DIY coloured wool napkin rings

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It’s autumn and while that’s not traditionally entertaining season, I like to prepared. Actually, to be honest, I like really easy DIY projects that don’t look like they’ve been made by my inept hands. This napkin ring DIY sums this up pretty perfectly.

I was on Zara Home cruising for DIY ideas when I saw these. They wanted €19 for 4, which isn’t that expensive, but when you consider that shipping on their website is a round €14 regardless of what you buy, I headed unquestioningly for the DIY route.

With a handful of wool from my failed knitting projects, some gold thread and an old belt, I made four gorgeous napkin rings that will brighten my autumn dinner table. I’m not one for vibrant colours normally. I gravitate towards greys and whites in almost all my design choices whether they be for me or for the home. But I’ve been making a real effort lately to brighten up my dining experiences. When set against all white plates and all white linen napkins, these come up a treat. Now all I need is to send off some dinner invitations!

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MATERIALS

an old leather belt
4 skeins of coloured wool
gold tapestry thread
4 tiny clear elastic bands
plastic wool needle
hole puncher

These napkin rings are made up of two layers. The leather belt and a wool braid. Make your wool braids first. Cut fifteen 30cm-long pieces of wool. Divide into three bunches and plaid together. Secure each end with a clear elastic band.

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Wrap some gold thread around each end of the braid to hide the elastic band. Tuck the loose ends in to conceal.

Cut your leather belt into four 15cm pieces. Use your hole puncher to punch 11 holes on either side of the belt. This is the most time consuming part of the project. It took me about half an hour of fiddling to finish all four. You need a sharp hole puncher and some strong muscles to get through the belt, so maybe invite a friend over!

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Thread your plastic needle with the gold thread. I quadrupled the thread so I was sewing with four threads at once. Position the braided wool parallel to the belt and weave the thread through the belt holes and the centre of the braid at a slight angle. Basically you want diagonal stitches. Secure either ends of the gold thread with knots.

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Rethread your needle with quadruple threads of the same wool you used for the braid. Weave the wool through the bottom belt holes in the same direction as the gold threads.

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When you get to the last hole, don’t cut the wool. Bring the two ends of the belt together to form a circle and secure together with the wool. Secure ends with knots.

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Tuck any loose threads away and admire your dexterity! I’ll admit that this is one of the fiddliest DIYs I’ve done in a while, but I’m really happy with the result. I would never have thought a few scraps from around the house could look so profesh! And I’m doubly pleased because all I had to go on was one photo and I managed to get pretty close to the original all the same!

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See? Didn’t I tell you they would look nice with white linen napkins? I wanted to photograph all four, but I could only find two of my linen napkins. Guess I’ll be tearing the house apart to find the other two before my next dinner party!

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