Saturday, January 28, 2012

Make Your Own Everyday Cloth Napkins

In an effort to save a little, I decided it was high time we had everyday cloth napkins.
In my Grandma's day, it was all they used and I am not sure why I haven't made the switch before now!
They are sturdy, practical, money saving, and charming.
They would also make a lovely gift!

I bought a vintage sheet at Goodwill....the colors are so cheery and Spring like!
It was also made really well.
When looking for fabric for cloth napkins, you need to keep in mind that they will be heavily used.
Cotton fabrics are a great choice as they wash easily and are soft and absorbent.
My sheet was fairly thick and washed well.
I don't believe I will iron the napkins unless we have company:).

I cut 8 napkins to a generous 21" x21", so that the final result is 20"x20".
Make sure that you cut a perfect square.
I used my cutting mat and rotary cutter to measure perfectly.

I also made a few in a darker color for those meals that may possibly stain:).
The fabric is from my stash and I thought this was a perfect way to use up old material!

I found a great tutorial on mitered edges from Amy at Homestead Revival.
Hemming in this way gives your napkins a really finished look.
Use your iron to press the hem first...this really helps!

First, you will need to fold down the corners.
Measure 1.5 inches from the tip of the corner down each edge.
Fold down on these marks to make a triangle.
Press each corner down.

Snip off about a 1/2 inch of the triangle.

Press down each side about a half inch.

Fold over a second time...about a half inch...and press.

Repeat on all four sides. You may have to adjust things a bit to make everything fit perfectly.
The two hems should meet nicely in the middle like this...

Now, pin everything in place and stitch around the inside seam first.

This is what it will look like on the finished side.

I like to stitch a second seam along the outside edge to secure the corners down.
You could also make a small hem along the mitered seam instead.

And that's it!

Everyday napkins are so economical and a really fast project.
I am hoping to make a few just for special occasions, too.

To care for your napkins, just spray with a stain remover after a meal...if you have stains.
I just wash and dry mine, fold them, and place them in a nice wire basket that sits near the table.
Ironing is really optional if you use the right fabric.

Enjoy your day!


Sharing here...


Patrice said...

I went to cloth napkins years ago and
I'm glad I did. I wanted to replace some of the ones that were getting older and decided that I'd make a project of it when I got one of those edging serger machines, but that isn't going to happen any time soon, so I think I will just hem the edges like you did. I love the colors of your plates! I was fortunate to receive a large amount of fabric from my former employer that will work nicely for this. Have a good weekend-

Unknown said...

I love the idea of using an old sheet! Genius! and thanks for the mention!

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

This is fantastic ;) :) I have some extra fabric lying around the house, too. I found your blog via the Preparedness Challenge linky over at Homestead Revival :) :) What a great idea...and your photo really caught my attention, because I used to have a sheet in that exact same pattern :) :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

Lorilee said...

We have been using clothe napkins for everyday for quite awhile. I found non-traditional print bandanas at Hobby Lobby on sale some years ago. I also made some napkins with all cotton seersucker. I just straight stitched about 1/2 in from the edge and then unraveled a bit for fringe.
I love the print of your sheet!

Mary @ Neat and Tidy said...

Very nice! I'll be looking for a good fabric at the thrift shop.

~ko said...

Love this idea! Put it on my "sew asap" list :) Thanks for the perfectly simple tutorial!

Kaitlin@Homemaker Design said...

Oh Thank you, thank you! I've been wanting to make the switch from paper to cloth napkins but for some reason I have been putting it off - I LOVE this tutorial - even I could make these. Oh and the fact you got your material from Goodwill, eek, perfect - I love second hand 'material' shopping! ;)

Teresa said...

Thank you so much for this, I've been wanting to make napkins for a while. I'm so tired of buying them. Great tutorial, thank you for taking the time.

Ngo Family Farm said...

This is so timely for me! I'm just now learning how to sew, and cloth napkins are one of the first things on my sewing list! Thank you for the excellent tutorial. You have a beautiful blog :)

Blessings to you,

Malinda B said...

What a wonderful post! Like you, my grandma also had cloth napkins, some which I was blessed to get passed down to.
This would be a great sewing idea to do with my children.
Thank you for such a beautiful and inspirational blog. I also enjoy our similar interests/styles on pinterest! (smile)

Have a wonderful, Christ-filled weekend!

Malinda @ Vintage Homestead Emporium said...

Very nice. We always used cloth napkins for dinner-time while growing up and never used paper for special family events. I just realized that I got lazy in this area since I've been a mom. You've inspired me to return to this tradition.

Thank you,

Gina said...

Great tutorial! I might try some one day. Loved the fabric you found~it is really pretty. I just recently found your blog and I just love it!! :)

Amanda said...

my gracious.

that is one lovely print on a sheet!

what a nice find at the goodwill.
Even better is the mama who is setting a good example of proverbs 31 by turning an old sheet into some lovely dinner napkins that her family can use each night as they sit and connect at the family meal table.

I can't wait to make these!

A great tutorial!!
{also would be a nice addition to your etsy shop:-)

Alexis said...

Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful tutorial! I've been wanting to make the switch over to cloth napkins myself, but haven't actually done so yet. Yours look so great!

Andrea said...

Beautiful napkins! Thanks for the step by step. I am on the hunt now for the perfect fabric to make some.

Betsy @ Anna Nimmity said...

These are great! We use cloth napkins, too. When people come over for dinner they think it is something special, but it's really our everyday tableware. I never iron, because then we would go back to paper!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE cloth napkins but I HATE buying them at the store. This is such a great way to make your own! I'll definitely be giving it a try! Thanks so much!

Kate said...

I love these. I just need to learn how to sew! :)

ps. I want to steal your entire Pinterest. Just so you know. :)

Unknown said...

I love the idea!

What a cute print for a sheet you chose!

Thank you so much for sharing Julia!
When I have a little more time I may try to make me some!
I only have the boring white cloth napkins at the moment.

Unknown said...

What a fun reminder! I haven't made these in a long time!!! Perhaps for Easter!!! Thanks LOTS for stopping by earlier and for your sweet note!

XO, Aimee

CW said...

We were given cloth napkins for our shower and wedding ... they are all we have ever used! I love having them
... my children hate folding them! But they are a savings and so fun to have and use.
You fabric is beautiful!

Jennifer said...

great idea.

What is the name of your dishes? LOVE those dishes!!!!

Bobbie said...

These are just beautiful, and so are the dishcloths! Can't wait to make some!

Karen Andreola said...

Although I've been making cloth napkins for years - sometimes novelty napkins - with pumpkins or snowy New England scenes on them - to usher in the change of the season - seeing how you execute the corners so neatly will spare me bulky corners from now on.

This is exactly the help I needed.

My next batch will be a print of flowers, but of course.
Karen A.

sandlegirl81 said...

Thanks for showing how you did the corners! I got some fabric the other day specifically for cloth napkins and then I saw this blog. It worked perfectly, and now I think I may even make a few sets for Christmas presents! Thanks again! :)

Vanessa said...

Thank you for sharing this. I was just telling a friend this morning that I am planning on making a bunch of cloth napkins and this site motivated me to do it this weekend! I hate wasting paper towels, and this will be a fun project that hopefully my guests will enjoy :) blessings.

Lisa said...

Love your napkins! I'm ready to go on a hunt for vintage sheets! Where did your plates come from? I love them. :)

Shelley McCraw said...

I was searching for plates on Pinterest and loved the picture of your plates. Please share where they are from? Thanks

Women Fashion Clothing said...

This is so beautiful.I love those colors together, so the napkin looks very beautiful.
Very interesting blog. Thanks for sharing such useful information here.
Hope to see such a informative post very soon.

Anonymous said...

Your style is really unique compared to other folks I've read stuff from. Many thanks for doing this.
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Kris said...

Thank you so much for this beautiful tutorial. I have sheet envy. My Goodwill wasn't as nicely stocked, so I hit up Hobby Lobby. I enjoyed your photo with the plates and fork so much that I remembered it when the Lord gave me a blog post about making cloth napkins. I hope you don't mind that I used your photograph and linked to your blog so that others could be equally enchanted.

Mary said...

Thank you for the great tutorial! I just found your blog today doing a search for making cloth napkins.
I will definitely be coming back to your blog. :)

Unknown said...

My mom use to make cloth napkins for our home all the time. Thanks for the instructions.

I put your post link in my blog. said...

What a lovely site, AND beautiful verse at the bottom of your page! I found your blog while looking into what size to sew cloth part of finding ways to live the greenest life I can. I never ever thought I'd go this's important, and gracious, too!

goodeating said...

Love the napkin tutorial! I do have to tell you that your 'vintage' (and they are) sheets were the same pattern as some from my early marriage. Stuff happens all the time to remind me of my 56 years. Only thing is, I still FEEL 25 inside! I think your life is amazing and I applaud you for your decision to live as you do. Elaine

Anonymous said...

I love this! My husband and I entertain a lot in the warmer months. I'm tired of wasting money on throw away items like napkins. I just made cocktail napkins and I will also make dinner napkins. Your tutorial is much more helpful.
Thank you.

Miss Godetia said...

Looking for a first project for some beginning seamsters. This sounds great. I will let you know how it goes.

Karen said...

Thank you so much for the great tutorial, it helps so much to include pictures too! I just have one question, if I fold in and press a 1/2" on each side and then fold and press another 1/2", wouldn't my napkins be 19" x 19", since I folded in a total of 1" on each side. Just want to make sure I am doing this right? Thanks!

Lila said...

Just got home from Goodwill with a beautiful flat sheet to make cloth napkins. Went online for some ideas and came straight to your site. Thanks for the boost of confidence. At least now I know I'm not the only one who thinks this way :). Have a blessed day

Anonymous said...

Just got home from Goodwill with a beautiful sheet and the idea of making cloth napkins. Went online for some info and came straight to your site. Thanks for the added boost of confidence. At least I now know I'm not the only one who thinks this way! LOL

Unknown said...

beautiful tutorial.I love your dishes where did you get them?

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