Make Your Own Cloth Napkins
Whether It's Sewing or Knitting, Making Squares and Rectangles Is a Piece o' Cake
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
The Fabric Used for Our Kitchen Decor -- Napkins, Too!
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
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 NapkinsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Cascade-Style Valance Using Plaid Fabric as Lining
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
Here's That Plaid Tablecloth I Turned Into a Drapery Valance
Cloth Napkin Survey
Do you use cloth napkins at most meals?
© 2013 MariaMontgomery