Adorn Your Thanksgiving Table With Adorable Quilled Acorn Napkin Rings


Whether or not you are the one cooking the turkey this November, you can help fill the table with some Thanksgiving goodness! This paper quilling tutorial will show you how to quill up a set of acorn paper napkin rings that are as easy to make as they are lovely and useful. Add a touch of fun to your table or be the perfect guest by presenting a set to your hostess this Thanksgiving.

Images via Little Circles


Quilling tools

  • Stacked quilling form or an empty toilet paper roll wrapped in slick tape
  • Quilling glue in a needle-tip applicator bottle
  • Slotted quilling tool
  • Piercing tool or other sharp, pointed object
  • Quilling needle form or other pointed object like a pencil
  • Scissors
  • Quilling mold

Read our guide to quilling tools here »

Quilling paper

  • ½" x 17" quilling strips in three shades of brown. You will need four or fewer strips of each color per paper napkin ring.
  • 1/8" x 17" rusty red or brown for the acorn top. Nine strips are needed for each napkin ring.
  • 1/8"x 17" a harvest orange or brown for base of acorn. Eight strips are needed per napkin ring.
  • 1 scrap piece of ¼" paper. Alternatively, a ruler could be used.


  • Thin twine
  • Wine cork (optional)
  • Cotton swab or small paint brush
  • Tweezers (optional)

Part 1: How to make make the napkin ring

To make the paper napkin ring base, you will need either a large stacked quilling form with a tier that measures approximately 13 cm around or you can use an empty toilet paper roll. If you decide you use the cardboard roll, you may wish to cover it in tape for an easier removal process. Additionally, you will need to take greater care not to squeeze the roll or allow it to become misshapen or your finished ring will be misshapen.

You will need three strips of ½" x 17" quilling paper in one of the shades of brown. You can choose to make this base color the same for all of your napkin rings or alternate them.

Wrap one strip around your form and glue in place to secure. Using your needle-tip glue applicator, apply a small amount of glue to the inside of the strip and continue to roll. Take care to use only enough glue to provide a good seal without spilling out the sides as you roll. Continue this practice until all three strips have been added and then carefully remove the ring from the form.

Part 2: Wrapping the ring

For this next step, you will need one full-length ½" strip in each of the three shades of brown as well as the scrap piece of ¼" paper (my blue paper).

Step 1:

Take the second shade of brown you wish to use and wrap it once around the ring you just made. Do not glue it: This is for measuring purposes only. Use your scissors to cut the strip where it meets itself.

Step 2:

Use the scrap piece of ¼" paper as a guide to place on the end of your newly cut strip. Fold the ½" strip over once. (You could also use a ruler to measure ¼".)

Step 3:

Add a small amount of glue on the end of the strip and press down to seal. Go over the crease of the paper very well to make it as flat as possible. Repeat this process on the opposite side.

Step 4:

Use this strip as your guide for the next. Place one folded edge end-to-end with your third brown shade strip and cut it to match the folded one.

Step 5:

Continue fold the ends in with the ¼" scrap strip. This new folded strip will be your guide for the next. You will continue on this way, alternating the three shades of brown until you have a strip that measures approximately ¼" wide once folded.

Step 6:

Beginning with the longest folded strip, apply a small amount of glue to the center on the side where the edges fold inwards. Place this strip over the seam of your paper napkin ring base. Add glue along the inside of the folded piece on either side and then wrap around the base to secure.

Step 7:

Take the next length of strip and without gluing, wrap it around the base to find equal placing. There should be approximately ¼" of the previous color showing on either side of the center. Once your placing is arranged, use your needle tip to add glue onto the inside edge of one of the folded ends and then press to secure. Once the strip has bonded, you can continue gluing the rest of the strip into place.

Continue this process until all of the strips have been glued into place.

The smallest rectangle will serve as the backside of the paper napkin ring and the acorns will dangle from the larger square of the exposed base ring.

Part 3: Attaching the twine

The twine will hold the decorative acorns.

Step 1:

Use your piercing tool to poke two holes, one above the other, in the center of the exposed ring base. Depending on how sharp your tool is, you may find it helpful to place a wine cork on the inner side of the ring to pierce into. Take special care to make the holes slowly so you will not bend the paper ring.

Step 2:

Cut a 6" pice of thin twine and string it through the holes you made as shown above.

Step 3:

Tie a center knot and set aside for later use.

Part 4: Making the acorns

This next step assumes the maker has had some previous basic quilling experience. If you need additional instruction, you can download this free tutorial before proceeding.

FREE Guide: Paper Quilling Basics for Beginners

Paper Quilling for Beginners

Whether you're making beautiful quilled designs for cards, shadowboxes or home decor, these simple steps will help make your paper projects look polished and professional.Get my FREE guide »

Step 1:

Each paper napkin ring that you make will be decorated with two acorns. Each acorn is made in two parts, which both begin with two closed coils in 1/8" x 17" paper. The bottom half of the acorn will need a closed coil made with 4 strips and the top half will need one made with 4.5 strips.

Step 2:

After making your coils, shape them using your quilling mold. Place the bottom half on a mound where it can extend completely down and over the dome. The top only needs a little shaping, so go with a larger mound.

Step 3:

After making the domes, insert the point of a quilling needle form or another sharp-ended object into the inside center of each half. Slowly press up to form a small peak.

Step 4:

Once you are happy with each half, add a copious amount of glue onto the inside surface and use a cotton swab or small paint brush to cover all surfaces.

Set aside to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Part 5: Attaching the acorns

Once the acorn halves are completely dry, it is time to attach them to the paper napkin ring base.

Step 1:

First, tie a small knot in the thin twine where you would like to see the acorn dangle from. This will stop it from sliding up and out of place. Slide the acorn top onto the twine as shown below.

Step 2:

Once in place, tie a second knot in the twine on the inside of the acorn top. You may need tweezers to aid you in creating a secure and snug knot. Trim any excess twine.

Step 3:

Now that the top is in place, you are ready to attach the base of your acorn. Use your needle-tip glue applicator to place a thin strip of glue around the rim of the bottom and then carefully place into the upper half.

Step 4:

Attach the second acorn and allow to dry completely before using.

Roll up a few more and you will have the perfect little festive touch to add to your Thanksgiving table this year! Bon appétit! 

FREE Guide: Paper Quilling Basics for Beginners

Paper Quilling for Beginners

Whether you're making beautiful quilled designs for cards, shadowboxes or home decor, these simple steps will help make your paper projects look polished and professional.Get my FREE guide »

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Adorn Your Thanksgiving Table With Adorable Quilled Acorn Napkin Rings