DIY Drop Cloth Napkins You’ll Want To Use Everyday

DIY Drop Cloth Napkins You'll Want To Use Everyday
DIY Drop Cloth Napkins You\'ll Want To Use Everyday

Hey, creative friends! I finally found a use for some left-over drop cloths from a few projects I did this year. And if you missed those projects, don’t worry; I’ll link all the DIY projects I did with this budget-friendly fabric below, as well as today’s DIY drop cloth napkins with beautiful frayed edges.

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How To Make DIY Drop Cloth Napkins

I found this idea (not mine) on Pinterest, but the tutorial I read talked about the no-sew method. After attempting this, I can report it didn’t work for me. So, there will be a little bit of sewing involved, so get those machines ready!

I love the organic look and feel of drop cloth and it makes beautiful table napkins.


Wash The Drop Cloth Fabric First!

Drop cloth isn’t just a cream-colored drape used for catching paint drops and spills any longer. You can use drop cloth for so many different home decor projects, and it’s budget-friendly.

But not until the drop cloth has been laundered. I tried washing them in my machine at home, which resulted in buying a new washing machine. It was on its last leg anyway, so there’s that. I got a brand new set, just in case you were wondering. 🙂

In addition, I highly recommend bleaching drop cloths before using them to make drop cloth napkins. CLICK HERE to learn how I bleached them, and it wasn’t in my new washing machine.

Cutting A Pattern For Drop Cloth Napkins

Cloth napkins can vary in size, but the average is 16×16 inches. I wanted my drop cloth napkins a bit bigger, so the pattern I used is an 18×18 inch square.

So that you know, I didn’t use a pattern but created my own with my everyday tape measurer I found in my junk drawer in the kitchen. Oh, and of course, I grabbed a pair of scissors too.

Cut the first 18×18 inch square. I used regular scissors, but you can use pinking shears, but I wanted a smoother edge on the napkins.

This is almost too simple, but here it is. Get ready for this amazing pattern hack.

I laid it on top of the drop cloth a cut around the 18×18 square. Ta-dah! Hold the applause, please. 🙂

Drop Cloth Doesn’t Measure True To Size

I used a 9X6 drop cloth to make these napkins, and if I’m calculating correctly, I should have gotten 16 napkins. Instead, I ended up with 12 and some left-over drop cloth. No worries, you know I’ll have use for it with another project.

Through the years and after many projects, I have learned that drop cloths are not perfect, and neither are the sizes stated on the package. I’m pretty sure the painters don’t care.

They are approximate measurements. And they shrink a lot after washing. So there’s that! I still love them and the natural, earthy feel of the fabric.

Also, you may find some drop cloths that have a seam right down the middle of the fabric. That’s crappy! Walmart sells the brand I use, and I have yet to find one with a seam. Let me know if you find one.

Fraying The Edges Of The Drop Cloth Napkins

Here’s where the work comes in. It’s not hard, just time-consuming.

Because the material was cut, you’ll need to either hem them or do what I did. I pulled as much of the loose cotton strands away from the side until I was happy with the look. I really like the frayed edges, but I know they will be a hot mess if I ever wash them, and I will.

Basically, they will fall apart after washing them several times and will look like a pair of my favorite holy jeans.

Securing The Frayed Edges

To ensure that the material doesn’t continue to unravel. I used a zig-zag stitch around each drop cloth napkin to secure the frayed edge. This worked beautifully without disturbing those beautiful raw edges.

I LOVE These DIY Frayed Drop Cloth Napkins

I think it’s about time for a Fall outdoor dinner party. These DIY drop cloth napkins turned out so well, and I think my friends will appreciate the touch of rustic elegance it adds to the tablescape.

Can you imagine how stinking cute these would make in a picnic basket? Or maybe even use a large drop cloth as a blanket to spread under a tree? *lightbulb

It’s not just the look but the feel that I love the most about them. A thick, soft napkin that I’m sure will hold up to our messy backyard barbeques. And I can just throw them in the washing machine and bleach as needed.

Hey, thanks for hanging out with me today, and I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. I’d love to know some of the DIY projects you have done used a drop cloth. Let me know in the comments or just say hi so I’ll know you were here. I always enjoy hearing from you.

Until the next project… xo, Do

How To Bleach Drop Cloths For Curtains

DIY Drop Cloth Curtains… No-Sew Method

Effortless DIY Drop Cloth Window Treatments

How To Hang Drop Cloth Curtains With Clips

How To Add Shelves To A Dresser – Quick & Easy


  • Did you consider stencilling a design on them? Many Holiday themes can be done with stenciling. Your napkins are naturally beautiful. I love them!

  • Yes! I sure have, and more than likely, there will be a sequel to this project with stencils. Great minds! 🙂

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