This is a very easy project and is based upon Steve Good's pattern. I changed the rose from Steve's pattern to a Celtic Knot and changed the top holder to fit this new design.
My updated pattern can be downloaded here You can change the design on the top if you so wish, in your favorite vector editing program or use it as is.
Simply cut out the pattern and stick the pattern to the wood of your choice using a spray glue. The top holder holder with the design with tape, this actually helps on the scroll saw as it lubricates the blade believe it or not.
Now I used Rimu with pine dowels and I am making this from an old bedhead. But the wood choice is yours. Oak would look nice :-)
I then proceed to cut the out line of both top holder and the bottom base on the band saw, just to speed the process up for the video. You can easily cut this out completely on the scroll saw if you do not have a band saw.
Sand the edges to the pattern either with sanding disc, or hand sander. I also hand sanded the edges and corners over just to take the sharp edges off.
I then align and clamp the two pieces together, so that when I drill the holes they will line up perfectly. Set a stop on your drill press so that it does not go all the way through your base. Then using a larger drill bit redrill the top holder a so that it slides easily over the dowel.
I then proceed to the scroll saw and cut out the Celtic Knot design. Take your time doing this, as it it finishes the piece off. If you do not have a scroll saw and or not have the skill to do it by hand, you can leave it plain or consider doing an ink transfer, or even painting or wood burning, there are heaps of options.
Decide how many napkins you want to hold, and cut your dowel to length, taking in to consideration the thickness of the top holder and the depth it goes in to the base. I cut mine out at roughly 110 mm. Then simply glue them in to the hole. Align with the top holder so that the holes align with the dowel.
Final stage is putting a coat of spray shellac or your choices of polyurethanes and or lacquer.
The final step is present to the other half and say Look dear, I made this for you...