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Easy DIY Driftwood Napkin Rings

Discover how to make cute and easy DIY driftwood napkin rings that are perfect for summer!

The other week I coerced my husband into going to an area near a beach so I could bring home lots of driftwood after a storm. There aren’t many places on Oahu that collect driftwood, so I make a mental note whenever I come across one!

This particular spot is also the only place I can remember finding sea glass on Oahu and, unfortunately, other random trash tends to collect there, too. I always want to bring a bag just to pick up detritus whenever I visit the area because seeing all the trash really bothers me!

But anyway, I found lots of great driftwood and have a zillion different driftwood crafts in mind.

Today I’m sharing the simplest of them, easy DIY driftwood napkin rings. Although I made them with driftwood, this project would work just as well with “normal” twigs to make some really cute fall napkin rings!

Easy DIY Driftwood Napkin Rings

This post may include affiliate links, which means I may make a commission on purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you. 

How to sanitize driftwood 

If you’re concerned about your driftwood’s cleanliness, you can sanitize your driftwood before using by mixing a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water in a large container and and letting the wood soak for 3-4 days.

Then, of course, you’ll need to wait for it to dry out fully before using it!

You can also sanitize sticks (people do it before introducing found sticks to pet lizards), but I’ve never done it and don’t know how it might affect the sticks’ color. If anyone knows or has stick sanitizing suggestions, please leave a comment!

Materials needed for DIY driftwood napkin rings

To keep these driftwood napkin rings extra simple, I used a couple of toilet paper tubes. You can also purchase new, unused cardboard tubes for crafts.

You can also use a paper towel roll or PVC pipe. The PVC pipe is obviously more durable, but also more expensive and annoying to cut. If you use PVC, I recommend using a pipe that’s about 2″.

You can learn how to sanitize toilet paper rolls right here! It’s easy and chemical free.

  • Craft tubes, toilet paper tubes, or PVC pipe, as discussed above.
    • One tp roll will generally make 3 napkin rings, so a set of four requires either 2 small rolls or one larger, paper towel roll
  • Craft paint – optional, but nice. I used metallic gold craft paint
  • Paint brush
  • Hot glue (not sure what type of hot glue to pick? Check out these hot glue gun tips and tricks!)
  • Sticks or driftwood
  • Additional embellishments, optional (shells, starfish, acorns, etc.)
  • A ruler or measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Driftwood, twigs, or something like these bleached sticks (not an affiliate link – just something that looked useful!)
cardboard tubes

How to make easy driftwood napkin rings

1. Measure and mark your tube or PVC pipe.


I recommend marking the tube ever 1.5″. It’s a nice width for a napkin ring and three fit just about perfectly on one toilet paper tube!


2. Cut your tube along the marked points, trying to make your cuts as straight as possible. Don’t fret about making the sections perfectly level, though, because they’ll be somewhat concealed by the wood.


3. If you’re painting, go ahead and paint! A quick coat of paint really helps the finished napkin rings look nice.


4. While the paint is drying, take a look at your driftwood. Unless you’re incredibly lucky, you probably won’t have found the exact number of perfectly sized pieces you need!

Instead of cutting the driftwood down to size, I recommend snapping and breaking thinner pieces, whenever possible. The more neutral edge fits better with the driftwood vibe than a clean cut.


5. Heat your glue gun and get gluing! As always, please be careful because hot glue guns really are hot and you can burn yourself. You can either try to make your napkin rings very uniform with all the pieces exactly the same, or you can intentionally vary them. I tried to make at least the length, width, or color of each piece different from the two pieces sandwiching it.


6. Keep on gluing until all your rings are covered!


7. If you’d like, add some embellishments, like these starfish and shells, or tie a ribbon around each napkin ring.

driftwood napkin rings with shells

8. Enjoy!

Driftwood napkin ring tutorial

Now wasn’t that easy?

I really look forward to sharing more driftwood crafts soon! I have a delightfully big tote bag full of pieces just waiting to be used. =) The fun thing about many driftwood crafts is that many of them really can be done with ‘normal’ sticks and twigs, instead, which make the basic projects very versatile for different seasons and climates.

Do you ever craft with found items? And do you have any tips for sanitizing ‘regular’ sticks?

More beach crafts

DIY mermaid sign

easy beachy mermaid sign tutorial

Hot glue mermaid tail necklace

hot glue mermaid tail necklace


{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Splendid Little Stars October 24, 2016, 18:40

    What a pretty project!
    I had to laugh about your collection of toilet paper rolls and your husband’s perplexity. I saved toilet paper rolls this year to fill with soil and plant seeds into. They worked great! (cut into thirds)

    • Natashalh October 25, 2016, 06:45

      That’s a good idea! I really wish we had space for any type of garden and look forward to when we’re able to have one again.

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