Today I dug into my stash of nail polish and wire to create DIY Holly Napkin Rings. The best part is this mixes Christmas crafts with nail polish crafts which are my two top types of posts on A Pop of Red!
I actually came up with this craft idea last year when coming up with more nail polish and wire ideas like the butterfly I shared in part three of that series. I even posted about it on Instagram! But I forgot to actually take the pictures and write the post which doesn’t help you out very much.
So this year I knew what I was going to post for the November Craft Challenge. The DIY Holly Napkin Rings needed their time to shine!
While this design seems simple, it will try your patience. Painting nail polish onto simple shapes like the circular berries can be easily mastered. Painting nail polish onto a jagged shape like the holly leaves? Not so much.
Be prepared to take your time and have a lot of failures. But as I said in my previous nail polish and wire posts, it is completely possible to do this without glue and without dipping the shape. If you want to do that, go ahead. I cannot stop you and there is nothing wrong with that. However, you will get a lot of satisfaction when you finally get the nail polish to stay using the basic method below.
Without further ado, here is how to make your own DIY Holly Napkin Rings with nail polish and wire.
DIY Holly Napkin Rings
- 26 gauge crafting wire
- 18 gauge crafting wire
- Green nail polish*
- Red nail polish*
- Wire cutters
- Round nose pliers
- Flat nose pliers
*You should be able to use the brush that comes with the nail polish. If it is too short to cover the width of your berries or leaves, try a different brush. You want full contact.
*The instructions are written for making a single holly. Repeat as many times as you want napkin rings.
Start by cutting four pieces of 26 gauge wire to a length of 8.5 inches. One of these strands will become the berries and the rest will be one leaf each.
For the berries, take the wire and near one end, form a small circle. It helps to wrap it around a rod of the right size and shape, like a cold glue gun stick. Remove the circle from the rod and twist the overlapping wire at the base of the circle to close the shape. Only twist 3-4 times and very close to the circle itself.
Immediately at the end of that twist, start another circle. Twist if off in the same way and start the final circle after it. You should end up with three circles in a triangular formation around the twisted bits. This is the centre of your DIY Holly Napkin Rings.
Use some of the remaining wire to wrap around the twisted bits a few times to ensure the berries stay close together. Leave about 3 inches of the wire free to act as a stem.
For each leaf, start with one of the 26 gauge wires and fold it in half. At the folded point, use pliers to flatten the point to a sharper, less-rounded shape.
Next, repeat the following pattern on each side of the point. Leave a 3/4 inch flat part then make a very small point that reaches about 1/3 the way to the original point. Follow this by another 3/4 inch flat part then make another small point that reaches about 1/3 the way to the previous point. Again, repeat that process on both sides of the leaf.
When the points of the holly leaves are done, cross the loose wires at the bottom and twist to close. Twist the entire length of the excess wire while you are at it. You should have about 3 inches after doing this which will act at the stem. Now you have all the pieces together for your DIY Holly Napkin Rings.
Take some time to shape the leaf. Spread each point so the wire is not touching itself or else the nail polish will not adhere properly. Narrow the base of the leaf or else the nail polish brush may not be able to cover the space. And flatten the leaf as much as possible with the flat nose pliers. It is far easier to apply the nail polish when the leaf is flat.
Using red nail polish, paint each berry. You will need a fair amount of nail polish on the brush and may need to coat the wire in the nail polish first so it has something to adhere to. When you are ready, place the brush flat on the bottom of the berry and move the brush to the top of the berry keeping the brush flat against the berry the whole time.
Once you have successfully coated the berry in red nail polish, you need to move the berry! Tip or rotate the berry so that the excess nail polish can move around until it hardens. Failure to do this will lead to the nail polish popping or dripping off the berry.
Repeat for all three berries being sure to allow each to partially dry between.
Using green nail polish, paint each leaf. The process is the same as for the berry but it tends to be more difficult. Just remember to keep the brush flat and in contact with all sides of the leaf at all times. And when you have successfully coated it, move the leaf around until it sets.
Once dry, it is time to combine all of the pieces into a single holly sprig. Take one bunch of berries and three leaves and twist the stems together into a thick stalk. Trim any jagged ends as needed. That is essentially how to make your DIY Holly Napkin Rings!
Twist the stalk into a small circle and make a tight loop at the top. This should look almost like a little knot with a circle at the bottom. In reality, it will act as the loop for attaching to the napkin ring, cocktail ring, or even jewelry chains.
How to use your DIY Nail Polish and Wire Holly
There are a lot of things you can do with your new holly sprigs. With the holidays coming up, my mind was on entertaining so I turned them into DIY Holly Napkin Rings. To do this I took the 18 gauge wire, cut it into a 6-inch strip, make a small hook on one end and a matching circle or loop on the other. I threaded the loop of the holly onto this thicker wire and latched the hook onto the circle to close it into a napkin ring shape.
You could use the exact same process to make cocktail rings or wine markers for a Christmas party!
Or thread the loop of the holly onto a necklace chain or key chain.
Or even pop onto the top of a pen or pencil!
This is what I love about the nail polish and wire crafts! The possibilities of what you can do with these little trinkets are endless.
Need more craft inspiration?
Check out the other Craft Challenge blogger(s) for more ideas on how to bust your craft stash!
Megan from Make Something Mondays: Snowman and Scarecrow Reversible Wood Decoration