How to Make Frayed Edge Napkins

Learn how to make frayed edge napkins!  Why buy a pretty set of napkins when it’s so easy to make your own?  This project can be done with any fabric.   

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Frayed Edge Napkins - DIY
Frayed edge napkins create a casual style, perfect for summer.

I wanted to share this little project with you!  Since summer get-togethers and the 4th of July will be here soon – this DIY project will help you celebrate in style.  Without having to spend a lot of money!

In this tutorial, I made red gingham frayed edge napkins just in time for summer!  These would look great on your table at your BBQs and summer parties.  These can also be used as basket liners for bread or appetizer plates. 

Apparently, I have this thing with making pretty napkins.  I can’t get enough handmade napkins.  I don’t why!  I just think they dress up your table so well, plus you can wash them.  I made shibori-dyed napkins not too long ago.

I also made DIY Placemats if you want to keep going!

Anyways, I purchased a cute red gingham fabric from  It looks especially festive over the 4th of July. 

Instead of worrying about sewing each edge, I simply made a row of stitches all the way around and then frayed the edges.  It gives it a casual look and it’s so much easier than having to “finish” it. 

The frayed edge napkins look especially great with a linen fabric – and you don’t really even have to sew.  You can rip or cut your seams and fray the edges that way. 

I haven’t done this personally, so I’m just going to tell you how I did it with my sewing machine.  But I’ll work on a tutorial for the no-sew method next time!

Red Gingham Napkins
These are very festive for Memorial Day and 4th of July!

Materials Needed

How to Make Frayed Edge Napkins

  1.  Start by washing your fabric.
  2. Fold your fabric in half, then in half again and unfold and cut along the creases to create perfect squares.  Most napkins are 18 or 20 inches squared.  But it’s really up to you as to the size you want!  The bigger napkins tend to sit on your lap better.
  3. Sew a simple zig zag stich (2 width) about 1/4 – 1/2  inch from the edge all the way around each napkin.  (And no I wasn’t exactly even each time.  I love wing-it projects like this!)
  4. Then, carefully trim the overhang and pull threads to create the fringe look.
Fray the edge of your napkins
Simply pull at the loose threads to create the fringe look

So cool, right?  I love this look!  And it’s so much easier than making a nice little neat edge with the sewing machine.  I use these not only as napkins but for decoration!  Line a basket of bread or chips with this summery fabric.  Or use them as placemats under food or drink items on your buffet.

How to Make Frayed Edged Napkins - they make a great basket liner
Frayed edge napkins make great basket liners too!

I hope you guys enjoyed this tutorial. Thanks so much for visiting today!

xo Karen