DIY Tutorial: Leather and Paint Pen Napkin Rings (and a Giveaway!)

I love the idea of incorporating unusual materials into a party, from acrylic cocktail signs to clay save the dates and everything in between. I was super excited when Sakura of America asked me to come up with a fun project featuring their Pen-touch paint markers. I expect you’ll be seeing these markers in many future tutorials (they can seriously write on anything), but today I’m sharing the first project – DIY leather napkin rings perfect for a dinner party any time of year!


Sakura recently added a color line to the existing collection of white and metallic Pen-touch paint markers. We combined jewel tones – green and blue – with white and copper for a beautiful seasonal color palette. Carolyn from Matine kindly let me raid her leather scraps, including the most gorgeous navy and gold leather – but you can also find leather in your local craft store. I love love love the combination of the copper Pen-touch markers with the navy leather! Sakura’s Pen-touch markers are completely opaque, so you can write on dark surfaces (anything from paper to wood to leather) and the lettering will still be visible. We wanted a short, fun phrase to write on our napkin rings, so Michele from Meant to Be Calligraphy lettered the phrase “yum!” in our color palette.




Sakura Pen-touch Paint Markers



Rotary Cutter + Cutting Mat

Awl (not shown)

Twine + Scissors


Step 1: First you’ll need to cut your leather into strips (mine were approximately 6″ wide and 1.5″ tall) using your rotary cutter, ruler, and cutting mat.



Step 2: Write your desired phrase in the middle of the strip. You could also write a name instead of a phrase to transform these napkin rings into place cards!


Step 3: Using an awl, punch a hole on either end of the strip big enough to thread twine through (approximately 1/8″ in diameter).



Step 4: Thread twine along the back of the leather strip and through both holes. Tighten as desired and tie closed. Done!




Michele and I had so much fun with this project! I’ve always struggled with using paint markers in the past – the paint wouldn’t flow evenly, causing the paint to pool or splatter in places – but Sakura’s Pen-touch markers write so smoothly! They didn’t ask me to say that, it’s just the truth. I’m also a big fan of the fact that Sakura offers their markers in different weights, from extra fine (great for hand lettering!) to medium (for large scale projects). I’m hoping Sakura develops a chalk marker next!

Sakura is also kindly offering a giveaway to one lucky OSBP reader! One lucky reader will win a Pen-touch package including a 3 pack of Metallic Markers in Extra Fine Point and a 7 pack of Color Markers in Fine Point. To enter, just leave a comment below letting us know what you’d do with your Pen-touch markers! You’ll have until midnight EST on Wednesday, December 17 to enter before we pick a winner at random!*

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED – Congratulations to the winner, commenter #6: Tiffany!

Calligraphy: Meant to Be Calligraphy

Leather: Matine

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

This post is sponsored by Sakura of America. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that help make Oh So Beautiful Paper possible!

*Limited to U.S. and Canadian readers only. Limit one entry per person. Please do not leave your email or web address in the body of the comment, only in the allotted boxes. $40 approximate total retail value. Winners will be contacted via email after comments close.

  1. The different weights look like you can have more control over your writing. I’d like to use them to see how they look when addressing envelopes.

  2. What wouldn’t you use these pen touch markers on? They look so amazing- I would use them for my wedding clients as well my own personal projects!

  3. I think it’d be awesome to use these pens on kraft paper to make some custom wrapping paper!

  4. I’d love to use the markers on clear glass bulb ornaments to make custom gifts from my baby to her grandparents and other family members! 🙂

  5. These are amazing! Totally would use it to letter on fabrics and wood for specialty placecards.

  6. These are amazing! I’m such a sucker for Sakura. Would love these to write thank you notes, our place cards for the holidays, etc. These are fabulous! And maybe one day I’ll be able to write as beautifully as Michele does! xo

  7. I would definitely try my hand at fancy lettering on my Christmas envelopes this year – I’m always inspired by what I see here!

  8. Gorgeous! I’d use these to address Christmas gift tags, then for personalized New Years resolution letters!

  9. I have an idea for a different type of fabric-covered seating cards I’d use for the NYE party I”m planning. So cool!

  10. I make name cards for the babies we deliver….how adorable for a tiny newborn prince or princess to have their name in beautiful gold.

  11. I would like to decorate kraft chinese food containers with “Eat More Cookies” and add lots of yummy cookies to give to friends.

  12. I would definitely use them for this very diy – it would look great on my Christmas table!!

  13. What wouldn’t I write on with these?! Envelopes, holiday gift tags and gift wrap and placecards and other goodies for my clients. Thanks for the giveaway!

  14. I’ve been dying to get my hands on these!!! They went on my Christmas list this year but I’m not sure anyone bought them. I’d use them on everything I could think of. Mainly, I would love to use them on Christmas present packaging this year – I have white kraft paper, brown kraft paper, and green wrapping paper and have ideas of penning names straight on the wrapping or on tags hand-tied with twine or satin ribbon. So many ideas!

  15. that’s so cool that you can write on wood and leather with these pens! I’d use these pens to create cute hand lettered phrase wood blocks for my friends for gifts.

  16. Oh! This is really neat. I could totally adapt this idea to make leather decanter tags! (I see a DIY holiday gift about to happen)

  17. i would love to use these for holiday cards, thank you cards, scrapbooking. endless things!

  18. I would use them for all kinds of craft projects, but what comes to mind now is creating fun and festive labels for all my jars of preserves! Thank you for the chance to win.

  19. Looooove these! I would use them for everything, from handwritten place cards to thank you notes for my customers to art projects in my down time. The colors are so fabulous!

  20. These are fantastic! I’d use them for making unique and personalized wrapping paper and tags for my Christmas presents I’m going to wrap! I would also use these in my watercolor print cards. Such beautiful colors!

  21. I’ve recently discovered my love of hand lettering so if I won, I would practice!

  22. I would use the Pen-Touch markers to create wonderful holiday cards and tags this christmas and new years!

  23. I always have such a difficult time mixing gauche to do colored calligraphy!! It never comes out strong enough. These pens are a dream come true and I would die to use them on place cards and envelops and everything in sight!!

  24. I would use them to learn to hand letter! I have been wanting to for so long!

  25. Love love love!!! I’d love to use these to make Personalized bookmarks for all my book club friends!

  26. Love my Sakura of America pens! Would love to add these to my collection! I would use them for my calligraphy Christmas ornaments!

  27. These would be amazing for my DIY wedding invitations for my may wedding! Have been looking for an opaque marker that would be smooth and would take to unusual surfaces the longest time!

  28. These are just what I am looking for to label my wedding envelopes! I have been on the search for a quality Gold pen to use on navy envelopes for April Wedding.

  29. These would be awesome to use for both business and personal use. It would be great to spend some quality time with my daughter, both of us using these in our own way..

  30. Ooh, what a great giveaway. I’d love to try these for some lettering sign projects. And maybe some fabric stuff. And maybe a zillion more things. 🙂

  31. Gold pens are magical (silver, too!). I would use them to fill in the “To” and “From” on the tags on holiday presents.

  32. I’d letter one of many floating frames I have with a quote. I’ve been meaning to do something with them and this sounds like the perfect medium to use on the glass!

  33. Well, I wouldn’t call my mother with them. But I would do just about anything else. No surface is safe from my fancy writing.

  34. These pens look amazing! As they seem to be so versatile, id like to try using them on a large wall mirror that I have in my hallway. If successful I might try to write on smaller compact mirrors to give friends a gifts “you look beautiful” etc! Very fun but useful addition to my pencil case!

  35. Ah love these! I would use them to write song lyrics over the water color painting I am making for my fiancé for Christmas! These would give such great definition and contract to the water color background.

  36. Would love to win these pens! My husband and I are expecting our first baby in March. I’d love to create some artwork for the nursery using these lovelies.

  37. So nice! I would use them to write the name of the guest in the invitation to a cool New Year’s party!

  38. Actually, I’ve keep looking around and seeing fun projects that I’d love to do with them! First I’d make some kind of drinking glass (maybe wine, maybe champagne, maybe a mug!) with a pretty script that said something, for both my friend and I. We usually have pretty glasses for girls night!

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