Simple Monogram Stitching

embroidered napkin with title "simple monogram for stitching".

Cloth napkins are not just for special occasions. They can be used every day to help reduce waste and single use items.

Everyone will like a personalized napkin with their initial on it, no matter what their age. These are perfect for families with kids. If you prefer the more traditional route, embroider a set of napkins with the family initial. This is also helpful if you have guests often.

This simple embroidery is quick and easy. Children can even embroider their own.

You will need:

  • Pre-made napkins
  • Embroidery floss (one or two colours)
  • small hoop (4″ – 6″)
  • crewel embroidery needle (medium sized, large eye and sharp tip)
  • small scissors

Choose positioning

The place you put the monogram will depend on how you want to fold the napkins. The common placement is in the corner. This will give you different options.

Everyday napkins probably won’t get fancy folding, but it might be fun for kids to try out.

folded napkin with embroidered monogram.

Choose shape

This monogram has an outline and an initial. The outline can be whatever shape you like.

Circle, square or diamond work well. Shapes like star and triangle won’t leave as much space in the middle for the initial. Think about what letter you are putting in the middle and how it will fit.

Choose font

It is fun to just draw the initial on freehand. But if you don’t like your handwriting or want a more polished project, there are hundreds of fonts available online or in your word processing software. Just print the letters to the size you want.


The easiest transfer is to use a water-soluble marker. Circles are easy because you can trace a can, glass or bowl to get the size you want. For other shapes, you can cut the shape out of lightweight cardboard and then trace that.

If you have a printed font, you can use a light box or carbon paper to transfer the design.


Place the napkin in an embroidery hoop to hold the fabric tight. It will be easier if the hoop is large enough to accommodate the entire design.

napkin in embroidery hoop.

Stitch the shape using three strands of embroidery floss. Use a wide stitch like blanket stitch, feather or herringbone.

The sample used three strands of embroidery floss to stitch a circle with blanket stitch.

embroidering buttonhole stitch on napkin.
napkin with embroidery.

Stitch Tutorials

blue blanket stitch embroidery.
blue feather stitch embroidery.
green herringbone embroidery

Stitch the initial using a narrower stitch. Back stitch, wrapped running stitch, stem stitch or chain stitch are all good options. Use two or three strands of floss.

The sample used two strands of floss to stitch the initial with running stitch, then two strands in a lighter shade to make wrapped running stitch.

stitching a monogram with running stitch.
wrapped running stitch in progress.
two-toned wrapped running stitch monogram.

Stitch Tutorials

gold back stitch embroidery
pink wrapped running stitch embroidery
purple chain stitch embroidery.

If any water soluble marker is visible after the stitching, just dab with water and it will disappear.

simple embroidered monogram.

You’re done!

Enjoy using these napkins in your home or give them as a gift.

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Elizabeth DeCroos - Epida Studio.

Elizabeth DeCroos

Elizabeth DeCroos is the designer and teacher at Epida Studio. She loves to work in quilting, pojagi and embroidery and teach these techniques to others.
Learn more and get her to speak to your group.

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