DIY: Nautical Rope Napkin Ring

I decided to try my hand at making a nautical rope napkin ring after seeing it in my Martha Stewart craft book. However, the instructions left much to the imagination! The knot is called a Turk’s Head, and making it for the first time can be tricky. I searched the web to find some better instructions but came up empty except for a video that went way too fast. Thirty minutes and several attempts later, I had figured it out! Here’s (in my opinion) a simple tutorial for a Turk’s Head knot that will have you making napkin rings in 3 minutes flat! Don’t they look good with my star spangled napkins?


  • 6mm braided rope (I bought 10 ft rope and cut it in half and had a little left over)
  • toilet paper roll
  • scissors
  • lighter


      1. Wrap the rope around the tube with the short end closest to you, and the remaining rope laying over top of the shorter piece.
      2. Wrap the rope underneath the tube.
      3. Bring it up through the middle of the other two pieces of rope.
      4. Thread it underneath the right piece of rope. rope-napkin-ring-03
      5. Twist the tube a half turn until you see this view.
      6. Cross the two piece over each with the left piece laying on top.
      7. Thread the long piece of rope through the opening going over the right piece and under the left.
      8. Repeat a second time- over and under, going to the right now. rope-napkin-ring-04
      9. Twist your tube a quarter turn until you see this view.
      10. Cross the two pieces over each other as before, left piece on top.
      11. Thread your short end through the new opening, going over and then under.
      12. Take your long end and thread it through following the exact same route as the shorter piece. Stay to the right of the rope already in place. rope-napkin-ring-05
      13. Continue following the pre-existing rope all the way around the tube.
      14. Make sure you are staying to the right of the rope you are following.
      15. It should look like this.
      16. When you reach the end of the short piece of rope, cut your long piece and melt the two pieces together using a lighter. Conceal this part under another piece of rope. rope-napkin-ring-06

The finished product! I promise it gets easier after you’ve made a few. You can use all different kinds of rope depending on the colors of your napkins and style.


Or, if you STILL can’t figure out the Turk’s Head knot, here’s a much simpler but still creative way to incorporate a nautical touch to your place setting. Simply tie some rope in a knot around your silverware and place on your napkin. Easy as 1-2-3!


I hope these instructions were easier to follow because these napkin rings are definitely cost effective. It only cost me $3 to make 6! And how cute would they be on a boat? Anyone own a yacht they need decorated?

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