Napkin holders give a festive atmosphere to the table and during the Christmas dinner. Even if napkin holders are not expensive, you can give a plus of originality to your table by making these napkin holders at home. There are many types of napkin holders that can be made at home; here’s how to make napping holders out of air dry or polymer clay.
Tools and Materials Needed:
- Air dry clay or polymer clay
- A knife
- Small sized cookie cutters
- Palette knife
- Sharp stick
- A wooden board
- Rubber gloves
- A soft paintbrush
- Non toxic varnish
Step 1 – Choose the Material
You can choose to make your napkin holders out of air dry clay, which is easy to work with and will not require kiln firing. When the material dries, it will have the appearance and consistency of fired clay and will be waterproof. The material can be painted just like fired clay.
You can also choose polymer clay, which is a soft material that can be easily shaped and is available in several colors that can be mixed prior to being fired. The polymer clay has to be put in the stove for 1 to 2 hours and when the material becomes solid, it will feel like plastic. The material is also waterproof.
Step 2 – Shape the Napkin Holders
With the material of your choice, shape a few 4 inch coils. Use rubber gloves if you are sensitive to the materials.
You can establish their thickness; remember that this will be the thickness of the napkin holders, as neither the air dry clay nor the polymer clay will shrink when dry. Form the coils on an even wooden board. Flatten one area of the coil and join the ends of the coils, so that you obtain a circular shape, with the flat area on the inside.
Step 3 – Decorate the Napkin Holders
If you choose polymer clay, you can shape small dots of a different color and patch these on the formed coils. You may also shape more complex forms such as a tree or a star. If you have smaller cookie cutters, you can use these to obtain shapes that you apply on the napkin rings. Press these shapes onto the clay, making sure they will stick.
Alternatively, you can use a small palette knife or a sharp stick and scratch a few motifs on the exterior of the napkin holders: stars, spirals or trees.
Step 4 – Drying or Firing
If you choose air dry clay, you will not have to fire this material. Allow the napkin rings to dry for at least 12 hours. The polymer clay needs to be fired, but you don’t need a kiln, you can use your oven. Fire the pieces for 1 to 2 hours on medium heat. Don’t use the microwave oven.
Step 5 – Paint the Napkin Holders
The napkin holders made of air dry clay can be painted once dry. Use red, white and green, which are colors specific for Christmas to paint the napkin holders. The polymer clay can be chosen in various colors and ideally, you shouldn’t paint on top of these.
Step 6 – Apply the Varnish
The varnishing is only necessary if you use air dry clay. Apply 1 coat of non toxic varnish and allow to dry.