Home Dec, Tutorials

Cloth Table Napkins – Tutorial

These fabric table napkins are becoming very popular and make a great gift. Here’s a quick tutorial for them.

Cut your fabric the finished size of the napkin plus 1/2 inch. I think that I cut 16 1/2 inch squares for these – 2 squares for each napkin.

Note: You can easily get 4 single thickness or 2 double thickness napkins from a yard of fabric if it’s at least 36 in. wide. Most quilting weight cottons are between 40 and 42 in. wide.

I like to use 100% cotton rather than a poly blend for these; feels good and better absorption.
Consider the weight of the fabric when deciding whether to use single or double weight. Also consider whether you want double faced or single faced napkins.

For Double Thickness Napkins:

Pair 2 squares together RIGHT sides facing and sew around the edges with a 1/4 inch seam. Leave a 2 to 3 inch gap for turning. Turn to the right side – poke out the corners (a chop stick works nicely) and hand stitch the remaining opening.


At this point you have the option of top stitching around the perimeter – and doing a couple of straight stitch lines across the napkin to better hold the front and back together.

I bundled them together using a leftover scrap of the fabric.

Single Thickness Napkins:

Method 2 – if you have a fabric with enough ‘body’. (look in the home decorating section)

Cut 1 16 to 18 inch square for each napkin.

(I actually used regular cotton for the Thanksgiving napkins. They are pretty but a little flimsy feeling.)

Use a serger to do a rolled hem around all edges.

Accessories and Ornaments

Holiday Projects – Green Sewing

Our kids in Minneapolis use only cloth napkins and I sewed a set of 6 colorful patchwork napkins for them. I lined them and used a pillowcase finish.  I didn’t think the fabric had enough body to just give them a rolled hem.

Aren’t they pretty?

I love the look of beautifully wrapped gifts but it always gives me a twinge when I see those gorgeous wrappings ripped off and thrown in the garbage.  So I decided to make some reusable gift bags.  I made a few little triangular shaped pouches and several larger drawstring bags.  I expect that the bags will be put to good use – even if it’s just to pass along with a gift to someone else.  I did some with holiday themed fabric and some that weren’t.  Then they can be used year round.

I saw the pattern for this online a few months back and haven’t been able to find it again. If I do I’ll be sure to give proper attribution.
I hope that my little great niece will like this bag as much as the gift inside

I have no particular pattern for these – pretty much custom made them to size considering the gift that was to go inside.