DIY Cloth Napkins

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Every person can use cloth napkins and save money 

Cloth Napkins, an alternative to paper

First let me confess, I’ve never really been a fan of paper napkins, even as a kid I preferred to use cloth. My mother had a drawer full of cloth napkins growing up, that where only used for company or special occasions. The rest of the time, we got paper. 🙁 She would claim that it was too much work to use cloth all the time. After all, you had to wash and iron them. Mom’s a big fan of ironing. So paper was a regular in our household growing up. 

Since moving out on my own, I can honestly say that I’ve never purchased paper napkins for myself. I’ve had people give me some, but I’ve always just given them to my mother. She still to this day loves her paper napkins. I however have used anything other than paper in my house. Nothing is off-limits. Tea towels being my preferred item (with pants and shirts being a close second, I know, I’m really mature). So I finally decided to take the plunge and make myself some napkins. I didn’t need anything fancy, I am after all just wiping my hands and face with it, so the thought of spending $15 + for a set of napkins for me was outrageous (OK so maybe I’m a little cheep, but still), especially when I knew I could make them for way less. Best part was that I knew I had some old, perfectly good, bed sheets in a drawer that I could use for the project. 

My Rationale 

  • Budget Friendly
  • Environmentally Friendly 
  • Cost Effective
  • Reusable
  • Nicer than paper
  • Fewer trips to the curbside
  • Wouldn’t cost me anything to make

Making these napkins was super easy, and because I store them in the kitchen, they’re even easier to use. Best part, they look 100 times better than a tea towel, and somehow, they even ended up looking kind of cute. I use an average of one napkin a day (I know gasp, I use the same napkin for every meal in a day, oh the horror. Don’t tell my mom, she would be mortified) and place it in the hamper at the end of every night. I was them with everything else, hang to dry, and fold and put away (my poor mother, we really should feel sorry for her, I don’t even iron my napkins like a good lady should, sorry mom). 

How I did it 

For this project, I used some old sheets that I had on hand and some bulk thread that I had inherited from my mother.

Total cost: zero dollars

  1. Cut the sheets to your desired size, I chose 16 x 16 but you can go bigger or smaller  Napkins - Cutting
  2. Iron your pieces, pressing the edges down
  3. Using a stitch that you like, sew along the edges.  Napkins - Surging
  4. Fold napkins, and use. 

Looking around your home, what could you use to make some cloth napkins? And would you iron them after every wash like my mom, or would you be like me and just fold and put away? 

Cloth Napkins - The Questionable Homesteader

I’ll be sharing at these awesome parties. Check out my party page to share the love. 

Thanks for stopping by


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6 thoughts on “DIY Cloth Napkins

  1. i love cloth napkins myself. I hate to waste the paper. We use scraps of old clothing as cleaning rags too. I have gotten around to making some of them pretty, but I need to do some more now.

    • They’re great aren’t they, and there really are so many alternatives out there that there really isn’t much reason anymore to waste paper.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Love cloth napkins. My son uses them every night at dinner and I handed him a paper napkin from some take out bag that I got and he asked if he could have a regular napkin. Sure, let me get you that cloth napkin!! I laughed!! We have some that I got as gifts that are my favorites. I just went and bought some that were on clearance for less than a $1 to get the total order up for my mother in law so she ended up buying those for me. I need to make my own but I need to get the sewing machine up and running. My mom swears that it works but I haven’t been able to ever get it to catch a stitch. I know that cloth napkins will be the first project on my list!! New to your blog and I am going to start following 🙂
    Alison at NOVA Frugal Family recently posted…Thrifty Thursday: What Did I Make This Week?My Profile

    • Thank you Alison, I love the fact that your son prefers cloth over paper. I find for myself, that having someone service my sewing machine once a year really helps. When I don’t, it stops catching.

  3. I’m a cloth-napkin girl too, though I have never made any. I love to find old napkins at yard sales or in thrift shops. Some still have the tags on, as I think a lot of people are like your mother!

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