In my garage, I have a big pile of scrap wood leftover from other projects. I didn’t want to throw it away so I decided to build a small DIY Napkin Holder with salt and pepper compartments. This is a simple DIY project for a beginner to try and doesn’t cost a lot of money to make it.
After staining the Napkin Holder, I used two different chalk paint to make a rustic look. I love how it turned out. It’s a great addition to our dining table.
Time to Complete
Tools for this project
- Tape Measure
- Milwaukee 1 1/4″ Hole Saw Bit
- Jig Saw
- Table Saw
- Miter Saw
- Phillips Screw Driver
- Nail Gun
- 13 1/2″ x 10″ – 1/4″ Plywood (x1)
- 26 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ – 1/2″ Plywood (x1)
- 3/4″ PVC Pipe 10″ Long (x1)
- 3/4″ PVC End Caps (x2)
- Metal Angles (x4)
- Wood Glue
- Briarsmoke Stain
- Chalked Country Gray
- Chalky Finish Brown
Note: Lumber dimensions are listed as nominal size. See lumber sizes for actual dimensions vs nominal.
Disclosure: Some of the links on this page as well as links in “tools for this project” and “material list” sections are affiliate links.
Step 1 – Cut Two Sides of a Napkin Holder
Take ½” plywood and with a table saw cut two 2 1/2″x11 1/2″ pieces with a 45 degree cut on the 2 1/2″ side.
Step 2 – Drill a Hole Thru Both Sides
From the inside of the 45° cut, measure and mark 3 1/2″. Then from the top of the board measure and mark 1 1/4″. This will be the center of the hole. Using a 1 1/4″ hole saw bit drill a hole in the center of the mark. Then cut from top of the board to the hole opening with a jig saw. Do this for both boards.
Step 3 – Cut the Smaller Sides of the Napkin Holder
Similar to step one, take 1/2″ plywood and cut two boards to 2 1/2″ x 8″ with 45° cut on the 2 1/2″ side.
Step 4 – Attach all Sides Together
Using the random orbital sander lightly sand the pieces to eliminate any rough edges. Then apply wood glue in the seams and attach the pieces together using Nail Gun with 1 ¼” brad nails. I only had one nail in the center of the board.
Step 5 – Cut 1/4″ Plywood for Bottom of DIY Napkin Holder
Now take ¼” plywood and cut a 13 1/2″ x 10″ piece. Then place the frame of the napkin holder on top of this 1/4″ plywood making sure it’s aligned in the center. Apply wood glue between plywood and frame and clamp it together. Let the glue dry.
Step 6 – Make a Divider for Salt and Pepper
To make a divider for the salt and pepper, cut one 7″ x 2 1/2″ piece and one 3″ x 2 1/2″ piece. Glue both pieces together as shown in the picture. This will be inserted in the napkin holder after it’s stained.
Step 7 – Cut PVC Pipe for Napkin Holder
Take a 3/4″ PVC pipe and cut it to 10″ in length. Then slide both PVC end caps on both ends.
Step 8 – Finish by Staining and Painting
Stain and paint all the pieces including the PVC pipe. Once everything is stained, insert the salt and pepper divider inside the napkin holder frame and nail it using a Nail Gun. Then attach the decor metal pieces on each corner. You’re done with this DIY napkin holder.
6 thoughts on “How to Make a DIY Napkin Holder”
Thanks for the excellent institutions!
Can’t wait to build !
I used a little sand to give the pvc a little more weight before adding the caps. I love this thing!
That’s a good idea!
Love this project. l will be making this with my students.
One question, would you be able to provide the actual paints you used. I can see varathane wood conditioner and rust-oleum chalk, but the rest of the info is blurred. I scoured the site to see if I could find a better picture or exact list of paints used. I you could share that would be great!
Thank you in advance.
Hi Tim, I added the links to the material list, But I used Briarsmoke Stain to stain everything, and then a combination of Chalked Country Gray and Chalky Finish Brown.