Dressing up your table a bit for a dinner with friends or a romantic evening in doesn't have to be an elaborate amount of work. Sometimes just adding some pretty silverware and a cute napkin ring and cloth napkins can signal that you wanted to make the event a little more special. Making your own napkin rings out of clay is surprisingly easy (and it's pretty cost effective too). So they make a great homemade gift or housewarming present for a pal. Here's how to make your own!
Roll out a long section of 1/4" thick clay on top of wax paper. To keep a consistent thickness, you can place two stacks of 1/4" papers on either sides of the clay to act as a thickness guide. Silicon rollers are best with clay, but if you don't have one, you can simply place another sheet of wax paper on top of the clay and that will keep your roller from sticking.
I used this bead organizer tube as my guide for how long to cut each strip, but you can also just measure a distance and cut all your rectangles that long (mine were about 8" long).
On a glass or metal pan, connect the ends of your clay rectangles together to make a circle and smooth the two ends into each other with your fingers (it's OK if they aren't perfectly smoothed together, that can be the bottom side of the napkin ring). Bake according to the clay instructions and allow to cool.
Mix a small amount of your black paint with some water until you have more of an ink consistency. Place your napkin rings on a piece of cardboard or scrap paper and fling a brush loaded with paint at the ring from different angles until you have the perfect splatter pattern (doing this outside is best for obvious reasons if possible!). You can practice a bit on the paper before adding the ring if you want some practice first. Allow the paint to fully dry, and then you can add a clear glaze on top if you want to seal the ring and add some shine.
I love how the inky paint blotches look on the white background (although you can use any color clay or paint, totally up to you), and the great thing about splatter painting is that anyone can do it and it usually comes out pretty cool. This would be a great gift to give in a set of 4 or 6 along with some pretty napkins, and they are a modern way to dress up a tablescape without seeming too fancy or over the top. So cute! xo. Laura
Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions.