DIY Thanksgiving Napkin Rings

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Originally published November 13, 2017 and updated November 14, 2020.

These DIY Thanksgiving napkin rings are a fun way to dress up your holiday table. They’re easy enough to make with your children as a Thanksgiving family activity and lovely enough to proudly use on your holiday table.

Close up of DIY turkey napkin holder on tan napkin on wood table  with orange fabric pumpkins in the background

When I became an adult and responsible for holiday preparations, Thanksgiving became my favorite holiday. It puts family and friends first with food and thankfulness a very close second. And it’s a lower stress holiday than many of the others. What’s better than that combination?

I enjoy decorating for Thanksgiving with handmade crafts. I find that handmade items add a warmth and charm that compliment the meaning of Thanksgiving.

In our family there’s a window of downtime on Thanksgiving day between when guests arrive and when everyone sits down to dinner. I always plan an activity for my children, especially when they were younger, to keep them occupied during that window of time.

Often we make Thanksgiving Care Kits to donate to our local homeless shelter or food bank. Making these DIY Thanksgiving napkin rings would also be a great way to keep the kiddos busy (and out of trouble). Plus, the kids will be so proud to see their handiwork featured on the Thanksgiving table. 

How do you make Thanksgiving napkin rings?

There are many different ways to make Thanksgiving napkin rings. You can often start with a base of items you probably already have at home.

  • Slice of paper towel or wrapping paper tube
  • Rubber band
  • Pipe cleaner
  • Construction paper ring
  • Threaded beads
  • Floral wire
  • Ribbon
  • Washi tape
  • Hair band

To those bases, you can add:

  • Hand-drawn images
  • Images cut from greeting cards
  • Silk flowers or greenery
  • Beads
  • DIY fabric flowers
  • The cute silk leaf turkey shared below
  • A paper turkey craft

DIY Thanksgiving Napkin Rings

diy turkey napkin holder on tan napkin with fabric pumpkins in the background


pile of red and orange silk autumn leaves

I found these lovely artificial autumn leaves at my local dollar store. A fairly large bag of leaves was only $1. 

collage of colorful Thanksgiving themed pages
Get the 74-page Thanksgiving Planner Bundle with everything you need to plan, organize and decorate for the holiday!
empty paper towel roll with insert image of rings cut from the paper towel roll


Cut the paper towel roll into 6 to 8 rings. If your roll has the glue lines, you can use those as cutting guides. You want your napkin ring to be approximately 1 1/2 inches wide. 

Step 1 – Cut the brown paper into strips that are 1 1/2 inches by 6 inches. Use the double stick tape to attach strip of brown paper to the napkin ring. 

Step 2 – Use your circle stencil to cut two circles, one slightly smaller than the other. The larger circle should be cut from the brown paper and the smaller circle cut from tan or orange paper. If you don’t have a circle stencil, you can substitute a vitamin bottle. Use the lid to cut the larger circle and the opening of the bottle for the smaller circle. 

Step 3 – Use double stick tape to attach the large leaf to the brown circle. Attach the smaller leaf to the top of the larger leaf. 

collage of 4 images of the steps of making the turkey napkin ring craft

Step 4- I found that the double stick tape didn’t secure the fabric leaves well enough. It did a good job, though, of temporarily positioning the leaves. I used the stapler to better secure the leaves to the brown circle. Be sure to place the staple where it will be covered by the orange face circle.

close up of turkey napkin holder on tan napkin on wood table

Step 5 – Use the glue pen to attach the googly eyes to the face. You could draw the eyes with a marker, but googly eyes make everything more fun. Attach a yellow beak and red snood (the dingly red thingy that hangs on the side of the turkey’s beak) with glue.  Use double stick tape to attach the face to the body. The leaves will be sandwiched between the brown body circle and the orange face circle. 

close up of face of turkey napkin ring holder with napkin in background

Look how adorable these DIY Thanksgiving napkin rings turned out! Just picture them on your Thanksgiving dinner table and imagine how proud you and your children will be with all the compliments you’ll get.

More Thanksgiving Ideas

For my favorite Thanksgiving crafts, tips, printables and recipes, check out the table below. You can scroll though the table and look for ideas or search for specific ideas with the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner (on desktop). Click on the topic and then click through the specific article.

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  1. My daughter made some DIY napkin rings for Thanksgiving one year because I had more people coming that I had napkin rings for. We used those for YEARS!! Eventually, they kind of got worn out, so I bought some replacements (she was too old to want to make me a new set). I love this idea because it can be an activity for the kids as well as a functional tool. Of course, you don’t need to be a kid to make them – I think I enjoy DIY projects more than anyone else around here:)

    1. I’m with you, Seana, I love DIY projects and look for any “trick” to get my family and friends to craft with me. 🙂 Wish we were neighbors!

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