Here in my house, we have a mere five days until it will be filled with friends and family for our first Thanksgiving meal in the new home we bought this summer. Earlier this week, I shared some simple ways we’re sprucing up the house and our table this year with some paint and fabric from my go-to seasonal fabric source, Waverly Inspirations. Witness our painted pressed clay leaves and fabric covered matchbooks here!
My daughter and I have been mixing and matching some of my great-grandmother’s country-look plates with some of her everyday tableware from eras gone by. The colors are definitely seasonal — think 1970s deep mustard! — but we wanted to add some modern country touches to the table, too. We decided to make our own frayed edge napkins and a modern ribbon table runner to elevate Grandma Lillian’s tableware. Her home interior was an homage to deep gold and browns and, while those colors don’t make headlines these days, they make a beautiful backdrop for the seasonal table. We wanted her to have a place at the table as we celebrate our family and all that we are grateful for. –Caitlin
Click through for a quick tutorial on how to make your own cloth napkins and how to use ribbon to embellish your holiday tables this year.
*This post is brought to you in collaboration with Waverly Inspirations. This project, ideas, and words are from us here at D*S and were created for you and your family. Thanks for supporting our sponsors that help us create and publish original content like this. The Waverly Inspirations collection is available at Walmart.
We started our project by making an inspiration board with the fabric and ribbons so we could see how the colors and textures worked together. You can see my daughter used her Polaroid camera to snap some shots of GG Mom’s dishes so she could pick the fabric she wanted at her place at the table!
Handmade Frayed Napkins
- A Variety of Fabric (We used some lovely paisleys & seasonal colored textiles from Waverly Inspirations.)
- Seam Ripper Tool
1. Cut a 10″ x 10″ square of your fabric. Using the seam ripper, gently rub the sharp tip across the edges of the fabric until you have a few threads separating from the weave.
2. Pull one or two threads at a time and gently guide them to the bottom of the fabric edge you’re working on. You begin to see the frayed edge coming to life after several rounds of this process.
3. Continue fraying all edges of your fabric. You’ll accumulate a pile of loose threads as you fray. We save ours and scatter them in the yard for birds to use to build their nests in the spring. Of course, you can just toss them or come up with another clever use!
4. After you finish fraying all sides of the fabric, use your scissors to trim the threads if they are uneven in any spots.
5. Wet your frayed napkins throughly in the sink and then pop them in the dryer on regular heat. This will soften the napkins and shrink the weave a bit to prevent any more fraying. My Waverly Inspirations fabric didn’t require ironing — I just folded them and smoothed them with my hand.
6. Use and enjoy! We’ll be using ours every day after Thanksgiving and will be making new ones for each season. Below, we’ve wrapped our silverware in the frayed napkins and tucked them into our wooden table accessories tote (also GG Mom’s!).
Ribbon Table Topper
- A Variety of Ribbon, at least 1/2″ thick (We used some lovely paisleys & seasonal colored textiles from Waverly Inspirations.)
- Removable Glue Dots
- Measure your table lengthwise and purchase ribbon spools with long enough ribbon to cover the length of the table. If your table is very long, you can use two pieces of ribbon and connect them with each other with the glue dots.
- Cut your ribbon to size (the length of your table) plus 12 inches. The ribbon will hang from the table ends like a table runner, with 6″ on both ends.
- Run your removable glue dots along the back of the length of ribbon.
- Lay ribbon face up on the table, pressing down so the glue dots on the ribbon adhere to the table.
- Repeat with as many ribbons lengths as you like for your table design.
- Arrange centerpiece, flowers and painted clay pressed leaves with battery operated tea candles along the ribbon “runner.”
- Enjoy a wonderful meal with your friends and family!