Saturday 16 July 2011

How To: Butterfly Napkin Rings

Planning a party this summer? Decorate your table with butterflies!

This paper crafting project is perfect for tea parties, birthdays or even DIY weddings. It originally appeared in the Spring 2010 issue of UK Handmade.

To make the napkin rings you will need:

The butterfly pattern provided at the bottom of this post
Lightweight white card (thin enough to curve easily, mine was 160gsm)
Assorted pieces of card in bright spring colours
Scrap cardboard (e.g. from a cereal box)
A ruler
A sharp pencil and an eraser
Double sided sticky tape
Craft glue (suitable for gluing paper)

To make the napkin rings:

1) First you need to make a butterfly template. Print out the pattern provided and carefully cut it out. Glue the butterfly to a piece of scrap card (from a cereal box or similar), wait until it’s completely dry and then cut it out again. You’ve now got a template you can use to draw lots of butterflies.

2) Cut out one butterfly from bright card for each napkin ring. I used three colours for a mix and match look.

3) Using a ruler and a sharp pencil divide your lightweight white card into strips 1 inch wide. These will become the “ring” around your napkins, so it’s a good idea to make a test strip on some paper first to check the rings are the correct size for your napkins – remember that you need to include enough overlap for your double sided sticky tape. Cut out all the strips, and trim them to the length you need (I cut my strips to be 6 inches long).

4) Use an eraser to rub out any pencil marks from your butterflies and card strips.

5) Take one of the strips of white card, and stick a piece of double sided sticky tape to one end. Curl the strip around into a circle, remove the paper from the sticky tape and stick both ends of your card strip together making sure the edges line up neatly. Repeat this for all your napkin rings.

6) One by one, stick a butterfly onto each napkin ring. Use one small piece of double sided tape in the centre of each butterfly so they’re secured to the card ring but so the wings stick out from it.

Other ideas:

To make cake toppers, use sticky tape to secure cocktail sticks to the back of your butterflies. These could be used to label plates of cake or sandwiches – particularly useful if you’ve got vegetarian guests!

For a pretty addition to your flower arrangement, use plastic drinking straws instead of cocktail sticks and nestle bright butterflies among your flowers.

The same butterfly motif could be used to make place cards for each of your guests. Just use glue or double sided tape to stick a butterfly to piece of blank white card, leaving space for writing your guests’ names at the bottom and place one on each plate. Don’t need place cards? These would also make sweet mini invites for your tea party.

Click here for the template! Print the butterfly at 50% to make your butterflies the same size as mine.

More crafty projects to make with the butterfly template:

- butterfly mobile
- butterfly curtain
- simple notecards
- butterfly gift basket
- gift wrapping with doilies

This tutorial is for non commercial use only: you can use it for as many butterfly themed things as you like for yourself or as gifts for friends but please don't make any for sale. Please feel free to borrow photos if you want to blog about this project, but remember to credit me and link back to the original source, and do not reproduce my entire tutorial on your site. Thanks!
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JO SOWERBY said...

you are so clever. just the thing for coordinating with all those summer parties. what summer? i know its chucking it down here again ;)
jo xxx

Unknown said...

soo great idea. i love this kind of colorfull thigs, they're making our room, food and other details more joyfull!

Ames and Tash said...

Just lovely. Also adorable plates and tea set :)

Sheila said...

Thanks for the tip!!! And thanks for the template!!! Kisses from Ibiza!!!!!!

Bugs and Fishes said...

Jo - there was rain lashing against our windows when I posted this yesterday... we can still dream of summer though, right? :)

Ames and Tash - the crockery is a mix of thrifted china and a set I inherited from my grandmother. Lovely vintage things make for very fab tea parties!

Lissa (Bellenza) said...

Pretty accents really make the napkin, don't you think?! So great how you suggested so many ways to use this same template. :-)