Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Numbered Cloth Napkins {A Tutorial}

A little while back I made these numbered cloth napkins out of drop cloths!
Did you know that the more you wash that fabric, the more it resembles linen?
Some people call it "poor man's linen."
I love it because you get sooo much yardage for cheap.

These napkins were a fun project and fairly easy!
They end up super absorbent, soft, and nubby.
To start out, you can read about how to sew mitered corners HERE and follow the directions to make the everyday cloth napkins.

Begin by washing and drying the drop cloth a few times.

Cut out 20"x20" squares and then starch and iron them.
The starch is really important as it helps to make the fabric stiff and easier to sew.
Follow the directions to make a cloth napkin in my previous tutorial, then we will add the numbers:).

I used a navy thread, but the choice of color is all up to you.
Make sure you are also using the right needle!
I used a medium weight sewing needle on my machine.
Follow the directions to make a mitered corner.
I made a double stitch along the outside about a 1/4 inch from the first one.

Next, print out numbers on your computer and then cut out the outline with an exacto knife.
It should look like a stencil.
This will be your template for tracing on your napkin.

I used a font that I liked {Book Antiqua} and then enlarged it to about 3 1/2 inches tall.

Trace onto the corner of your napkin {anywhere is really fine}.
I just used a pencil.

Now, to make the number stand out, sew around the outline at least three times.... careful to come close to overlapping the first stitch.

Don't worry if it isn't perfect!
It just adds to to the charm:). 

That is it.

Aren't they darling?

They would make a great addition to a 4th of July picnic or as a hostess gift.

Happy sewing!



Gumbo Lily said...

Great idea. I like to hand embroider, but sewing by machine would make this project fly by. Cute.

BTW....Where do you buy drop cloths and what is a "good price?"

Kerin said...

You are one creative gal!

I've been wanting to get some napkins sewn up for a while.

Thanks for the inspiration!!

Smiles :)

Julia said...

Hi Jody...I buy the drop cloths at our local hardware store and I think they start out at around $10. They are usually in the painting section. I want to say that gets you about a 6'x15' cloth. It is real stiff to begin with...just keep washing!

Hope that helps:).


~ko said...

Completely brilliant! Will be making a set soon!

Collette said...

Love these! What a great idea! :)

Keeping It Cozy said...

These are adorable! I love drop cloth... I will have to try this soon.

Bonnie said...

I love the versatility of drop cloths. I've seen upholstery done with them but never thought to make napkins. This is a fabulous idea. Thanks for the tutorial.

Bevy @ Treasured Up and Pondered said...

This is really neat.

Scott and I were just talking last night - that we need to go green again, in regards to table napkins.

Over time with the continual washing (in bleach) our white linen/cotton napkins got "eaten through".

I wonder how sturdy these will hold for however long.

I'm loving it.


Beautiful and simple!
Love them!


Anne Marie said... never cease to amaze me...

CW said...

Great idea! I am in market for new cloth napkins ... already been through the ones given to us for our shower ... and will soon be through the ones that I have made from scraps. Thanks for sharing!

Kathy said...

These are so cute! You are so talented!

Cheryl said...

this is a great idea. I have been wanting to make some cloth napkins with numbers or wording on them, but wanted to stamp them. I like your idea of the numbers being sewn on . I will have to give this a try.
I do have a question though. You mentioned to wash the drop cloth repeatedly to help it get softer. Do you also use fabric softener as well?

Julia said...

Hi Cheryl!

I don't use a fabric softener, but I do dry on high heat a few times so that the weave is tight. The fabric just get softer with every washing!


Kim said...

Love those!

Amy Kinser said...

Yes, they are darling. We only use cloth napkins and I love numbers! These are perfect.

FYI...followed your lettuce cleaning advice and made me a new dishrag from an old washcloth and neat vintage looking piece of fabric. Thanks for great tips!

Love your blog!

God bless you and your family, Amy

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