There are some things demanded by the well-appointed life that just always seem to be overpriced: custom framing, area rugs and table linens—specifically cloth napkins. That’s why I’m always on the lookout for beautiful napkins at vintage stores and on sale racks.
I picked up these ivory napkins with geometric woven texture and gold stitching for about three bucks apiece at Anthropologie a few months ago, and while they’re beautiful as is, I decided to spruce them up with a bit of color. So I turned to my go-to embellishment du jour: the tassel. They’re easy to make in a range of rich colors, and they add a touch of playful texture to these fairly simple napkins.
For this project, you’ll need the following:
• cloth napkins of your choice (I picked these up on sale at Anthro, but these are very similar)
• embroidery thread
• needle and thread
• small piece of cardboard
2. To make the tassels, start with a piece of cardboard cut to the desired length of your finished tassels (mine are about an inch long), then wrap the embroidery thread around the cardboard 18 times.
3. Cut a 6″ piece of embroidery thread and slip it through the top loops of the wrapped thread. Tie it tightly twice then take the long ends and pull them down on either side of the tassel. Slide the tassel off of the piece of cardboard.
4. Cut another small piece of embroidery thread, about 12″, and tie around the tassel about a half of an inch down from the top. This will create the ‘head’ of the tassel.
5. Using scissors, cut the loops at the end of the tassel and trim the ends so they’re even.
6. Once you’ve made all of your tassels, start sewing them one by one around the edges of your napkin, spacing them evenly along each side. Sew on four of your darkest color, four of your second darkest color, four of your second lightest color and finally, four of your lightest color to create the subtle ombré effect.