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Thanksgiving napkin rings decorated with leaves
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Friday Fun

Napkin Rings for Thanksgiving

What you will make:

Thanksgiving is a time for the family to gather and share experiences. You can start the sharing by making these simple napkin rings with your child. Not only will you have fun, but you will also make something special for the Thanksgiving table. Use the same basic idea with simple variations for other holidays.

This project is great for family, classroom or group craft time. With a little preparation by the adult or teen leader, this project is easy and fun for children.

Here's what you need:
  • Empty toilet paper tubes
  • Aluminum foil
  • Construction paper in fall colors
  • Cardstock for leaf patterns
  • White craft glue (Elmer's/PVA)
  • Pencil and ruler
  • Scissors
  • Optional: String or rubber band, felt-tip markers, brayer, decorative paper, white or colored computer paper

This project is rated EASY to do.

How to Make Thanksgiving Napkin Rings

Read all of the steps before starting.
Step 1: Project Preparation

Read through the project and gather the materials needed for making the napkin rings. If you are doing this craft with a group, pre-cutting the rings and foil rectangles will make the craft go faster. You might also pre-cut small rectangles of construction paper.

Tip: If you plan to use this craft again, next year or with another group, make leaf templates using poster board that will last for many uses.

Step 2: Cut Rings

Cut the toilet paper tubes into 1¼" to 1½"-wide rings. A standard-size tube will make three rings. Measure the rings with a ruler and make pencil marks on opposite sides of the tube. Use the tip of the scissors to punch a hole at one of the pencil marks, and continue cutting around the tube.

Tip: An easy way to make the cut is by using a string or rubber band as a guide. Tie a string or place a rubber band around the tube at the pencil marks, and follow it as you cut.

Step 3: Cover Rings

Cover the rings with aluminum foil, shiny or dull side up—it's your choice. Measure and cut a 4" by 6" piece of foil for each ring. Wrap the foil around the ring and fold the edges to the inside.

Tip: Give the napkin rings a textured effect by first crumpling the foil, but be very gentle or the foil may tear. You can use a brayer to smooth crumpled foil.

Step 4: Cut Leaf Shapes

Cut out one or two leaf shapes for each ring. Use these leaf patterns printed to cardstock, or cut patterns of your own. Trace around the patterns with a pencil on construction paper. Use at least two different colors of paper in fall colors—yellow, red, green, orange and brown. Cut out the leaves.

Tip: Collect small leaves from your yard to use as tracing patterns.

Step 5: Color Leaves (optional)

Instead of cutting leaves from colored construction paper, you can print the leaf patterns to white or colored computer paper and color them with markers!

Add your own special touch! Enhance your leaves with felt-tip markers. Color the stems brown. Add veins on the leaves. Give the leaves the mottled look of real leaves by shading with reds and oranges.

Step 6: Glue Leaves to Rings

Glue leaves on the napkin rings. Use a white glue like Elmer’s or a PVA glue to adhere the leaves to each napkin ring. Hold the leaves in place until the glue sets.

Tip: Glue the leaves over the place where the foil meets, and turn the leaves so their tracing marks face down.

That's it! Your napkin rings are ready for the table!
Thanksgiving napkin rings decorated with leaves

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Before you start:
  • Make a place to work.
  • Read all of the directions.
  • Gather everything you need to do the project.
  • Think about the project. Imagine how it will look and what you will do with it.

Are you ready?
Okay, get started!!!

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Project extra: Cut out and trace these leaf patterns to make decorations for the napkin rings.

Napkin ring with leaf cut from marbled paper

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Tip: Use fancy paper to make a more sophisticated leaf.

The marbled paper for this leaf was created by printing Aunt Annie's marbled stones ePaper on white cardstock.
Leaves with veins drawn using markers

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Tip: Use markers to enhance the appearance of the leaves.

Leaves with mottled appearance made using markers

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Tip: Fall leaves usually have several colors. Use markers to make leaves with a mottled appearance.

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