Embroidered IKEA Paper Napkin Holder Hack

embroidered ikea napkin holder
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IKEA have some cute and inexpensive wire paper napkin holders and I picked one up a few months ago.

ikea paper napkin holder hack

It is just crying out for some decoration right?

I thought at first I’d be able to do some cross stitch on the grid but it turns out that just doesn’t work on this kind of wire grid. Because the wires form diamonds rather than squares a cross stitch embroidered design becomes all distorted. I needed a new plan!

After a few false starts I settled on a design that just follows the diamond grid of the wire paper napkin holder.

To embellish your own paper napkin holder you will need:

Embroidery on wire mesh

Use all 6 strands of the embroidery thread at all times. Start centrally about 1/3 of the way down, tie a knit at the back and then stitch over the end by stitching a diamond pattern. Start in the centre with a diamond with 3 stitches in each side. The next round has 5 stitches on each side and so on.

When you make the stitches do them like back stitches.

Stitch in a clockwise direction. Bring the needle up on the left hole and down in the right hole to form each stitch. This means the stitches are pulled tight across the holes and they don’t slide down at a wonky angle.

stitching on wire

Finishing off the embroidery thread is a little bit tricky. The wire doesn’t bend like fabric does so it’s difficult to cast off neatly. I slid the needle under the back of 3 stitches at a time and just took my time to push it through. You could secure the ends with a blob of superglue instead if you find it too difficult to cast off.

diamond design

Adding tassels

Once the stitching was finished I felt it needed just a little bit more. Time to make some tassels.

Make 5 tassels, one of each colour. I used the same method to make my tassels as I’d used to make the yarn tassels on my Christmas Pom Pom Tassel Spool Decorations, just a lot smaller.


Tie the tassels on to the bottom of the embroidered section, one on each corner and 2 in the middle of the bottom edges. The spots are marked with grey stars on the pattern above.

tie in tassels.jpg

That’s it! You could decorate a napkin holder like this with any colours, but I’m really loving these bright vibrant colours right now. Perfect for summer barbecues and get togethers.

Embroidered Ikea napkin holder
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ikea paper napkin holder embroidery idea

This method of embroidering onto a wire mesh could be adapted to any wire mesh item, a desk tidy for example could be embellished in this way too.


I’ll be sharing this upcycling idea at some of these link ups