November 16, 2008

Loo Roll Christmas Napkin Rings

Filed under: Christmas,Paper Craft — sarah @ 1:42 pm

Six napkin rings

I made a set of six napkin rings from the cardboard tubes from inside kitchen towels and loo rolls. This all started because my husband made a joke that I was probably going to make a Christmas tree out the loo roll centre that he was handing me to throw away. This got me thinking and I initially cut out two rough tree shapes on a ring base out of the loo roll. My original thought had been just to have two trees standing there on a snowy hillside.

Two trees

However after looking at it more critically I decided to cut off the other tree and turn it into a napkin ring. This is the reason the Christmas tree napkin ring is rougher in shape than the others, also it is the only one out of the designs that isn’t centralised so that half of it comes out of the top of the ring and half out of the bottom. It was also a bit crinkled as it wasn’t supposed to actually end up as anything so I didn’t check that the tube I was using wasn’t squashed.

I coloured in the tree with glitter pens I had laying around, this included crayola ones, from the Big Box of Spooky Craft and Big Box of Christmas Craft from the works and the 3D pens from Costco. I was a bit worried about combining these different makes of glitter pens but as I had already found out that the glitter 3D pens actually tend to dry flat I thought it would be ok.

First off I put the tinsel on the tree, two diagonal lines in a pinky iridescent glitter. Then I did the baubles in red and purple glitter by just doing a blob of glitter. (Glitter pens sort of work like icing cakes). I then carefully filled in the areas around the glitter and baubles with the green glitter.

tinsel and baulbals

tree glittered

Silver ring

I then left it to dry.

By this point I had decided to make a set of six for Christmas dinner: one for me, one for my husband, one for our two year old, one for my brother and one each for my mum and dad. The designs I came up with were:

Five pointed star, a bell, holly with berries, bauble, santa’s hat and of course the original Christmas tree.

Once the Christmas tree had dried I patched up some areas where the green glitter and say the red bauble didn’t quite meet due to the glitter shrinking slightly on drying. I then discovered that I didn’t have a nice white or pale blue for the snow so I covered the ring around the bottom of the tree in silver glitter. I had to use two types because I ran out of the first type of silver glitter but I tried to mix them up as I went and I think it worked. I then left it to dry.

Once the base was dry I coloured in the trunk of the tree with gold glitter and left it to dry.

The five pointed silver star had to be faintly drawn first onto the loo roll. I did this by imagining a circle and drawing five spots on it. I then drew lines from each dot towards not the dot that was its immediate neighbour but the next one along (this works well when trying to do celtic knot type drawings). I did this freehand but I think it should probably be done with a compass and ruler etc… I had several attempts before I got it right which is why I did the lines faintly.

I then faintly marked where I wanted the ring to be and cut it out. Once cut out I coloured in the star with sliver glitter and left to dry.

five point star

silver star

I then coloured in the ring with a pink irridescent glitter and left it to dry.

The third shape I decided on was the bell which I again drew freehand onto the cardboard tube. I included the ‘dinger’ inside the bell and was thinking of a very 3D shape. I think this would have looked better as two smaller bells, one swinging backwards and one swinging forwards, but never mind.

Once cut out I chose what colours I was going to use. Of course gold would have been the best but I didn’t have enough of it and the silver was going to be needed for other things. So I chose pink glitter and purple glitter for the main bell, blue for the inside of the bell and the top bit of the bell where it would be attached to ropes or mounting and silver for the ‘dinger’.


I put the purple on one side in a series of almost horizontal lines to give a shading type of effect.


pueple shading

Bell shaded

bell without the blue

I then put the pink on the rest of the main bell. I should have left it to dry at this point but I didn’t. I painted on the silver ‘dinger’ and then added the blue irridescent glitter.

I then left it to dry.

It was at this point I discovered a slight problem in that some of the glitter pens were very runny and some of them on the tree, star and bell had started to run so I had to keep turning them over and propping them up to dry in different ways so that the shapes didn’t become too distorted. Also with the bell the pink and purple glitters merged and destroyed a lot of the shading effect I had been trying to achieve. Still it was rescuable.

napkin rings drying

One the bell was dry I covered the ring in a deep blue glitter and left it to dry.

The next shape I decided should be a Christmas bauble. This was mainly a circle with just the little mounting bit where you put the string or cotton through to hang it up. I also drew a little star in the middle. I again marked where the ring should go and cut it out.

Plain bualbal

I was going to make the middle a different colour in a strip but once I’d put on the blue glitter I discovered it was very runny and decided it just wouldn’t work.

I did the mounting and star in silver and the rest in a navy blue glitter (this was different to the irridescent blue I had used on the bell).

Because of how runny the blue glitter was this one needed a lot of turning as it dried and still dried lumpy, which I wasn’t pleased about.

Once it had dried I coloured the ring in a deep Christmas red glitter and waited for it to dry.

The next shape was a three leafed holly with three berries. I started off by drawing the three holly berries; I was going for a more elegant look with this one but was a bit worried that it might be too fragile. I drew a leaf coming out of each of the gaps where the berries met. I draw holly leaves by either drawing a quarter circle curve joined by a semi-circle curve and the the another quarter circle and then mirroring it or by adding in a second semi-circle for a longer leaf. This creates the spiky effect of holly quite effectively (sorry if the explanation isn’t very clear there).

holly glittered

I then marked on where the ring should go and cut it out The holly leaves were a bit fiddly but worked well in the end.

As tradition dictates I coloured the berries in the Christmassy red and the leaves in the green glitter. and left it to dry.

Once dry I used the new silver glitter I had found hiding to decorate the ring. Again I left it to dry and with rotating it several times so that the silver did not run too much.

The last napking ring I made was santa’s red and white bobble hat. Again I just drew the design on the toliet roll middle; I went for one with lots of fulffy rim and bobble and hand it flopped over slightly as I think this looks better than having it up in the air. I then marked on where the ring should be and cut it out.

Santa’s hat itself was the red glitter and the bobble and fluffy rim were done in silver glitter. I then left it to dry.

Once dry I did the ring in green glitter which worked really well with the red. However the nice effect of the hat being flopped was lost a bit as the glitter hid any definition, losing the 3D effect again.

santa red glitter

If I was to do this again I would probably use loose glitter to avoid the running problem and use paints as well. If I had time I would also probably cover them all in a few layers of paper mâché to help prevent the seam of the loo roll coming through and to make them more permanent and more likely to survive more than one Christmas. If I wasn’t just restricted to what glitter I had I would also probably do things such as Christmas puddings and trumpets.

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