How to Make Cloth Napkins

How to Sew Cloth Napkins

By Erin Huffstetler | 09/01/2020 | No Comments

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My family made the switch from paper napkins to cloth napkins 18 years ago, and we’ve never looked back. If you’re looking to make a similar change, or simply need some cloth napkins for a special occasion, you’ve come to the right place.

Below is my tried-and-true method for sewing cloth napkins. It’s both quick and easy.

And it doesn’t call for mitering the corners of every napkin, like pretty much every other napkin tutorial on the Internet. Because fact: no one is going to care that you took the time to match your corners up in perfect 45-degree angles on the backside of your napkins. Just do your corners the way I do them, and save the miters for things that actually matter.

Ready to give napkin-making a go? Let’s do it.

Gray Cloth Napkins

The Easiest Way to Sew Cloth Napkins

These instructions make a generous 18″ x 20″ cloth napkin. If you want your napkins to be a different size, just cut your fabric two-inches longer and wider than you want your napkins to be.

What You’ll Need:

Optional (but nice to have):

This is a great opportunity to use up scrap fabric, or any fabric that you’ve been hoarding.

Be sure to read to the end of the post to see the fun use I came up with for my excess of white fabric.

What You Do:

Cut Fabric for Cloth Napkins

Determine how many napkins you want to make. Then, cut a 20″ x 22″ piece of fabric for each one.

Fold and Pin the Napkin Hems

Lay the first piece of fabric on your work surface, good side facing down. Use an air-soluble marker, or pencil, to mark 1/2-inch in on the top and bottom edge.

Fold the edges up to your marks. Then, fold the fabric over a second time to create your hem. Pin, or clip in place.

Close Up of Napkin Hem

Stitch a 1/4-inch seam along the top of both hems to secure.

Sew the Hems for the Cloth Napkin

Then, repeat the process on the other two edges of the fabric to complete your first napkin. Easy!

Pink Shibori Cloth Napkins

I had an over-abundance of white fabric in my fabric stash, so I made a bunch of white napkins, and practiced my Shibori tie-dye skills.

Tie Dyed Cloth Napkins

This would be a fun project to do with kids, and a great gift for anyone who entertains, or is working towards a no-waste lifestyle.

More No-Waste Projects to Make

Reusable Food Wrap

How to Make Reusable Food Wraps

Pot Scrubbers Made From Mesh Produce Bags

How to Turn Your Produce Bags Into Pot Scrubbers

How to Make a Jean Pocket Potholder

How to Make Jean Pocket Potholders

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