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Simple, beginner-friendly DIY frayed edge napkins that can be made in under 10 minutes each.
Today I’d like to show you how you can make your own super cheap, faux linen frayed edge napkins.
Made using pre-bleached and softened painter’s drop cloth, these DIY napkins imitate the look of linen at a fraction of the cost. They’re quick to make (no more than 10 minutes each), making them a practical option if you’re short on time or need to sew a large number of napkins for a special occasion.
Most importantly, thanks to a simple zig-zag stitch, these frayed edge napkins won’t continue to fray in the wash. When it comes time to wash them, all you need to do is pop them in a washing bag (the type you might use for your snazziest bra) and let your washing machine handle the rest.
Quick and easy DIY frayed edge napkins
- Painter’s drop cloth, pre-bleached and washed, or another fabric of your choice.
- A sewing machine. I use a Janome DC2050, which is similar to this machine.
- A measuring tape, air-dry/water soluble marker, and fabric scissors.
Preparing the drop cloth
You can use the drop cloth straight out of the packet, but whenever I get a new drop cloth, I pre-emptively bleach and wash it so it’s nicer to work with.
If you would like to bleach your drop cloth before sewing your napkins, make sure you get a drop cloth that is 100% cotton. Some drop cloths are made with a cotton-polyester mix and won’t bleach properly. You can find 100% cotton drop cloths here on Amazon. I use method 1 in this post to bleach my drop cloths.
You can soften your drop cloth by washing it (with or without fabric softener) a few times. In between washes, remove your drop cloth from the machine and use your hands to scrunch the cloth all over. In my experience, this helps loosen the threads, making the cloth less stiff.
Cut out a 17″ x 17″ inch piece of fabric.
Set your sewing machine to sew a zig zag stitch. Here’s a picture of the settings on my sewing machine for reference.
Leaving a 1/2″ border, sew a zig-zag stitch around all four sides of your fabric square, as per the diagram below. This should take no more than a minute and a half.
Don’t worry if it’s not perfect. If you use the right colour thread, the stitch blends in to the fabric anyway.
Next, trim along the zig-zag stitch on all four sides, leaving about a 1/4″ overhang. This gives you another chance to hide any wonky sewing. Not that I would know anything about that.
Finally, create the frayed edge by using your finger to gently pick at the fabric until it frays. Keep going until you have frayed all four sides of your napkins.
And that’s it! Easiest napkins ever.