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.
This post contains affiliate links that support the content on TLYCBlog.com. All opinions are my own. Find my Privacy & Disclosures Policy here.
Click to Pin This Post
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!
The border stitch of multiple rows of half double crochets into the 3rd loop is my favourite. I’ve used this border before and love the simple and clear finish, very much like you said, like a beautiful picture frame. However I do love the puff stitch border also, it adds a touch of playful fun, and the little ridges border is adorable! I think it would look especially cute on girlie things.
Also would like to thank you for the crochet stitches dictionary suggestions. There are so many options available, and it is nice to get the opinion of which the better ones are, from someone you can trust! 🙂
Every Which Way Crochet Borders by Edie Eckman is my go-to! It’s mind-blowing how many different ways you can do a border – and how much they can add to the finished look of your project.
Heather M says
I’ve got the Edie Eckman book as well! I’m what I would consider an “advanced beginner” crocheter, so borders hide a multitude of sins!! I try to choose one that matches what is happening in the body of the work.
I love the pretty edging! Such a beautiful touch to a possible “ordinary” cowl.
I love the puff stitch border and little ridges. I tend to improvise borders lately and a go-to for me is picots. So little ridges is like an easier version of those. Puff stitches should be easy after all the practice I’ve gotten making your Juniper Cowl. And hey, I’ve got book number 5 on your list already! One down, four to go.😄
My favourite is a combo of double crochet and a picot on top. And for a very simple border, the single crochet with three chain repeat is super easy too.
Thanks for all you’ve taught us during Crochet Academy 2022 🙂
The borders were so lovely. Thank you for these beginner friendly borders and the various projects they can be added to.
Alek Felis says
Thank you Toni! One of the things that bothering me at crocheting vs knitting, is that here my sides often ended uneven and have to hide them with borders.
I like the look of little ridges and the hdc in 3d loop! I have never tried though – because I have never made a bigger project than wrist warmers☺️ but I will!!
Corina Meyer says
I like the half double crochet in the 3rd loop border.
Annemarie Wake says
I to am an avanced beginner but my fears hold me back from trying larger patterns (blankets, clothing etc,). Crochet Academy is making it so much easier to understand the stitches and now with understanding the simpe borders I’m going to tackle Those Big ones. 🙂
What does “this border is reversible or not reversible” mean?
Toni L. says
That means some borders look the same on both sides, while others have a distinct front and back.
Cynthia Hale says
I have been looking at Edie Eckman’s book on borders, among others of hers. I am going to go buy that book right now as I am starting to get into projects that need borders. As for a favorite, depends on the pattern that is being framed. I love thinking of it that way! You are so good at teaching!
My favorite is the puff st and little ridges,
Thanks for the information on borders.
I like the puff stitch and the little ridges borders. I shied away from adding borders to my projects because I was confused about where to put the stitches. Borders do make a big difference in how the project looks and thanks to you I can now add them with confidence.
I have a knit project (prayer shawl pattern) that I wanted to add a border to, and I like crochet more than knitting. Wondering if/how to start of crochet border on a knitted piece? Is there a video or something that can be suggested for me? Thanks for any response/advise in advance!
Toni L. says
Great idea! I’ve seen this done before. Give a quick search on YouTube and several results come up.