOW you're ready to start your napkin rings! You'll need:
  • Dried leaves
  • Toilet paper/paper towel roll
  • Glue gun
  • Scissors (not pictured)
  • Embellishment for middle of your flower (I used a berry from the same bush I got the leaves.)

Cut a small length of your roll about a centimeter thick. This will be the base of your napkin ring.

Start gluing just the bottom of your leaves down on the circle. Wedge the next leave under the first one and glue down, continuing the process of overlapping your leaves all the way around. Be careful, the leaves are thin and hot glue is, well, hot! 

You'll have a somewhat spiky looking ring now. (Also make sure to pull off all the stringy glue gun pieces off before you take a picture of your work. Yikes!!)

I kind of like this look, so feel free to stop here!

But, if you're more into the smooth look, go back around and glue down the "spikes."

It will then look something like this! See that hot gluey mess to the left? We're going to cover that up next. :)

Take five extra leaves and glue them into a flower shape over the glueiest (yes I just made that word up) area you want to cover up. Glue an embellishment in the center (berry, pearl, bead, whatever you think looks good!)

And you are ready to entertain! This would be perfect for a Thanksgiving dinner table! You could even use the same concept to embellish place cards. And if you're a bit to pressed for time to go out and gather your own leaves, I'm sure faux leaves would be just as beautiful. :)

After a few days it's still holding up strong! You might want to add an extra layer of adhesive though, just to be safe. :)

Happy crafting! **Also, I've added several more new parties to my "Link Parties" tab so be sure to check out all the new places I'm partying!**


AliLilly said...

Those are great!! Ok...it's freaking cool how much we have in common! I made DAVID a jack skellington pumpkin!! It's his all time favorite movies!!! if you find me on facebook you can see it!! :)


Kimmy said...

Those are beautiful!! What a great idea! :)

Thanks for swinging by my blog! :)

Beth- the mama bee said...

I really like those. They even have a poinsettia look. I think we have the same bush!

AmieAnn said...

What a fabulous idea! I love these napkin rings, they are colorful, economical and so pretty! Great job.. thanks for linking up to the Pink Hippo Party!

Jenny @ Embellishing Life said...

Beautiful idea! Love that you used actual leaves! I have to try that microwaving technique! Thanks for linking it up at the Catwalk :)

Lori@Paisley Passions said...

WOW! Great idea! I never would have known they were made from a paper towel roll! Thanks SO much for linking up to Thrilling Thursday @ Paisley Passions. Hope to see you again soon.

~Lori @ Paisley Passions

Crystal said...

these are gorgeous. This is such a fun idea.

Anonymous said...

Great idea! Thanks for linking to Fantabulous Friday!

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