Did you have one of those nautical rope bracelets back when they were trendy in...oh...about 1992? I did. I was always amazed by how it looked like a simple braid...but with no discernable start or end. I thought a slightly smaller version would make a perfect nautical napkin ring for the nautical wedding inspiration photo shoot.
So I did some research, and learned that the knot is called a Turk's Head Knot. And I tried to make one, I really did. But the combination of the type of rope I was using, the small size, my lack of practice... deadly combination. I failed horribly, despite the excellent tutorial at Animated Knots (linked above). So I improvised (some might say cheated) and figured out an easy way to get the same look, without having to make an actual Turk's Head knot.
First, cut rectangular strips of felt approximately 6.5" x .5".
Next, cut nine equal lengths of the twisted cotton cord, and group them into three sets of three (for the three plaits of your braid). I made mine about 18" long so I could get two napkin rings out of a single braid, but all you really need to do is make sure that it's longer than your piece of felt by a couple inches.
Tape down the strings at one end. Though not strictly necessary, this really does help make the braiding process a lot easier.
Start braiding, keeping each plait nice and flat.
Very quickly, you'll end up with a lovely, wide, flat, rope braid.
Use a hot glue gun to glue the strip of felt to one side of the rope braid.
Once the felt has been glued to the rope braid, trim the rope to the length of the felt.
Use the hot glue gun once again to glue the rope braid into a circle, overlapping the ends by about half an inch. If you'd like to cover up that raw edge, wrap a little extra twisted cotton twine around the napkin ring, gluing with the hot glue gun as you wind around.
These nautical rope napkin rings are fast, easy, and only cost pennies to make. Considering that really inexpensive napkin rings are often several dollars a piece, that's a great deal!
So the next time the winter blues are getting you down, whip up a set of these napkin rings and bring a bit of the beach into your home.