Make your table pretty! A Reversible Rick Rack Napkin Tutorial

Thanks for all the comments on my giveaway post! It sounds like there are some great homemade/handmade gifts in the works for this year. I don’t think anyone mentioned napkins, so I thought I’d provide you with another gift idea. These napkins make great gifts, or are also perfect as hostess gifts, or work quite well to add some color to your table! (Plus, you can make them with two different fabrics, so they can be reversible – two napkins in one!)

I fully intended to write up this tutorial months ago, but apparently time got away from me. I was reminded of it yesterday by a fellow blogger and I thought this might be a perfect time to share it.

I like square napkins, but you could certainly cut your fabric any size or shape you’d like. For this napkin, I selected two Heather Bailey fabrics – the lovely Pop Daisy in red and the complimentary red Zig Zag. I cut each to 13 1/2″ square. I use this size so that I can cut three out of the width of your standard 42/44″ wide fabric. (I pre-wash my fabric when making napkins)

I selected red rick rack for the trim. I’m partial to the vintage cotton rick rack if you can find it, but any would work here. If you are using vintage cotton, you may want to pre-wash the rick rack.

The rick rack will be sewn to the right side of one of the fabric squares (I usually sew it to the fabric that will be the top). This next photo shows how you’ll turn the rick rack at the corners

I’m lazy, so I don’t bother pinning it, but if you’d like, you could pin the rick rack in place along the edge. I trim a bit off the end of the rick rack so I have a clean edge. You’ll want to make sure that you start with the cut edge facing the outer edge of your fabric, as seen below. This way the cut edge will end up hidden when it’s sewn together. I start in the middle of one edge of the fabric and sew a straight line down the middle of the rick rack. I position it so that the outer bumps of the rick rack are lined up with the edge of the fabric.

When you reach a corner, leave the needle in the down position and turn. You’ll turn the rick rack as well so that it lines up with the next edge.

Overlap the rick rack where you started and backstitch to secure.

When completed, it will look like this

Next you’ll put the second square on top of this one, right sides together

You sew around the perimeter again, leaving an opening about 4″ long so you can turn it right side out. I try to sew along the same line I just made when attaching the rick rack. (As an alternative, if you want to skip a step, you could certainly skip sewing the rick rack to the front, and simply pin it securely and sew everything together in this step. I like to do it separately to make sure the rick rack is attached correctly.)

Clip the corners, turn right side out, and iron the edges flat. You may need to pull on some of the rick rack points as you iron – this can help to make sure you get a clean edge. Make sure to iron in the unsewn section – this opening will be sewn shut in the next step.

This is the last step! Simply topstitch around the entire napkin. This closes that opening and provides a nice finished look.  You can even be creative here – I used a straight stitch, but you could use a zig zag, or any other decorative stitch you may have on your machine.

And here you have your lovely completed napkin! It can be folded any way you’d like – I like it as a square, with two sides of rick rack showing, or folded in thirds, with rick rack showing along the bottom edge.

And don’t forget, it’s reversible! (though I should mention that I often make these using one printed fabric for the top and then a solid white for the backing. Both are quite lovely!) Enjoy!

This entry was posted in Household Sewing - bags, napkins, pillows, Tutorials and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

53 Responses to Make your table pretty! A Reversible Rick Rack Napkin Tutorial

  1. 1
    Natalija says:

    Thanky you for the tutorial 🙂
    P.S. Unfortunately I’m not able to post a comment for a giveaway (it just don’t submit it), but I posted about it on my blog 🙂

  2. 2
    Alissa says:

    Oh these are so cute! What a simple idea to make a bunch of these for gifts!

  3. 3

    What a great idea, I can’t wait to try it!

  4. 4
    Amy says:

    These are so great, I might have to find someone I could give them to!

  5. 5
    Woody says:

    LOVE IT!!!! How do you sew such a lovely straight line tho – mine are always all over the place when I use ric-rac

  6. 6

    Ooooh, I love the rickrack trim! I made a set of “cocktail” size reversible napkins for my Mom for her birthday (the apron she’s getting for XMas is from the same fabrics). Next napkins I make will have rickrack, for sure.

  7. 7
    Terriaw says:

    What a great tutorial! Thanks for sharing this with us. I like your tip about the size for the napkins so you can get three from the standard width. I have a small stash of vintage rick rack in odd colors, so this is a great way to use it.

  8. 8
    Barbara says:

    Love your items…..but how did you put the binding on the pot holders?

  9. 9
    mommymae says:

    this looks like a great gift!

  10. 10
    Rachel says:

    I love these! We’re an all cloth napkin household so these are great! I’ll be linking.

  11. 11
    Sandy says:

    You gave me a great idea! Thanks! I am going to play with this a little this weekend!

  12. 12

    These are soooo gorgeous…. what a great project. Lx

  13. 13
    betsy says:

    I make napkins all the time but never with rick rack. Thank you for that.

  14. 14
    meesh says:

    what a great idea. i had forgotten how cool rickrack was until i used it on my son’s halloween costume. it was fun to sew.

  15. Pingback: » Thanksgiving preparations » fabric, quilts, handmade crafts and photos

  16. 15
    Julie says:

    what a cute napkin! i have made napkins but never with the rick rack on the edges.

  17. 16
    Jennifer says:

    Thank you for the rick rack napkin tutorial! I’m making them for Christmas gifts and they are alot of fun to sew.

  18. Pingback: Sew,Mama,Sew! Blog » » February 12 ~ FQ Project of the Day

  19. 17
    Heather says:

    Saw these on sew mama sew and had to visit to see your work. So pretty!

  20. Pingback: Family and things that go bump in the night « Ward House

  21. 18
    Lisa says:

    These are simply lovely! Thank you.

  22. Pingback: Sewing craft roundup | Bohemian Revolution

  23. Pingback: Schürze und Decke « Sewperstitious

  24. 19
    Annie says:

    Oo, thanks for this. I am excited to make some. I love that they’re reversible!

  25. 20
    Veronica says:

    I love these! I’ve been wanting to make these for a long time, but have been hesitant because I didn’t know how well stains would come out once the napkins are used. Does anyone have any tips for washing napkins to get all the food and lipstick stains out? Or do you just reuse the napkins again even if they have stains on them?

  26. Pingback: Wedding present « Quilts by HoltGallery

  27. 21

    I am in love with this!! I’m also thinking about doing it for placemats … with little people at home, they get so dirty so quickly. Thank you for this great tutorial!

  28. Pingback: For The Journey » Blog Archive » Cloth Napkins

  29. Pingback: » 4/23 Ugh… I’m tired

  30. Pingback: Napkins « Bake and Sew

  31. 22
    Marisa says:

    i made these napkins as one of my first sewing projects over the weekend. they turned out great! going to be my mother in law’s mother’s day present. here are some pictures of them if you are curious:

  32. 23
    Sewmarm says:

    This is the perfect sewing project – easy to do, beautiful to behold!

  33. 24
    Cathy C says:

    I just started sewing, and I didn’t think that I could do this project- but I was able to thanks to your great directions and pictures! Thanks for sharing this awesome tutorial!

  34. 25
    REMONA says:


  35. 26
    Whitnee says:

    These are great! They would be so fun for every season! I’m going to post a link to this tutorial on my blog on December 28!

  36. Pingback: tufted tweets in the kitchen! – Film in the Fridge

  37. 27
    Camille says:

    Beautiful! Our summer picnics in the park need these peeking out of the lunch pack!

    I have featured this post on my blog today!


  38. 28
    Mary Ann says:

    Great Tutorial, I’m adding it to list of Christmas projects. Hmm, do I have to fabric shop for them???

  39. 29
    Lori says:

    This is an excellent handmade gift idea and an excellent tutorial. Thank you.

  40. Pingback: Woo Hoo, Fall’s finally here | ceo a's draiocht

  41. 30
    Fran says:

    Thanks, Ashley. Having made bags and aprons for my sisters-in-law, I was at a loss for Christmas ideas. Napkins (serviettes to those of us north of the border) will be just the right gift. Now I just have to get busy.

  42. 31
    michelle says:

    Any chance you have a tablecloth tutorial? It would make a great Christmas project/gift for someone. Thanks! So cute.

  43. Pingback: Halloween Napkins « Scrapendipity Designs

  44. Pingback: I Love Crafty Biiii-ness « organic pixels

  45. Pingback: Catching up « Greenleaf Goods

  46. Pingback: 70+ Classic Crafts Roundup — Bohemian Revolution

  47. 32
    Maya says:

    Wow, these look so great, congrats! I am a total and utter novice with my sewing machine, but I’m going to give these a go 🙂 If they work, they’ll be a wonderful addition to our wedding 🙂 Wish me luck!

  48. 33
    Maya says:

    By the way, what width of ric-rac did you use please?

  49. Pingback: Birthday napkins « The Professor's Wife

  50. Pingback: bring on the Christmas kitsch! | a happy stitch

  51. 34
    Bethe says:

    I love these with the rick-rack! I just made some napkins yesterday and was playing with ideas for edges. This is brilliant.

  52. Pingback: Fat Quarters | Sewn Studio

  53. Pingback: strawberry tea party |

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *