ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Make Your Own Cloth Napkins

Updated on May 1, 2021
MariaMontgomery profile image

Maria is a Master Gardener, public health educator, grant-writer, artist, photographer, editor, & proofreader. She lives in coastal Alabama.

Whether It's Sewing or Knitting, Making Squares and Rectangles Is a Piece o' Cake

Source

One Small Way to Protect the Environment -- Nothing Could Be Easier

After spending far too much money on paper napkins and paper towels, we decided to use cloth napkins at all of our meals. It's one small way we can help to reduce paper going into the landfill -- and it adds a special touch to a table setting. I like the napkins to match or coordinate with the décor of the kitchen, but sometimes have difficulty finding just the right colors. Now that our kitchen is a pale buttery yellow with black and white accents, that isn't a problem, but I still like to make my own. I usually make my own draperies and window toppers, so I often buy extra fabric to use for making napkins. Want to learn how? Read on, and I will show you.

A Very Simple Topper for the Window of Our New Kitchen

This topper is small and simple, so I want embellish. I bought more of this fabric, now to find the time...
This topper is small and simple, so I want embellish. I bought more of this fabric, now to find the time... | Source
A closer look. The welting (or piping) is covered in the drapery gingham, cut on the bias.
A closer look. The welting (or piping) is covered in the drapery gingham, cut on the bias. | Source

The Fabric Used for Our Kitchen Decor -- Napkins, Too!

The toile and larger gingham (foreground) were used for draperies and upholstery. The tiny gingham (background)  was used for napkins.
The toile and larger gingham (foreground) were used for draperies and upholstery. The tiny gingham (background) was used for napkins. | Source

Don't Waste Those Fabric Scraps!

The plaid napkin you see in the photo below is made of fabric left over from a tablecloth I made for our patio table several years ago. All these fabrics are 100% cotton. I prefer cotton fabrics because they are easier to clean. Surprisingly, they don't require ironing. I would have to draw the line there!

I also bought about 1/2 yard each of solid yellow and solid blue fabric for making more napkins of coordinating colors. That plaid tablecloth later became part of a tent-flap style drapery topper for the kitchen at our former home. Some small scraps of it were used as the lining for a cascade-style valance. The cascade valance is shown in the photo below. We sold the draperies with the house, and donated the old patio table, but we still have the napkins.

Some of My "Homemade" Cloth Napkins

Some of My "Homemade" Cloth Napkins
Some of My "Homemade" Cloth Napkins

Getting Started

What Type Fabric to Use?

It is better if you have a fabric that looks the same on both sides. It is not required, of course, but having the same appearance on both sides makes the napkins reversible. We usually use our cloth napkins twice before washing them. We first use the "right side" then, at the next meal, we use the reverse side.

Drapery fabric, of course, will have a front and a back, and only one side is pretty. For my black and white napkins, I used regular cotton gingham in order to get a reversible napkin. But for the drapery trim, I used the heavier screen-printed gingham drapery fabric. After choosing your fabric, it's time to cut and sew. Let's get started.

Photo Guide to the Steps to Making Your Own Cloth Napkins

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Cut out a square of cloth about 1 and 1/2 inches wider and longer than you want the finished napkin to be. With the wrong side up,  fold over 1/4 inch of fabric. Iron to hold it in place.Next, fold the same amount over again so the raw edge of fabric is turned under, pressing as you go. Pin this into place.Turn the square of cloth, and pin the next side, folding over the corner at a right angle, and pin into place. You can miter the corners, but is for another article.Stitch all the way around the square of cloth, using a medium-sized stitch, or even a machine basting stitch. Small stitches will cause the fabric to pucker, especially after being washed. This photo shows the under side of the finished napkin.This photo is of the right side of the finished napkin.
Cut out a square of cloth about 1 and 1/2 inches wider and longer than you want the finished napkin to be. With the wrong side up,  fold over 1/4 inch of fabric. Iron to hold it in place.
Cut out a square of cloth about 1 and 1/2 inches wider and longer than you want the finished napkin to be. With the wrong side up, fold over 1/4 inch of fabric. Iron to hold it in place.
Next, fold the same amount over again so the raw edge of fabric is turned under, pressing as you go. Pin this into place.
Next, fold the same amount over again so the raw edge of fabric is turned under, pressing as you go. Pin this into place.
Turn the square of cloth, and pin the next side, folding over the corner at a right angle, and pin into place. You can miter the corners, but is for another article.
Turn the square of cloth, and pin the next side, folding over the corner at a right angle, and pin into place. You can miter the corners, but is for another article.
Stitch all the way around the square of cloth, using a medium-sized stitch, or even a machine basting stitch. Small stitches will cause the fabric to pucker, especially after being washed. This photo shows the under side of the finished napkin.
Stitch all the way around the square of cloth, using a medium-sized stitch, or even a machine basting stitch. Small stitches will cause the fabric to pucker, especially after being washed. This photo shows the under side of the finished napkin.
This photo is of the right side of the finished napkin.
This photo is of the right side of the finished napkin.
Gingher 8-Inch Knife Edge Dressmaker's Shears
Gingher 8-Inch Knife Edge Dressmaker's Shears
I do use rotary cutters, but sometimes only scissors will do. I have these scissors, and really enjoy using them. They are very sharp, and hold the edge very well. I have used many different brands and types of scissors, but I like these the best.
 

Cascade-Style Valance Using Plaid Fabric as Lining

Cascade-Style Valance Using Plaid Fabric as Lining
Cascade-Style Valance Using Plaid Fabric as Lining | Source

A Word About Re-using Cloth Napkins

Keep in mind that any food or grease on the napkins will grow bacteria and viruses, so do not use them multiple times before washing them. If you have a cold or other infection, use them only once, then launder them.

Colonies of Bacteria Multiply Faster than Rabbits

Source

Here's That Plaid Tablecloth I Turned Into a Drapery Valance

I love finding new uses for old things. The plaid part of this valance was once a rectangular tablecloth for our patio table.
I love finding new uses for old things. The plaid part of this valance was once a rectangular tablecloth for our patio table. | Source

Cloth Napkin Survey

Do you use cloth napkins at most meals?

See results

© 2013 MariaMontgomery

I Love Hearing From You, So Feel Free to Leave a Comment or Question

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)