Easy cloth napkins

We have been using cloth napkins for several years now and we absolutely love them.  There is no fuss to them.  We just use them, throw them in the wash and use them again.  Repeat.  I’m not quite sure how much money we’ve saved by using cloth napkins, but I do enjoy not having to purchase paper towels.  I have no problems with paper, but when I didn’t have the resources to purchase them I needed another option.

We have slowly been making changes that help us cut back on spending.  This is definitely one change that has stuck.  One day I had a thought to make my own napkins.  It didn’t seem hard, it’s just a rectangle.

I bought some simple cotton fabric from the craft store.  Cut four rectangles size 18″x20″.  To create the side hems, I folded each side over .5″ and pressed (sides first then top and bottom).  Then, I folded the sides over another .5″ and pressed again.  I sewed around the rectangle starting at one corner and ending up at that same corner.  Project done.  The yard of fabric was $1.50 and I used maybe $.10 worth of thread.  Finished size of my napkins are 16″x18″.



These could even be done by hand.  Would take a little bit more time, but it can be done.  I remember before I started learning how to sew, I made a satin pillowcase for Curly Cutie’s bed.  All seams were sewn by hand with a needle and thread.

If you are familiar with natural hair that has a very curly/kinky texture, you know that this type of hair can tangle and break very easily.  I was determined to do my best to protect CC’s delicate, growing strands by making sure she could put her head on something that would not snag them.  There was no way I could keep a scarf on her head during the night, so this was the next best option.

satin pillowcase

I guess I shared that because some people can be intimidated by the thought of sewing like I was in the very beginning.

Back to the napkins.  Here is how I used them in a simple tablescape for a nice dinner.




Aren’t they so fun?

Side note:  We still have that bottle of grape juice.  Could not bring ourselves to open it during the meal.  It was made locally and will not be sold anymore.  I have no clue why we are still holding on.

This past Valentine’s day I wanted to dress up the table a little, but realized I didn’t have any coordinating napkins.  I used my handy dandy serger to whip some up in about 10-15 min.  Seriously.  I even used some fabric a friend had given me from one of her curtain projects.


Yep, Curly Cutie made name tags.



And yes, this is our drumming baby boy.  We decided to give him a place setting too and come away from the highchair.  That lasted about 10 min.  Lol.  He went right back.  Good thought, nice gesture on our part though.

And there it is my friends.  Easy cloth napkins.


20 thoughts on “Easy cloth napkins

  1. Well done! And my experience has been that the home-made ones are more square than the shop-bought ones. When I have bought cloth napkins (and tablecloths) , I have sometimes been disappointed to find that they are an odd parallelogram or trapezium shape.
    Next step: placemats?

    1. Thanks so much Carla! Ooh, I would love to make placemats. I have an idea swirling around in my head that I would like to make soon. But you know how it is with our long list of things to make. They are all so wonderful, sometimes it’s hard to choose what to do next. Unless, of course, there’s a deadline. I try to avoid those at all costs. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. My mom only brought out the linen napkins for special occasions. But a few years ago, I started to make fun cloth napkins to go with my dinner parties. It just makes things feel a bit more upscale. I never really thought about using these on a regular basis, but I think you’re on to something good! I love your tablescape, how fun are those plates!!?!! The plate design with the houndstooth napkin is so modern. Can I come over for dinner? 🙂

    1. Ha! We love dinner guests. It’s so funny, people will come over and eat and not want to use the napkins because they feel like they’re doing something wrong. If anyone doesn’t mind laundry it’s my husband. Yes, those plates are fun. I was a little hesitant at first to mix the patterns, but jumped right on in. I’m glad I did. Have a good day Beth.

  3. I’m in love with that houndstooth fabric! I really new to make some cloth napkins for myself. When I was about 10 my Grandma taught me how to use her serger and ha me make napkins. What fun it was! I think my Mom still has some of them, although I think they’re used for hankies now. (sadness!) I made her another set for a party last year, but have yet to make my own. Maybe soon. What kind of fabric did you use? Is there a particular kid you prefer for napkins?

    1. Hey there Tiffany! I used a calico cotton fabric. Very basic, not top of the line or anything. I am no fabric connoisseur, but I do prefer some type of cotton for my napkins. They are easy to use and clean. That houndstooth fabric is so fun! Have you seen those houndstooth quilts? So cute. So cool that your grandma taught you how to use a serger. I think you should definitely make some napkins for yourself. Thanks again for stopping by.

  4. Tamika, I love your cheerful table settings enhanced by your customized cloth napkins! Cutting back on paper products has been a budget saver at our house, too. You picked a slippery first project, sewing satin by hand — a testimony to your patience! But there’s something satisfying about sewing with a needle and thread, isn’t there? 🙂

    1. There is definitely something about sewing with a needle and thread. Rewarding. I liked the table setting too Kim. Those plates are not something I would have been drawn to a few years back, because I was so plain. They are so fun and look great with the napkins. Are you still in your six weeks of writing, or is that period over?

      1. Just under 3 weeks to go, Tamika! But I’ve felt compelled to post (and comment as I can) in the meantime. You know how it is, being a creative person… 🙂

  5. I woke up this morning thinking, “maybe I should start making my own cloth napkins.” then here it is, the sign. I will for sure reference back here when I start that project.

  6. So pretty! We have been using cloth for a few years too, but I haven’t tried making my own. Might have to think about it for my next project. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Carrie! You should definitely give it a go. They are so fun and can be made for a fraction of the cost. I stopped by your blog, now you have me reading up on the paleo diet. I am so in need of a lifestyle change. Sugar is messing me up……has been for years.

  7. Tamika, God has truly blessed you with so many gifts and talents. I absolutely love CC Conversations and have shared them with my co-workers. Continue to be all that God has for you to be.

    With Love, Ayesha’s Mom

    1. Hi Mom!!! Thank you so much for your sweet words. I’m glad you are enjoying these conversations. You know all about this as you have raised a family of hilarious people yourself. And have done a fine job I might add. Lol! Ayesha had to tell me who I was looking at in a picture she showed me. I thought it was some teenager sitting on the floor. Oh no, it was you! You still have it mom! Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Ha ha my daughter went around and put masking tape name tags on all of our chairs at the table! I guess kids like things to be routine, the same every night and this helps them feel secure? That’s my guess anyhow. We also use cloth napkins 🙂

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