Upcycle your empty cardboard tubes to make napkin rings, embellished with ribbon and wax seals. An easy and fun project that can be customized to match your table décor for any season or holiday.
I always seem to be searching for napkin rings for my tablescapes
since my favorite source, Pier 1, closed their stores a few years ago…*sniff*.
This is a fun DIY and way to make easy and affordable napkin rings
that can be customized to your table décor using ribbon and wax seals.
These napkin rings start with an empty cardboard tube that you can find at the end of your
plastic wrap, paper towels, wrapping paper or toilet paper.
This post contains affiliate links. For more information see my disclosure policy.
In addition to cardboard tubes, you’ll also need your ribbon of choice,
a ruler, an X-Acto or craft knife, scissors and a glue gun.
Note: Plastic wrap tubes are heavy duty but hard to cut, so you’ll need a utility knife.
Cut your cardboard tube to the width of your ribbon,
and use a glue gun to attach your ribbon to your tube.
Tip: Cut an extra half inch or so of ribbon to fold under and cover
the raw edge of your ribbon so it’s sealed and won’t fray.
Alternatively, use Fray Check to seal the ribbon edges to keep them from unraveling.
You could stop at the ribbon to embellish your cardboard tubes
to make napkin rings, but I decided to add a wax seal,
using wax seal stamps.
I think wax seal stamps are the bee’s knees!
I fell in love with wax seal stamps last year and had some delicious fun using
them to embellish chocolate to dress up petit fours for pretty and sweet treat!
Sealing Wax Sticks are available in a variety of colors and fit in a mini glue gun.
A glue gun is so much easier to use than the traditional method of melting a sealing wax
stick over a flame or pre-melting the wax and applying with a spoon!
My preferred method to make wax seals is with a silicone hot glue gun mat,
rather than making them directly on my envelope or ribbon.
The advantage of using a hot glue mat is that your seals can be removed when cool,
so you can choose the seals with the best impressions, rather than take a chance on ruining
your envelope (or ribbon) with an less than desirable seal.
The cool seals can be applied to your envelopes, invitations or ribbon using a glue dot
or with a small amount of sealing wax or a low melt glue gun.
I like using glue dots as they are quick to apply and keep things tidy without risk of
distorting your seal with additional heat from a glue gun.
Wax seal stamp tips:
It takes a few test pulls from your glue gun and a little experimenting
to get a feel for the flow of wax and how much you need for your seal.
I find that waiting for about 5 – 10 seconds before pressing your seal into the hot wax
creates a better impression.
For best impressions, keep your stamp on ice or a freezer pack
so it releases easily from the wax.
You don’t want any condensation on your stamp, so wipe it
it with a towel or place your ice in a plastic bag to keep it dry.
Press down gently with your stamp and press in the wax 3 – 5 seconds;
pressing down gently again as you lift the stamp to release it.
I typically get two impressions before placing the seal back on ice to chill it down again before reusing.
It takes a bit of wax to change colors in your glue gun with this method of creating wax seals,
but you can have fun creating a marble effect when you introduce a new color in your gun
as it mixes with the color that’s already melted in the chamber of your glue gun.
The marbleized color of the heart wax seal below on the napkin ring
was the result of a red wax seal stick mixing with
the new champagne wax stick in the glue gun chamber.
If you want to make perfectly round wax seals,
there is a silicone wax seal mold with 24 cavities to make seals in advance,
ideal for wedding invitations or save-the-date announcements.
If you’re looking for ribbon, Hobby Lobby has a great selection available!
I found my ribbon there a couple of weeks ago and it’s on sale at 40% off
at Hobby Lobby at least once a month.
Find tips on using wax seal stamps to embellish chocolate, HERE.
🐝 ❤️ 🐝 ❤️ 🐝
As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you purchase anything through an affiliate link, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Good morning, Mary! Your napkin ring tutorial is very detailed and your hints are very helpful. The resulting napkin rings are so you! Your creativity is amazing! You always make me want to jump in and try something new. Have a beautiful Valentine’s Day!
I love this idea!! I was cleaning my craft room just yesterday and came across a small container of rolls and thought about getting rid of them…I am so glad that I thought better of doing so!!! Thanks so much for the inspiration!! I hope you have a great day!!
Oh Mary, what a fun idea! As usual, the details are so helpful. This makes me want to run right out to Hobby Lobby! 🤣 (or Amazon) Napkin rings are something I struggle with as well – they can be so expensive! I look forward to trying this craft with my Granddaughters. Thanks for the inspiration! 💕
These are great. I have also used colored glue sticks as well. They are a little bit more durable than the wax. I’ve even use the color, glitter glue sticks from dollar tree and they were great.
Very creative and clever Mary! It looks like a fun craft and wow, infinite possibilities and combos for sure. I’ve never heard of Fray Check, that sounds like handy stuff! Thanks for such a thorough tutorial too, happy stamping!
Such a cool craft, and awesome tips, Mary! All told, I think the heavier weight rolls would be worth using over the flimsier ones, so the rings would hold up better. I love the velvety one with the marbled wax seal, very pretty.
I JUST LOVE THIS!!! ❤️ TY! franki
Love this idea…especially the chocolate use!
What a fun project, Mary, for darling napkin rings. I do remember your chocolate seals from last year. Your tutorial is wonderful in explaining everything. ❤️
Mary, this is a wonderful and creative craft! Your tutorials are always detailed and easy to follow. I wish I could get in the mood to craft again. Happy Thursday, it is another day of rain here!
Didn’t you just say it was hard to come up with new ideas after all these years ? LOL
What an awsome creative project.
A set of seals would make a great gift. As a teen, my daughter loved wax seals. Wait until I forward this to her !
If you use hot glue a lot, a silicone mat is a must. They last years. One of the other things I have used is a glass or hard acrylic hot pot mat from Dollar Tree. If someone is unsure about using a hot glue gun, FabriTac works well on ribbon.
Perfect, Mary, as usual! Hope all is well with you!
Mary, these napkin rings are so beautiful, and the wax seal makes them so elegant. The bumble bee ones are my favorite! Thanks for sharing such an informative tutorial. I’m going to start saving my cardboard rolls. Happy February!
Mary, I’m definitely a fan of using a napkin ring. I was reorganizing recently, and didn’t realize how many I have. I tend to pick up sets when I find them thrifting, even if it is just a set of two. Like you, I like the detail they add to a tablesetting. Your idea is so clever. I love the idea of using pretty ribbon on wax stamps. I used to use wax stamps on all my correspondence, but haven’t in years. I’ll have to see what stamps I might have. I’m sure I have a bee! I will need to order a set of sealing wax. Thanks for the links.
So many wonderful ideas and suggestions here, Mary. This should be a book! I want to try all these ideas. You are so clever and always have something useful to share with us. Thank you!
Mary your wax seals are beautiful! As are your very creative napkin rings. (I’ve made some in the past using twine, tiny sea shells and bits of beach glass). I like the idea of using a gun as it can be tricky when melting with a flame as not to get smoke / soot mixed in with the melting wax. I bought my first stamp when I was in the 8th grade (many years ago, lol) and have loved sealing wax and stamps ever since. The chocolate ones look divine!
I had never thought about using the stamps for chocolate. What a clever and interesting idea! I may have to create some custom chocolates and send them to my daughter (away at college) and her roommates for Valentine’s Day, I know they’ll all enjoy a homemade treat. Thanks for sharing!
These are adorable Mary! Love the detailed instructions as they are always helpful and they also keep us on the right track. We’ve been enduring several days of ice and sporadic power. I decorated for Valentine’s Day by camping lamp light today. 😀Enjoy your week. Clara ❤️
Oh I’m so sorry Clara, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for some snow this month but ice is no fun, especially with downed trees and power outages. I hope your power is restored and you’re staying warm and toasty. ♥