DIY Cotton Napkins: 2 Easy Ways to Sew Them Quickly! (2023)

Freshen up your home with super easy DIY cloth napkins. These simple napkins are easy to wash, quick to sew, and best of all, they'll make your dinner table adorable! Check out how to make napkins - 2 easy ways!

DIY Cotton Napkins: 2 Easy Ways to Sew Them Quickly! (1)

Handmade cloth napkins are one of the easiest ways to add color and class to your table! Check out two ways to sew these reusable napkins - so quick and easy, you can make them while you sleep!

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Do it yourself instructions for cloth napkins

Napkins are an easy way to turn an everyday table into something special. Place a beautiful DIY cloth napkin on your table and feel the mood difference.

DIY Cotton Napkins: 2 Easy Ways to Sew Them Quickly! (3)

These napkins were sewn with the latesthe has the beaKatherine Lenius Collection for Riley Blake Designs. These beautiful antique cups! Wouldn't they look adorable under a real cup of tea! I think we could start an afternoon tea tradition and I'm debating which one is my favourite.table runner templateto sew a matching DIY table runner.

(Video) How to SEW Napkins EASY | No Miters, Simple Hems

UPDATE: I did thisdo it yourself table runner🇧🇷 I love it and it's so clever that it's reversible!

What fabric can I make cloth napkins with?

My napkins are made of quilted cotton. If you only want to do one layer, you can also opt for slightly thicker fabrics. Off the top of my head, damask adds a luxurious feel to your dining table. Linen, another beautiful way to make unique DIY napkins. Feel free to experiment.

What is the best cloth napkin size?

So what is a good size for a cloth napkin? Handmade cloth napkins are usually simple squares and come in a variety of standard sizes: 16", 18", 20" or even 22" squares are the most popular.

And while you can make them as small as a 12" mini napkin, they look more premium in the standard napkin size, which is about 18" when finished. Elegant and formal napkin size? You can make them the size of 24" or even larger, but that's where my comfort zone ends as they would be bigger than my tea towels. Completely your choice!

To make use of my beautiful fat rooms, I resized it to finish at 17 inches, which turned out to be ideal for our family dinners! You can also pull out your beautiful fat quarters and then mix and match!

DIY Cotton Napkins: 2 Easy Ways to Sew Them Quickly! (4)

how to make simple cloth napkins

What works best for quick and easy homemade one-ply napkins is to make adouble folded hem- is easy! And on top of that, I also show you how to get cute corners without the bulk. It's called chamfering the corners. Are you ready? Let's begin!

Easy-to-make cloth napkins with mitered corners


To sew miter-cut fabric napkins:

Step 1 - Gather your supplies

You will need: a thick quarter of fabric per napkin, suitable thread, sewing machine, iron, scissors. GOOD TO HAVE:rotary cutter, quilting ruler, self-healing cutting mat (I have 5 of these,all this smell)

I cut my piece of fabric to form an 18 inch square.

DIY Cotton Napkins: 2 Easy Ways to Sew Them Quickly! (5)

Step 2: Fold corners 1 ½" and cut LESS

Do you love abbreviations? So let's cut corners here. literally 🙂

When making miter corners, you usually have to fold all sides twice, press and then unfold, then mark and cut and then fold again and press again. Much? Let's make it easy and fast! All I ask is that you do two things:

(Video) 9 Minute Cloth Napkins Tutorial

1-bend and pressall corners upside down1 ½":

DIY Cotton Napkins: 2 Easy Ways to Sew Them Quickly! (6)

2 - Socuta small1 inch triangleof this folded part. East:

DIY Cotton Napkins: 2 Easy Ways to Sew Them Quickly! (7)

This will give you a small tuck (a little over ¼ inch) - no measuring, just leave a little bit of fabric tucked in.

Repeat the remaining 3 chants:

DIY Cotton Napkins: 2 Easy Ways to Sew Them Quickly! (8)

Step 3 - Double Folded Edges

Do you know thedouble folded hem🇧🇷 The most useful sheath when it comes to sewing! It simply means you fold the edge twice and sew it. No frayed edges, good straight stitching - perfect and beginner friendly!

So this is what we're going to do here:Fold back and press ⅜" (1 cm)from the edge of the DIY napkin once, then ⅜" again. I marked the folds with my fabric marker to show you how, but you don't have to mark anything. Repeat on all 4 edges.

DIY Cotton Napkins: 2 Easy Ways to Sew Them Quickly! (9)

Once you've pressed the folds, you can (but don't have to) pin or trim the corners of your handmade cloth napkins. You don't need to press yourself well.

Step 4 - Sew Around DIY Cloth Napkin

DIY Cotton Napkins: 2 Easy Ways to Sew Them Quickly! (10)

Using a long stitch (I used length 4), sew to the back of the napkin. This means that the bobbin thread ends at the top. Use a bobbin thread of the same color!

BONUS TIP: Whenever you reach the corner, stop and turn the needle back down, making sure to catch the folded edge. Here's a close up, I took a picture with the presser foot up so you can see it better:

DIY Cotton Napkins: 2 Easy Ways to Sew Them Quickly! (11)

Finish! Now let's also see another way to sew DIY napkins.

How to make double sided cloth napkins

Want to sew reversible cloth napkins? Simple: use two coats. Even better, when you make double-sided napkins, you don't have to cut the corners to make them look nice. Just sew the two layers together for a neat finish. Let me show you how:

(Video) Fast Cloth Napkins Sewing for Beginners (no hemming or mitered corners!)

How to sew DIY reversible cloth napkins

Personally, I think these are even easier to sew than the single-ply ones! Also, they will better contain any spills. But I'll leave it up to you to decide which one you prefer to go with. Let me show you how to sew two-ply napkins.

How to sew reversible napkins - steps

Step 1 - Gather your supplies

You need twice as much fabric: two thick quarters of fabric per napkin, matching thread, sewing machine, iron, scissors.

Step 2 - Cut out 2 squares

Cut two 18-inch squares from your fat quarter. To make it quicker, I simply lay the fat quarters right sides together and cut through both layers. Easy death!


DIY Cotton Napkins: 2 Easy Ways to Sew Them Quickly! (12)

You've already placed the two right side pieces together, now simply pin or pin and sew with a ⅜″ (1cm) seam allowance. Be sure to leave a 10 cm gap on one side to flip.


DIY Cotton Napkins: 2 Easy Ways to Sew Them Quickly! (13)

cut edgesfor a neat and tidy finish.


DIY Cotton Napkins: 2 Easy Ways to Sew Them Quickly! (14)

Turn right side out, pin corners and press firmly. Turn the cut edges into the swivel hole and press down as well.

STEP 6 - HIGHLIGHT around the reversible cloth napkin

DIY Cotton Napkins: 2 Easy Ways to Sew Them Quickly! (15)

Sew around the entire cloth napkin with a seam allowance of up to 0.7 cm; this also closes the space for folding.

Oh, and your top seam will look nicer if you use a longer than normal stitch length. I usually use a 4mm stitch length and it always looks great! (6 to 7 dots per inch.)

Alternative ways to make cloth napkins.

Easy keyword, some make seamless cloth napkins, just with perforating scissors. If you want reusable cloth napkins I would advise against it as the cloth frays very easily. Which basically ruins the "reusable" feature. It is usagainI want to use them for a long time!

Another better (still emergency) solution is to sew them quickly with an overlock machine, which may work better but is not ideal. You can sew them by hand, and those homemade cloth napkins can look great, but it's not a quick way to sew them, so I'll save that for another time.


DIY reusable cloth napkins help reduce consumption of paper products. They also make great bread basket liners, you can use them to line cookie bowls and think how cute they would look on a picnic!

(Video) Cute DIY Cloth Napkins - HGTV Handmade

Hope you enjoyed these two ways to make homemade cloth napkins.

DIY Cotton Napkins: 2 Easy Ways to Sew Them Quickly! (16)

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DIY Cotton Napkins: 2 Easy Ways to Sew Them Quickly! (17)


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How do you make cotton cloth napkins? ›

  1. Cut the Fabric. Decide what size you want your napkins to be. ...
  2. Press the Hem. Fold and press the first edge of the fabric to the wrong side with a 1/2-inch hem. ...
  3. Create the Hems. Press the hem on all four sides. ...
  4. Sew Around the Napkin. ...
  5. Enjoy Your Napkins.
31 Dec 2020

What is the simplest and easiest folding napkin? ›

Linen and cotton napkins are the easiest to fold.

Does quilting cotton make good napkins? ›

If you want a printed fabric, quilting cottons and gingham checks are great for napkins. Natural fibers like cotton and linen are generally more absorbent than polyester but polyester is more resistant to wrinkles.

Can you sew napkins? ›

Although store bought napkins are inexpensive and readily available, sewing your own is often the only way to get exactly the color you're looking for - AND it's super easy to do!

Can you make napkins out of fat quarters? ›

Sewing your own cloth napkins is a fun, inexpensive way to set the table. Plus it's eco-friendly — think about all the paper napkins you're not using. Do you know what else is great? You can make each napkin with just one fat quarter of fabric.

Is it cheaper to make your own napkins? ›

I love decorating our dinner table settings with beautiful linen napkins but with so many colours to choose from, the costs of buying multiple sets of napkins can really add up! This is when DIY can come in handy because napkins are actually really easy to make at home and it's cheaper to do so as well.

What type of cotton is best for napkins? ›

Woven cotton is the classic choice for handmade DIY cloth napkins because it is durable, absorbent and provides a soft touch to the skin. You can also safely wash it with your laundry and will look great every time. Quilted cotton is the best choice if you want to make double sided napkins.

How many napkins can you get from a yard of fabric? ›

Calculate yardage required: Napkins range in size with dinner 16"-18" square and luncheon 12"-14" square. One yard of 45" fabric will yield 4 dinner or 6 luncheon napkins.

What is the difference between cotton and quilting cotton? ›

Both quilting cotton and apparel cotton are 100% cotton and often plain weaves. Quilting cotton is a sturdy medium weight fabric meant to go through lots of washes. Think of a handmade quilt that can be washed often. Quilting cotton is a very beginner friendly fabric, and it's easier to use than apparel cotton.

What is the best stitch for edging? ›

A sergered of overlock seam is the quickest and most convenient way of finishing a seam. You can either serge the edge before sewing it together, serge it as you create the seam or serge each edge after sewing the seam. Serged seams are ideal for all types of seams and fabrics. What do you do if you don't have one?

Where should the edges on a napkin face? ›

Some other things to know:

Knife blades always face the plate. The napkin goes to the left of the fork, or on the plate. The bread and butter knife is optional.

What size should fabric napkins be? ›

The normal and most popular napkin size is approx. 45 × 45 cm. It is suitable for high demands in everyday life and will do justice to any kind of occasion. The usually somewhat cheaper and less demanding alternative are cloth napkins measuring 40 x 40 cm and smaller.

What size are homemade napkins? ›

Usually, diy cloth napkins are simple squares, and they come in a number of standard sizes: most popular are 16", 18", 20" or even 22" square.

What is the napkin rule? ›

If you leave the table during a meal, place your napkin, loosely folded, on the seat of your chair. A napkin is never returned to the table until you're ready to leave; it stays on your lap, even after the meal is finished.

What are the types of napkin? ›

Disposable napkins usually come in 1-ply, 2-ply, or 3-ply, and the higher the ply-count, the more absorbent and high-quality they are. While 1-ply paper napkins might be more affordable, you will miss out on the soft, absorbent qualities of 2-ply or 3-ply napkins.

How do you make Easter egg napkins? ›

  1. Step 1: Paint the wooden eggs. ...
  2. Step 2: Separate plies of napkin. ...
  3. Step 3: Cut napkins into small shapes to apply to egg. ...
  4. Step 4: Apply Mod Podge and press napkin onto egg. ...
  5. Step 5: Continue to trim and layer more napkin pieces. ...
  6. Step 6: Seal the decoupage Easter eggs with Mod Podge.
21 Jan 2022

Can you use Mod Podge on napkins? ›

Always use a wet brush.

After you've applied Mod Podge to your surface and have placed the napkin over it, use a brush that is wet with Mod Podge to smooth your napkin into place. If you use your fingers or a dry brush, the napkin could wrinkle or tear!

Do napkins go under fork or knife? ›

For a formal table: Place napkins to the left of the forks if there's room on the table; otherwise, you can place them under the forks, or position them on the charger or placemat. For an informal table: Place them under the forks, or in the middle of the place setting.

Can you emboss a napkin? ›

Just use a monogram embosser with your initials to make an elegant raised impression on inexpensive colored paper napkins that can be found at any party store. No need to pay for personalized napkins to set out at the bar and at the cocktail hour when it's so easy to make your own elegant version.

What is the best fabric for cloth napkins? ›

Note: It's best to use 100% cotton or linen as they will be most absorbent, but a blend with at least 80% natural fiber will work too and will require less ironing. Before doing anything else, wash and dry your chosen fabric on the settings you would normally use for linens.

Is it cheaper to make or buy cloth napkins? ›

They're cheaper.

If we assume an average paper napkin cost of $0.03 per napkin and an average cloth napkin rental of $0.08, this means investing in cloth napkins that can be laundered and used again and again will save you money.

How many yards of fabric do I need to make cloth napkins? ›

Calculate yardage required: Napkins range in size with dinner 16"-18" square and luncheon 12"-14" square. One yard of 45" fabric will yield 4 dinner or 6 luncheon napkins.

Is cotton or linen better for napkins? ›

When it comes to napkins, both cotton and linen have their pros and cons. Cotton is more absorbent than linen, making it ideal for mopping up spills. Linen, on the other hand, is more durable and less likely to stain. Linen is a natural fiber that is both hypoallergenic and antibacterial.

What size is a cotton napkin? ›

So, what's a good size for a cloth napkin? Usually, diy cloth napkins are simple squares, and they come in a number of standard sizes: most popular are 16", 18", 20" or even 22" square.

How do you wash cotton napkins? ›

I just throw about a quarter-cup of detergent in a stainless mixing bowl with hot water and let the napkins soak for a bit, then use a soft toothbrush on the stain before laundering. If it's a stained tablecloth, mix a little dishwashing detergent with water and put it directly on the stain first, then launder.

How Big Should homemade napkins be? ›

You'll need about 16.5-inches square for each napkin. Most lighter-weight fabrics like cotton are 44- or 45-inches wide, which would only accommodate two rows of napkins.

Should you wash cloth napkins before using them? ›

A: Washable fabrics are usually best washed before use, to remove any chemical residued used in the fabric's manufacture.

What size should a napkin be? ›

An informal dinner napkin, the kind you'd have at your home as a sort of “everyday” napkin is typically 18 to 20 inches square.

What is a good size for napkins? ›

Here are the approximate standard napkin sizes, in inches:

Formal: 22-26 inches square. Dinner: 18-20 inches square. Lunch: 14 inches square. Tea or Kids: 12 inches square.

What size are most cloth napkins? ›

Although their sizes may vary, depending on their use, all cloth napkins are square. The most common sizes for table napkins are 12 inches by 12 inches, 14 inches by 14 inches, 18 inches by 18 inches, and 22 inches by 22 inches.

How long do cotton napkins last? ›

I would estimate that most of my daily-use cloth napkins last about 5-7 years. Some hold up longer than others. But the great thing about cloth napkins is once they are too stained or dingey for everyday use, they can still be put to good use.

Which lasts longer cotton or linen? ›

Linen is much more rigid but lasts longer because the cellulose fibers in linen yarn are slightly longer and wrapped tighter than those in cotton yarn, which increases its strength and longevity.

Which is stronger linen or cotton? ›

Linen fabrics are heavier than their cotton counterparts, and they are approximately 30% stronger. They often feel more crisp initially, though through time and use, linen fabrics become soft and supple to the touch. Linen boasts longevity, luster, and lovely drape.


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