DIY Drop Cloth Napkins You’ll Want To Use Everyday

Posted in DIY Home Decor
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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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



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

  2. I love these nappies Do πŸ˜‰ I love anything rustic. It is my 3 wee Dogs and I here so we don’t need cloth nappies, lol. I love your ideas and sharing them with us. You are an awesome Lady to be able to do everything you do. I love your down-to-earth way of looking at things and doing those things.
    Thank you so much for sharing all your talents for us to try if we so want to πŸ™‚
    Take care
    Love ya Girl

    1. Thank you, Brenda! I appreciate your kindness. In the beginning, I didn’t know if anyone would want or even like the info I shared. I was pleasantly surprised to hear from others like yourself, and for that, I am so grateful. πŸ™‚ xo

  3. You can also dye them just about any color you want. But make sure after dyed and dried, you soak them for a few minutes in vinegar to set the color then wash and dry again. Love the napkins!

  4. Love it! I want to see some of your stenciling, too! And, I was thinking these would make some terrific looking natural Christmas trees, layered pieces with frayed edges. Maybe use some Stiffy to shape them….decorative only so no washing needed!

  5. Hi, I loved them and also an idea came to my mind!!! Decoupaged them with beautiful paper napkins…there is a decoupage adhesive that can be washed …it is awesome…I did not believed until I used in an apron.

  6. I’m crazy over anything dropcloth. It is seriously the best bang for the buck as far as fabric is concerned! In all the projects I have used dropcloth for, I never even thought of napkins! Crazy because I am a fabric napkin kinda girl! Thanks Do! Pinning!

  7. I’ve watched your DIY’s with the drop cloth curtains, the wreath and now the napkins. I definitely will look for them at Walmart the next time I go. Thank you so much for your rustic and organic ideas for decorating. I LOVE IT!!

    1. Hi Coryn,

      So far they’re holding up well. I’ve washed them 5 times. It’s rare that I use my machine so I’m not sure what the setting is called, but it’s a 3 stitch (step) zigzag. The stitches are also smaller so that its tighter. I hope this makes sense. πŸ™‚

  8. Thank you so much for this fantastic idea. I just made drop cloth curtains and I have so much leftover fabric and this is what my next project is going to be! Thanks again for sharing your creativity with those of us who are creativity-challenged!!

    1. You’re welcome, Stephanie. Same! I started by making drop cloth curtains and had some leftover material. I’ve almost used it all up. I need to make curtains for my office now. I’ll be buying more and promise to share more projects soon usng the drop cloth. πŸ™‚ xo

  9. Hi Donna! I accidently stumbled onto your site! Best fall I ever took! I LOVE these ideas for the napkins, My sil had just been telling me she thought she might buy fabric ones because the aper ones were becoming so expensive! Ohhh, Merry HoHo! Do you have any ideas for canvas tarps? I really want to try that also. Thank you again! It’s hard for me to find ladies that enjoy the things I do.

    1. Hi Brenda!
      You have found your people here! I love DIY everything and I can see you do too. Yes, I have many post using drop cloth if that’s what you’re asking. Search drop cloth from the search bar and you’ll find more.

      I’m so glad you found me and I can’t wait to share more. Be sure to sign up for my weekly emails to get the latest projects in your inbox. Have a wonderful weekend. xo 😘

  10. So sorry, it appears that I accidentally entered my post twice and am assuming it got deleted. So, so glad to find you! I love these ideas! Can’t wait to try! Thank you again!

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