Byopia Press Advent Calendar 2019: Day Seventeen and Some Napkin Rings

(My apologies to those of you who were confused when this was posted briefly yesterday and then withdrawn. To the five people who read the post before it disappeared, I hope you didn’t miss yesterday’s post in all the muddle!)

Food seems to feature heavily in all the celebrations at this time of year, and people often wish to make the table setting a little more festive as well. A simple addition to the place settings is a decorative napkin ring for each diner. I thought I would try out some variations. The one below is based on a ‘gum-wrapper fold’.

I followed the instructions I found here. I used magazine pages cut 4 inches wide by 8.25 inches long. I used eight units to make the ring. The slickness of the pages made it a bit easier to slide things into place, but the small diameter of the ring made joining the ends quite tricky. The finished unit is incredibly sturdy but rather inelegant!

Next I tried a variation intended for children. I made my ring with ten units folded from strips cut 0.625 inches by 6.25 inches. The units were much easier to assemble. I interlocked the first and last units —much more easily than the first one— rather than using a staple to join the ring. If you aren’t looking for a design that has squares, you might like this version.

There are some interesting variations of the ‘gum-wrapper’ fold on the Internet. This one, from picklebums, tucks the ends of the strips on the outside. Not only would this make assembly easier, it creates a more variegated design.

If you want to eliminate the jagged edge, this extra step from ars verae does the trick. The post is in German, but the pictures make the steps clear without the need to understand the written instructions.

If you think all of the above look far too complicated, you might try making napkin rings based on the Byopia Press Belt Fold. It is relatively simple, and if you wish to keep your napkin rings for next year, they can be opened flat for storage.

The buckle provides a nice clean square on which you might write initials, or apply decorations such as Christmas stickers.


Please note: The original model was made with a heavy paper which required scoring to fold nicely. If you are working with paper that folds easily, you may skip the scoring in the steps below.

Step 1:

Fold left end of paper over to make a square. I used the non-working end of my strip as a guage. Using the right hand edge of the folded section (indicated by yellow pointy finger) as a guide, score a line on the lower part of the strip.

Step 2:

Fold the left end to the right along the score line. Flip the strip horizontally. The long end should be at the left side and the folded section should be underneath the strip.

Step 3:

Fold left end down. Make sure your strip is centred and that the edges are parallel with the edges of the square. Flip horizontally so that the square is on top.

Step 4:

Score along lower edge of the square (indicated by yellow pointy finger) and fold back and forth a couple of times. Put tip of long end through opening at the bottom of the square between the first and second layers. Pull all the way through and tighten. The belt will look much the same, but the long end will be shorter and above the square and the ‘buckle’ section will be locked in place.

Step 5:

To close belt, bring long end under and put the end through the space under the top square. The opening is indicated by yet another yellow pointy finger.

The gold version I made as a napkin ring was folded from 120gsm/80# paper, and the free end was doubled back and tucked into the buckle to make it more secure. If you want to use a lighter paper, you may need to cut it double width and fold it in half lengthwise.

About Byopia Press

I have been working in the book arts field for more than twenty years, and operating Byopia Press with my husband David since the late 1990s. I began producing artist's books and altered books in 2004.
This entry was posted in DIY, instructions, paper folding and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Byopia Press Advent Calendar 2019: Day Seventeen and Some Napkin Rings

  1. Pingback: Boxing Day and an Index for the Byopia Press Advent Calendar 2019 | Byopia Press

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