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« Molly's Sketchbook: Little Lamb Pillows | Main | Whit's Knits: Fuzzy Easter Chicks and Mini Easter Eggs »

Molly's Sketchbook: Spring Napkins

I can't wait for Spring to arrive. I am so sick of slushy snow, grey days, and cold temperatures! Besides the warmer weather one of the things I'm looking forward to most is sitting down with family and friends at all the celebrations that  happen every spring. I made these napkins in anticipation of all these events and think they'll add color and life to any Springtime table! --Molly


To make twelve double sided napkins (To make more or fewer napkins keep in mind that you'll need two fat quarters and 2-yards of ric rac per napkin):


Pick out two fat quarters that you like together. I paired greens with greens and yellows with yellows but you can mix and match if you like!

Press and cut each fat quarter into a 16 1/2-inch X 16 1/2-inch square.

Cut 2 yards from one of the ric racs.


Lay the first square down and smooth it flat.

Starting in the middle of one of the sides place the ric rac along the edge of the fabric with the outer points of the zig zag lined up exactly to the edge.

Place the second square neatly on top of the first square and pin the three layers together, making sure the ric rac remains lined up with the edge of the fabric. Leave a 3-inch un-pinned tail of ric rac at the start.

Continue pinning the two squares together with the ric rac along the edge. When you come to a corner neatly bend the ric rac into a 90-degree angle as shown above and continue pinning.

Pin the three layers together in this manner until you get back to the beginning. Leave a 3-inch opening un-pinned and a 3-inch tail of ric rac at the end.


Sew the three layers together along all four sides with a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Make sure to leave the 3-inch opening un-sewn. Back stitch at the beginning and end of each seam.

Turn the napkin right side out through the opening.

Press the napkin flat paying special attention to poking out the corners.

Iron the raw edges of the opening 1/4-in towards the wrong side.

Place the tails of the ric rac in-between the sides of the ironed opening until they meet and then tuck their raw ends inside the napkin. Pin them neatly in-between the two fabric layers as shown above.

Slip stitch the opening closed by hand.

Press your napkin and you're all done!

Repeat all steps for each napkin and then go set the table!

Reader Comments (24)

I love these! So bright and cheerful. If I can cram in another project, I think I may have to whip up a few of these for the family. Our current napkin stash looks dingy by comparison.
March 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth
I love the idea of using the spectrum bundle! Thanks!
March 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBlabby
What a lovely use of rick rack! Understated but also quite festive.
March 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCraftyRachel
These napkins are so bright! The color combinations are endless. Thanks!
March 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJudy
Can you send me a spectrum bundle and some rick rack? These are so pretty!!!!
March 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKathie B
Love these! My parents really need new napkins - the old ones are getting ratty looking. They need new placemats too, and I think that I would like to give my mom a whole new set for mother's day!
March 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHannahbelle
These are gorgeous! The colors are so cheerful.
March 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenny L.
so very fun. and inspiring. must go shopping.
March 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteremily pitts
What a fantastic project! I love cloth napkins, and I'm over the moon for these! Thank you for the easy to understand instructions (and the good example of ironing your seams...I get lazy about that!)
March 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMiranda
Thanks for the cute idea! I love cloth napkins and have accumulated many over the years (mostly from yard sales and Goodwill) but I love the idea of making my own in whatever colors I want!
May 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKim
This is wonderful --- thank you!
May 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMorna
I'm tempted to top-stitch... I envision having to iron them every time they are out of the wash. Anyone confirm or deny this?
March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFunk_e
Beautiful!! and so much better than the paper ones! thanks!
March 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterana
These are just beautiful! Love them! Thank you for sharing!
March 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMari
I agree with top-stitching. I always do with napkins and wipes, as well as many other items.
March 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShirlee
I love these! So simple but so cute! I think I'm going to make these for the mother's day brunch I host each year! thanks so much for the inspiration!
March 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristen
I'm such a novice, but how is top stitching connected to ironing? O_o

I really want to make these, I'm in dire need of new cloth napkins and I set up a sewing station for myself out of the blue two weeks ago. Perfect project!
March 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJess
Hi Jess-

Thanks for the great question. Top stitching will help to keep the napkins in the correct shape after washing because it sews the two layers of fabric on top of on another. It makes ironing easier because they won't be totally out of shape after washing. I agree that it might be a good idea to top stitch this project if you will be using them and washing them a lot.

Here is a project that is put together similarly to these napkins but uses top stitching:

Good luck and please let us know if you have any more questions.

Thank you!-- Molly
March 30, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I am so found of the colors you are choosing, always !
March 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarie*mlg
Love the bright colors and no need to have them all "match". I have just received a bunch of vintage ric rac from my aunt- these would be great to use it on. Thanks for the tutorial!
March 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJen
The colors of the fabrics are so springy and beautiful! Are they a heavier cotton--like Broadcloth weight? If of quilting fabric weight will they hold up as well with all the washing?
May 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen
Hi Maureen-

They are a quilting weight but they stand up very well to repeat washing!

Thanks for your question!

May 16, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
These look so fun. Could you please tell me the size of ricrac you used? I can't wait to get started.
June 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMary
Hi Mary-

The Ric Rac is 1/4-inch and is linked in the materials section. Click on the link (the blue text) and it will give you all the info you need!

Here is the link in case you don't want to scroll up:


June 3, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

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