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!

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