Free Design: Embroidered Napkin Rings

October 1, 2017By Joanne BankoDIY, Free Design of the Month, Home Decor 13 Comments Opinion by Paid Consultant

Setting the table for fall holidays and special occasions is more enjoyable with embroidered napkin rings. Make these simple napkin rings by combining a petite sized design with small lettering and some heartfelt sentiments. You’ll have the makings of a great conversation starter for your next holiday gathering!

Materials and Supplies

  1. One piece of solid cotton fabric measuring 8-inches square for embroidered side of napkin ring. (Back this piece with medium weight fusible interfacing).
  2. One piece of coordinating printed cotton fabric measuring 8-inches square for second side of napkin ring.

Steps to Create Napkin Rings

  1. Download the leaf design, transfer to the machine, and choose your thread colors for the leaf. Use the original colors shown in Figure #1a, or an original combination. See Figure #1b.
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Figure #1a
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Figure #1b

October Free Design
Petite Fall Leaf.pes

Brother Simplicity Pro thread colors used for leaf in this project:

  1. Candy Apple Red – ETP0020 – Main part of leaf
  2. Harvest Gold – ETP206 -Edge of leaf
  3. Dark Brown – ETP058 – Outline and stem
Tips for choosing colors: Since every natural leaf has color variations there is no right or wrong choice to make. If you are using a printed fabric with mixed colors like the napkin seen here you may want to select colors from the print. Consider testing a few combinations on a remnant of fabric. There is nothing quite like seeing a design stitched out to preview the effect of color changes. This design is small and uses only three colors so it is quick and easy to test.
Note: Materials and instructions are for one napkin ring. Make as many as you like, embroidering and then stitching them all at once to save time.
  1. Create a combination design using the leaf with added lettering and a frame shape to outline and finish the design. Basic steps for creating combination design are shown in Steps 1-6. Finished design shown below:

Free Design October

Free Design October

Tips for lettering: You’re the designer so choose wording that suits your fancy! You could use any of the whimsical sayings below or consider personalizing the napkin rings with names and messages for each individual guest.

  • Autumn is awesome!
  • Let’s give thanks!
  • Color my world with Fall!
  • Happy Fall Y’all!
  • I’m thankful for YOU!
  • Harvest days are happy days!
  • Sunflowers smile at the sky!
  • Pretty as a pumpkin!

Step 1: Select downloaded leaf and touch Set. Touch Add. Select font style from font menu.

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Step #1

Step 2: Program first letter and choose size S. Program letters one line at a time, using return key for each new line of text. Touch Set.

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Step #2

Step 3: Use the Select key to highlight and move leaf and lines of text to look similar to finished example.

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Step #3

Step 4: Touch Add. Select Frame shape menu. Choose rectangle.

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Step #4

Step 5: Choose feather frame, touch Set. Touch Size, re-size to 1.99” X 3.88” and Touch OK.

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Step #5

Step 6: Use the Select Key to Move or adjust any of the elements in the combination so that everything fits in frame.
Touch Edit End when finished, then touch Embroidery to stitch.

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Step #6
  1. Place a layer of the tear away stabilizer against the wrong side of the interfaced square. Place fabric square in approximate center of 4-inch hoop and embroider design.
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Brother Simplicity Pro thread ETP0021 Burgundy used for lettering.
  1. Remove excess tear away and press embroidered piece. Trim embroidered piece to form a strip measuring approximatley 8-inches X 3 ¼-inches, leaving a ½-inch seam allowance beyond long edges. See Figure #3.
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Figure #3
  1. Select coordinating 8-inch fabric piece and trim so it measures 1-inch larger at the top and bottom of embroidered strip. This allows for a double turned ½-inch hem along each long edge. See Figure #4.
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Figure #4
  1. Center embroidered strip on top of coordinating strip with wrong sides together. Turn and press 1/2-inch of bottom piece toward raw edge of top piece.
  2. Turn and press under ½-inch a second time, covering raw edge. Edge stitch close to the fold of each long edge using a standard foot or using foot ‘V.” See Figure #5a and #5b.
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Figure #5a
Figure #5b
Tip for using foot “V”: The long toe on the left side of this foot makes it easy to accurately stitch alongside the folded edge. Select a straight stitch in the left needle position and simply guide the inside edge of the toe along the folded edge, watching edge of the foot as you stitch along the entire edge.
  1. Select overcast stitch and attach foot “G” to the machine. Overcast each short raw edge. See Figure #6a, #6b, #6c.
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    Figure #6a
    Free Design October
    Figure #6b
    Free Design October
    Figure #6c
    1. Pin the short sides together and sew a small seam.
    Tip for using foot “V”: Line up the raw edge with the fourth line from the left and you will get a seam allowance of approximately 3/8-inch wide which is perfect for this project.

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    1. Press seam open and turn to right side. Press ring so seam is located in the center back. Tack loose seams by topstitching close to edges. You are finished! Wrap around napkin and prepare to enjoy your next special gathering! You can pair this project with the coordinating Two Sided Napkin project for a pretty table setting!


  • Thanks for this beautiful, useful project! Your instructions with the up-close images are so clear. I’m off to pull out some autumn prints from my stash so I can get started.

  • So nice to hear your comments Janice! Fall is such a fun time for creating with color isn’t it? Have fun making your own colorful creation and set your table with style!

  • Thank you for these wonderful instructions for an easy project. This along with the napkins instructions will be a perfect project to take with me to our upcoming small group sewing/embroidery retreat. (yes we pack in “everything embroidery” for 4 days of fun). And now I know what to do with that “V” foot. Great visual instructions.

    • Thanks for writing Susan!

      Those feet are made for stitching!!! I’m happy I could help you find a good use for your ‘V” foot. I love using accessory feet and finding multiple ways to use them. You’ll be amazed at how accurate your top-stitching will be on the napkins.

      Your retreat sounds like fun! I’ve attended and taught at retreats like that. You are right, it’s a blast to get together with fellow enthusiasts for uninterrupted stitching time with friends. Have a great time 🙂

  • I am a Brother LB6800 machine. Is it possible to combine designs to make this napkin ring with this machine?

    • Hi Carol!
      Thanks for writing – While you don’t have actual Edit mode capability on that machine you can still create the combined design. You will need to do this in three separate steps. Here’s how I would do this using the layout mode on your machine:
      ~Create the frame shape first, making the frame almost 2-inches tall and using the maximum width for your 4-inch hoop. I don’t believe your model has the feather frame so pick whatever frame pattern stitch you like. Note that a thinner frame will take up less space, leaving more room for the leaf and lettering.
      ~Leave the fabric in the hoop and return to the menu to select the leaf. It will come up in the center so you want to use the left arrow key to move it to the left. Next, use the trial key to test the position of the design and make sure it doesn’t touch the frame. The hoop will move and trace the area (both height and width) where the design will stitch. Keep moving and testing until you are sure it won’t overlap and then stitch the leaf.
      ~To finish, leave the fabric in the hoop and return to the menu to select your lettering. Proceed to the layout screen and use the trial feature once again to make sure the lettering is not touching the leaf or the frame. Your wording will need to be small enough to fit within the space that is left.
      If you haven’t done anything like this before I would highly recommend hooping a piece of felt with tear away or another remnant of fabric and testing it out. It takes a little more time but with your layout options and the trial key you can get things positioned where you want them to be, you just won’t be able to create a combination and preview it on the screen.
      Hope this helps! Let me know if you need any more guidance. Happy Stitching!

  • A very useful project, I have been forwarding the projects to my youngest daughter who is the newest to sewing! Hopefully she will sign up or mom will just keep forwarding !

  • Hello! I just got an SE600 which has a 4×4 hoop embroidering area. Can you please tell me if this design will work in an SE600? I am new to both and embroidering and I would really like to make this! This just might be my very first project!!!

    Thank you!!

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