Autumn Leaves Napkin Ring

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

This project will dress up your dinner table with napkin rings embellished with polymer clay leaves. Get the whole family involved and make one for every guest.


  • drawings or printed-out images of leaves, each about 2 inches in diameter
  • a small rolling pin or a large permanent marker (to use like a rolling pin)
  • mechanical pencil
  • plastic butter knife
  • 1 package of oven-bake polymer clay in a fall color
  • 1 set of store-bought napkin rings, preferably with a smooth surface
  • baking sheet that will not be used for food in future
  • fine glitter and clear sealant (like Modge Podge) or shimmery powdered pigment (available in the scrapbooking section of any craft store)
  • clean, dry paintbrush
  • tacky glue


1. Print out leaf shapes from the computer (search "leaf outline" on Google Images to find a variety of shapes) or children can draw leaves, using leaves picked outside for inspiration.

2. Cut out leaf shape. You can make one leaf design for all the napkin rings or cut out different designs for each ring.

3. Use a small rolling pin (or permanent marker) to roll out the clay to about 1/8 to 1/4 inches thick.

4. Lay leaf shape on top of clay and trace with pencil.

5. Cut out shape with plastic butter knife. For detailed edges, ADULTS may want to cut out with sharper knife or needle tool.

6. Flatten and smooth rough edges on leaf shape.

7. Use pencil tip to carve in vein details and add texture to the leaf, if desired.

8. If using decorating chalk or powdered pigment, apply these now to leaf edges with a clean paintbrush.

9. Press leaf lightly onto napkin holder to form shape before baking. The leaf should not lie perfectly flat anymore.

10. Repeat steps above for as many leaves as you want to make.

11. ADULTS: Place leaves on baking sheet and bake according to instructions on the clay packaging.

12. ADULTS: Remove baking tray from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

13. If using glitter to decorate your leaves: apply a thin coat of sealant or clear glue to the leaves and sprinkle glitter. Let dry.

14. Use tacky glue to attach clay leaves to the napkin rings.

15. Insert napkins and you're ready to set the Thanksgiving table!

Who thought this up

AMY NEIWIRTH is an art educator by day and artist and crafty business owner by night. She operates Sweet Stella Designs, a jewelry company with several distinct lines of work, best known for tiny, realistic food jewelry made with polymer clay. Her work is available at, at craft fairs, and Wholly Craft.

OLIVERA BRATICH is the owner of Wholly Craft! in Clintonville. The shop features hip, handmade goods from more than 100 artists and crafters including clothing, jewelry, accessories, paper goods, and home decor. In addition to one-of-a-kind gifts, the shop also offers craft classes for adults and teens. For info, go to