DIY Home: Easy-to-Sew Cloth Napkins

by Landis Carey on March 15, 2011

When it comes to napkins, cloth beats paper any day. They are less wasteful (yay!) and fun to use. They add bright colors to your table setting and can be mixed with other patterns.

What You Need

  • Tools: Sewing machine, fabric measuring tape, fabric scissors
  • Materials: 2 yards fabric (for 8 napkins), matching thread


  1. Wash and iron your fabric
  2. Ready your sewing machine for the project
  3. Cut out eight 17.5″ squares from your 2 yards of fabric. If you’re working with 42″ width, this will easily work.
  4. With the wrong side of the fabric facing up and beginning with one edge, fold it over 1/4″ and press. Fold the same edge again, but this time 1/2″ and press.
  5. Repeat step 4 on each side rotating the fabric clockwise.
  6. Machine sew a 3/8″ seam around all four sides, being careful to catch the folds. Remember to backstitch to secure your seams.
  7. Sew a second seam at 1/8″ to finish the edge. This is not a necessary step, but it creates a finished look and will keep your napkins looking great after many washes!
  8. Press and steam seams.

That’s it! Easy, right?

If you’re up for mixing patterns, go for it! Be stylish and bold.

Want to know a secret? We were low on napkins and I had this fabric. They’re going to clash (in not a good way) with our dinnerware, but they’re functional and just for us, so we will love them for their usefulness!

(Images: Landis Carey)

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

sengler March 15, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Do you remember who makes the fabric? Loving it.


Landis Carey March 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Thanks, Sarah! It’s Amy Butler and I purchased it in December 2009, but I’ve seen it floating around the Internet. Oh! Just found it here!


Gina April 6, 2011 at 9:47 pm

I LOVE that fabric! my place mats are orange, they’d look great!


kdw4jc November 11, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Your napkins are beautiful & love that fabric (I’ll check out that source link that you posted). I’ve been making naptkins using fat quarters. I’ve been using the mitering technique on the corners thinking that I needed to avoid bulkiy corners; but, that is so tedious … I may just use this method instead for the rest of my napkins.


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