How To Make Cloth Napkins, A Step By Step Guide

How To Make Cloth Napkins

Making your own fabric napkins is a great beginners sewing project. It is also a super easy sewing project that can save you money and is environmentally friendly.

Think about how many millions of paper napkins that we buy globally. Add to that, the rolls of paper towels that we purchase annually.

Doesn’t it make sense from a green point of view to make your own cloth napkins that can be reused over and over?

The added benefit of cloth napkins is that they are more personal and they add a decorative touch to a table setting at any meal unlike paper napkins.

Perhaps you are asking skeptically about now

  • “Why would I want to go to all that trouble?” or
  • “Isn’t it a big project to make your own cloth dinner napkins?” or
  • “Who wants to go to all that expense?”

In answer to those questions:

  • Making your own fabric napkins (a set of 4-6) can be polished off in less than an hour
  • If you buy fabric on sale, you can make your napkins for pennies – my 4 napkins cost under 50 cents each
  • As beginners sewing projects go, anyone can do this and be happy with the outcome
  • It’s a great beginners sewing project so even kids can do it!

Let’s take a look at how easy (and economical) it is to make your own dinner napkins.









Easy Sewing Projects and How To Make Dinner Napkins

Depending upon the width of your fabric, you can make 4-6 napkins from a yard of fabric.  (See chart below for napkin size and yardage needed)

Fabric yardage comes in 36 inch, 45 inch, 54 inch, 60 inch bolts, etc.

For as many fabrics as there are out there, the sky’s the limit. You can make dinner napkins in all kinds of patterns and colors.

You can use designer fabrics for a truly elegant look and whip up a set of napkins in under an hour. You can make Christmas napkins or springtime napkins in all colors.  The possibilities are endless and only hampered by your pocketbook and your time.

The only caveat to making your own fabric napkins is to make sure the fabric you choose is washable. You can buy other fabrics that need to be dry-cleaned but that pretty much negates the idea of being eco-friendly or of saving money.



More Beginners Sewing Projects

I have all kinds of different dinner napkins in all kinds of fabrics and colors. I find that this is a very inexpensive way to make a table look beautiful no matter what the occasion.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to fabrics to choose from and for just pennies, you can contribute in a real way to saving our resources. Think of the paper products not manufactured if we used more cloth napkins!

My fabric dinner napkins have lasted for years and been washed and rewashed, folded and refolded.

Many times, people will come for dinner or lunch and say that they’d rather not get the napkins dirty because they are so pretty. That always makes me smile because that is exactly what I want them to do – use them!

You can also take this beginners sewing project to another level and make smaller napkins for luncheon napkins or cocktail napkins – usually 9 x 9 or 13 x 13 size but again, whatever size you want them to be they can be!

You can also do what I do and make coordinating dish towels for pennies as well. A yard of fabric will make 4 good sized dish towels.

Remember that there is no “fixed” size for napkins (or dish towels for that matter) and let creativity be your guide.

TIP: If you don’t like measuring with a measuring board or ruler, you can always use freezer paper or tissue paper to make patterns for your napkins. Simply pin to the fabric and cut out.

I’ve personally found that this one simple little sewing project is a very satisfying one. It saves money and in a small way helps to save the environment.

It also is a tremendous way to make your meal presentation very personal and lends a warm touch to entertaining or just the every day table setting.

TIP: A set of homemade napkins or two is a great gift. Pair them with some unique napkin ring holders or some round placemats.  You’ll get rave reviews!

For more ideas on making your own napkins, see the great sites below.


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