- Arts and Design
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.
What You Need to Make Cloth Napkins
Ironing Board and Iron
Scissors or Fabric Cutter
Measuring Tape, Ruler or Measuring Board
Lightweight Fabric of 1-2 Yards
Straight Pins (optional)
SEWING HOW-TO FOR MAKING FABRIC NAPKINS
- Wash and dry your fabric to remove any finishing materials. This step can be skipped although it is best to start with washed and dried fabric to prevent shrinkage.
- TIP: Throw in a Shout Color Catcher sheet to retain color of fabric especially if dark colors are used.
- Press your fabric, lay out on a table or measuring board and cut pieces of fabric to size.
- TIP: Cut pieces 17 inches x 17 inches or 18 x 18 inches. Perfect size for dinner napkins.
- Once pieces are cut out, move to the ironing board and press under a hem on all sides of the fabric 1/4-1/2 inch. Then turn another 1/4-1/2 inch and hem again.
- TIP: This prevents material from fraying later on after repeated washings.
- You can pin the hemmed edges with straight pins or you can simply press
your double hemmed sides with the iron.
- TIP: Your double hemmed edges will stay in place as you sew if they have been ironed properly.
- Sew your napkins on a sewing machine. You can either sew the napkins with your fabric right side up (lining up your thread to sew through your hemmed border as you go) or you can turn the fabric to the underside and sew.
- TIP: Beginners favor turning the fabric over to the underside so that you can see the hemmed portion easily.
- Sew all the way around your napkin.
- TIP: Back-stitch a bit to prevent the thread from unraveling, cut threads and remove.
- Press napkins with an iron when all are complete.
- TIP: You can add a bit of fabric sizing when you press the completed napkins. This will give them more resilience if you want to fold them into shapes and also protects them a bit from staining.
Money Saving Ideas for Making Cloth Napkins
** Only buy fabric on sale
** Have a coupon and save even more
** Check close-out bins for fantastic deals
** Check designer decorating fabric aisles
** Buy fabric on line
** Buy coordinating thread in large spindles
** Buy a sewing machine on sale
** Buy a sewing machine on line
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.
Measurements for Fabric Dinner Napkins - 4 Napkins
Finished Napkin Size
Cut This Size Square
44" Fabric Needed
54" Fabric Needed
16 x 16
17 x 17
18 x 18
19 x 19
20 x 20
21 x 21
22 x 22
23 x 23
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.
More Sites on Making Your Own Cloth Napkins
- How to Make Cocktail and Dinner Napkins - CraftStylish
- Making Cloth Napkins Fiber Fantasies
- How to Make Your Own Cotton Dishtowels | eHow.com
How to Make Your Own Cotton Dishtowels. Making cotton dishtowels at home is a quick task that can add personal flair to any kitchen. Dishtowels make inexpensive wedding and shower gifts as well. A sewing machine is ideal for this...
- Lets Make Napkins WHDSCM
A simple homemade sewing project, making napkins
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