Easy Handmade Cloth Napkins

handmade cloth napkinsCloth napkins at the dinner table are a given at our house.  Even though we have a couple of messy eaters around here, we don’t give in to the temptation of disposable paper towels.  Family dinner-time is one of my favorite parts of the day, and I enjoy setting a nice looking table with pretty cloth napkins for everyone!

Now that the kids have gone back to school, maybe it’s time to break out the sewing machine and whip up a new set of napkins in some fun new prints! (Note: If you don’t have a sewing machine, don’t worry – these napkins are easy to sew by hand.  Just use a whip-stitch or a slip-stitch around the edges).

An experienced seamstress might think that creating directions for something as simple as napkins is silly.  But if you have never sewed before or are the type who thinks replacing a button is a challenge, then you might appreciate having some simple instructions written out for you.

That was my thinking when I included directions for cloth napkins in my book Practically Green: Your Guide to EcoFriendly Decision-Making.  My goal was that all my craft projects be doable for even the “non-crafty” types.  And now I get to share them with you…straight from the book!

Cloth napkins

P.S.  Don’t forget to put cloth napkins in the lunch box too!

Do you use cloth napkins at home?  How about in the lunch box?  Have you ever made your own?

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About Micaela

Micaela Preston is a marketing and communications consultant specializing in natural, organic and eco-friendly products and the health and wellness space. Micaela is available as a social media manager, green lifestyle writer, public speaker, brand ambassador and marketing manager.

Comments

  1. We frown upon paper napkins at our house. More power to you for making your own cloth napkins!

    Kelly

  2. earthlymama says:

    We have been papertowel-free for a couple years now. A friend and I were just reflecting on the success of my one-year-old’s birthday party, and in that discussion she mentioned how hardly anyone took a napkin (cloth). I started thinking how interesting that is, the fact that, when given the option to take paper, most people don’t think twice about it, and usually take far more than they need. When given the cloth option, they’re probably thinking they don’t want to dirty a whole napkin for a little smootz just to make someone wash it. Our disposable culture has led to this sort of (strange)behavior! 😉 On the subject of parties, however, I was also discussing how I need to make smaller napkins, like cocktail napkins because I’ve yet to come across any pre-made. Now I have directions; I’ll just cut out smaller squares!

  3. Thanks! This is definitely going to be one of my fall-winter projects.

  4. Great article! I have been making my own un-paper towels for several months now out of birdseye cotton. They are great for my little messy eater, and though they get stained (blueberries, chocolate etc), I just go to the fabric store, spend a couple of bucks and make more! Lots better than throwing money away for a product destined for the trash bin.

  5. I made cloth napkins out of old sheets (well, the sheets were in good shape). I had three mismatched sheets and made bias tape to go around the edges out of the same sheets-it was a lot of work but they looked cute. I gave 9 or 12 napkins to three different family members for Christmas gifts (I know 2 of said family members use them). They all appreciated that the napkins were upcycled from stuff I had around the house.

  6. I have tried-but I just can’t sew! We have been using reusable napkins for many years. I have found many cute designs and options on Etsy.com. I send my kids off to school every day with a reusable napkin in their lunch box. Sometimes the napkins make it home at the end of the day and sometimes they don’t. Thanks for the article!

  7. Glad to see people inspired to make some cloth napkins! Love the idea of repurposing old sheets or other material. Another easy way is to buy “fat quarters” from the fabric store. They are squares of fabric typically used for quilting but the perfect size for napkins! No cutting required!

  8. This makes me want to break out the sewing machine . . . or at least learn how to use it. 😉

  9. Thanks for the directions! Yours is the quickest and easiest site for directions. I’ve been wanting to make cloth napkins for a while now but haven’t had the time to get to it. Maybe it will be my Christmas present to myself by the time I finish it…

  10. So glad you like my little tutorial Jackie! My favorite part is picking out the fun fabrics!

Trackbacks

  1. […] one of my favorite eco-crafters, Betz White.  My book, Practically Green has a tutorial for basic cloth napkins that I shared in my blog awhile back. But these are a little fancier with rick-rack […]

  2. […] on supplies for homemade gifts like chocolate hazelnut spread, peppermint lip balm or a set of handmade cloth napkins. Homemade gifts are fun to give and extra special to […]

  3. Have a Lovely Weekend + A Few Green Things | Ethical Green StoreEthical Green Store says:

    […] mister mentioned moving to Italy – this tiny home would be perfect. – Want to make your own cloth napkins? They are super easy to make. – Now, this is my type of school – a barn! – The mister made […]

  4. […] ’em – Got a sewing machine? Handmade cloth napkins are super simple to make! Tip: buy fabric quarters (also known as “fat quarters”) at the fabric store. They are […]

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