Crochet borders and trims are the last part of a project, but they tend to have the highest impact. Think of a crochet border like the frame on a picture – if the frame doesn’t match, it can distract from the beautiful photo. But the perfect compliment creates a moment that no one can deny.
Try one of these 5 borders and trims to perfectly frame your next crochet project.
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What Are Crochet Borders?
To me, adding a crochet border or trim to a project turns it from a bit of fabric into a complete piece. Borders accomplish so many things, including:
- Cleaning up uneven edges
- Hiding floats from multiple color changes
- Adding structure to necklines, cuffs, and hems
- Introduce personality to otherwise simple designs
- Provide much needed contrast to give the eye a place to settle in the design
When adding a crochet border to your projects, consider how the border balances the piece’s overall look. A busy pattern may benefit from a simple border, while a subdued stitch pattern could use the punch of a fancier trim. Experiment with different options on a small swatch to get the feel of how the larger piece will look. Play with color, texture, negative space, and shape to find the perfect border choice.
Crocheting Along Edges
Before adding your crochet border, you may need to do a setup round. The setup round creates a solid foundation of stitches for the border to sit on. Work in the round to create the setup row for projects like blankets and washcloths.
To begin the border, the pattern may instruct you NOT to fasten off at the end of the round. Instead, you’ll jump right into the border. Create your corner stitches as instructed in the pattern, then prepare to work evenly along the side of the rows. Use this handy guide for working along the sides of basic crochet stitch rows.
NOTE: Many new crocheters get confused on where to insert the hook when working along edges. Your stitches will go AROUND the last stitch of the row. Get a closer look at how this is done in THIS VIDEO.
Single Crochet. For single crochet rows, work one stitch for each row. In this example, I have 4 rows and I placed one stitch in the side of each row, leaving me with 4 stitches total.
Half Double Crochet. For half double crochet rows, work 3 stitches for every 2 rows. Typically, I work in a (1 stitch in the next row, 2 stitches in the following row) repeat along half double crochet edges. In this example, I have 4 rows, and I placed 1 single crochet in the first row and 2 single crochet in the following row, giving me 3 total single crochet worked over 2 rows of stitches. The final result is 6 total stitches worked over 4 rows.
Double Crochet. For double crochet rows, work two stitches for each row. In this example, I have 4 rows and I placed two stitches in the side of each row, leaving me with 8 total stitches.
VIDEO SUPPORT: If you need a little extra help with adding stitches along the edges of your work, check out this great video:
5 Easy Crochet Borders for Your Next Project
Need a fun and easy crochet border for your next blanket, shawl, or washcloth? Consider one of these beginner-friendly options!
1 // Puff Stitch Border
Notes: Multiple of 2 + 1 stitches, plus 1 for the corner. Puff Stitch (puffst): (yarn over, pull up a loop) 3 times, yarn over, pull through all 7 loops. This border is not reversible.
Border Pattern: Beginning with a slip knot on the hook, puffst in first stitch, chain 1, skip the next stitch, *[(puffst in next stitch, chain 1, skip the next stitch) to corner, (puffst, chain 1) 3 times in corner, skip the next stitch; repeat from * around. Join with a slip stitch in the first stitch of the round.
2 // Half Double Crochet in the 3rd Loop Border
Notes: Worked over any number of half double crochet stitches, plus one stitch for the corner. Find the 3rd loop of the half double crochet seated just behind the back loop – tilt your work toward you to make the 3rd loop easier to find. This border is not reversible.
Border Pattern: Beginning with a slipknot on the hook, *hdc in the 3rd loop of the next stitch and each stitch to the corner stitch, (hdc 3rd loop, chain 2, hdc 3rd loop) in corner stitch; repeat from * around. Join with a slip stitch in the 3rd loop of the first hdc.
For subsequent rounds, work the corner as follows: Work in pattern to ch-2 space, (hdc, chain 2, hdc) in ch-2 space.
Try out this border when you make the adorable Gumball Afghan. Find the free pattern HERE.
3 // Twist Tie
Notes: Multiple of 8 stitches, plus 1 for the corner. This border is not reversible.
Border Pattern: With slipknot on hook, sc in first stitch, sc in next 3 stitches, chain 28, *(sc in next 8 stitches, chain 28) to 4 stitches before corner, sc to corner stitch, 3sc in corner stitch, sc in next 4 stitches, ch 28. Continue in pattern around. Join with a sc in first sc of round. Repeat for 3 rounds total, changing color each round, and seating the chain spaces on top of one another. After all rounds are complete, tie each trio of chain spaces with an overhand knot – do not over tighten, as it will cause your work to pucker.
The Twist Tie border looks amazing on the Sylvie Shawl. Find this beginner-friendly Tunisian crochet pattern in my shop HERE.
4 // Double Crochet Mesh
Notes: Multiple of 2 + 1 stitches, plus 1 for the corner. Alter this pattern by changing the double crochet stitches to single crochet, half double, or even treble crochet stitches. This border is not reversible.
Border Pattern: With slipknot on hook, dc in the first stitch, chain 1, skip the next stitch, *(dc in next stitch, chain 1, skip the next stitch) to corner, (dc, chain 1) 3 times in corner stitch, skip the next stitch; repeat from * around. Join with a slip stitch in the first double crochet of the round.
5 // Little Ridges
Notes: Multiple of 2 + 1 stitches, plus 1 for the corner. This border is reversible.
Border Pattern: With slipknot on hook, (sc, chain 3, sc) in the first stitch, *[skip the next stitch, (sc, chain 3, sc) in next stitch] to corner, skip next st, (sc, ch 3, sc) in corner st; rep from * around. Join with a sl st in first sc of the round.
Discover More Crochet Border Patterns
My favorite place to find even more crochet border patterns is inside crochet stitch dictionaries. These books hold treasure troves of knowledge and ideas to turn your next project into a masterpiece. There are dozens of great stitch dictionaries out there with lovely border patterns. These are a few that I have in my personal collection.
- Crocheting on the Edge by Nicky Epstein. 200+ crochet border and edging ideas, including samples, written instructions, and charts. LINK
- The New Crochet Stitch Dictionary by Nele Braas and Eveline Hetty-Burkart. 400 total stitch patterns, including 34 border patterns. Best for those who are comfortable reading patterns from symbol charts. LINK
- Vogue Knitting Stitchionary 4. Nearly 160 stitch patterns, borders, and motifs, ranging from beginner to advanced. This book is out of print and tricky to find.
- Every Which Way Crochet Borders by Edie Eckman. Edie can do no wrong, in my opinion. I own every one of her books and they’re all fabulous, this one included. This is one purchase you won’t regret. LINK
- Super Stitches Crochet by Jennifer Campbell and Ann-Marie Bakewell. A classic stitch dictionary including 180 stitch patterns, borders, and motifs. Samples are worked in shiny mercerized cotton, so try making your own sample to determine if you like the border. LINK
Which of these crochet border patterns is your favorite? Are you a fan of crochet borders, or do you tend to leave them off? Let us know in the comments!