Easy Cloth Napkin Tutorial

Does anybody else out there feel just a wee bit wasteful? I know I do. Granted, I feel a little bit better when I look at the behaviors of many other Americans. What a big bunch of consumers and waste-makers we are! To make some kind of strides in this area, I am looking for ways to use less paper products in our household. I actually really don’t buy paper napkins, but I know we go through what seems like lots of paper towels, using them for everything from wiping up spills to wiping little faces. Though I’m not quite ready to completely stop buying paper towels, one step in the right direction is to use cloth napkins for wiping faces and to place in lunchboxes. Goodness knows I have plenty of fabric lying around, ready to be used for something useful. Plus, doesn’t using a cloth napkin just make a meal seem more special? We’re not really what I would call a classy bunch, but we can pretend.

I wanted to do some larger napkins for use at home and some littler ones to put in the school kids’ lunchboxes. I’ll show you how I made the littler ones first. The process is the same for any size.

Cut out squares of fabric in whatever fabric you plan to use. There’s no set size, just figure out how big you want them to end up and add 1″ to the width and 1″ to the height. For example, if I want 10″x10″ napkins, I would cut them out in 11″x11″ squares.

For each edge, press or fold in 1/4″, then another 1/4″. Pin as you go.

Sew along each edge, using a straight stitch. I didn’t do fancy mitered corners, just basic square ones.

That’s basically it. A simple and easy sewing project, great for beginners.

I did up a bunch of them in different fabrics.

Make up a coordinating set for your own use or as a thoughtful gift.

13 thoughts on “Easy Cloth Napkin Tutorial

  1. I love this! I think about being wasteful all of the time. Of course I am one of the worst offenders. Now I will take more notice to the napkins going in the trash. Thanks for the eye opening post.

  2. You used some delightful fabrics for these. I bet your kids will appreciate the cheeriness in their lunch boxes. And yes, something as simple as using cloth does make a meal seem more special.

  3. I was just talking to hubs today about maybe using cloth napkins and rage for cleaning instead of buying and throwing away paper! Great minds? So I showed him this when he just happened to walk up the hall. He likes your ideas, makes mine seem more feasible I guess, LOL.

  4. We have similar wipes. made from flannel (or old receiving blankets). We use them in place of baby wipes on our little one. Cloth diapers just seem to need cloth wipes as well. We keep them pre-wet with water and a little baby soap. I know I use them for just about everything because they can just be washed and reused!

  5. I was shocked to see the blue fabric with olive green flowers, aqua and orange pattern (first photo, top fabric). I inherited some of the fabrics my GM had collected over her many years of sewing. She was 94 when she passed last year. THAT fabric was among the ones I chose for projects of my own. My bestie needed a kitchen make-over. Since she collects vintage green Tupperware, I chose that fabric as her curtain, covered a stool with it, and used the scraps to make kitchen towels. It turned out great!

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