Thursday, May 7, 2009

Let's Make Our Own Napkins!

Last week when I showed you my attempts to organize one of the linen closets, someone asked about making your own napkins. I thought it would be a great idea to show you how.

Here's one of my store bought dinner napkins. They are usually 19 or 20 inches square.

First you need to decide whether you want the napkins to look the same on both sides. Here's an example of two different kinds of fabric. You can see that the one on the left is a yarn dyed and woven fabric. The example on right right is a fabric where the design is printed.

I'm going to use the one on the left. Cut your fabric 20 inches square. I have this cutting mat, ruler and rolling cutter (very sharp, not for use where children are present).

If you don't have these tools, don't worry. Cut one dimension to 20 inches. You can use a ruler and a pen to get it straight. Fold over the one edge to make a triangle and cut along the line, making a perfect square.

Now we're going to get out our iron. Fold down the corners and press.

This will cut down on the bulkiness in the corners. Now fold the sides down 1/8-1/4 inch and press. You don't need to be exact.

Fold each side one more time and press. The raw edge will now be hidden. The corner will look like this,

I pin to keep everything from unfolding.

If you notice I'm going to stitch with the folded side up, that way I can be sure to catch the edge. Also, I start stitching a short distance from the corner.

Stitch all the way around and you're done! Did you notice my machine? Her name is Beverly.

This machine could be run over by a truck and still sew! She only does a straight stitch though and sometimes I'm wanting to finish something off with a decorative stitch. You can run a decorative stitch around your napkin or embellish it with other things like ric-rac or buttons.

Here's the finished product, folded and placed in a wine glass.

Next week I'll show you how to do some napkin folds. Have fun with this. You can do some great table setting with napkins you've created yourself.


Vee said...

Thanks for showing us the difference between the two fabrics...I had no idea. Now I'll know what to look for and, at the cost of these napkins, it gets very expensive very fast.

Say howdy to Beverly for me. She's such a hard-working gal and yet so well put together.

Have a great day!

Oh, forgot to say, that I used your idea for folding napkins on Easter...the accordion fold tucked into the glasses. (No, that's not the real name...Fleur-de-lis...just looked it up on your blog search...easy and festive!

Vee said...



Anonymous said...

I don't see the ric-rac on the napkin in the glass.. is it just turned backwards?

The Blue Ridge Gal
(Love the look of the white ones folded)

Suzanne said...

Vee - I've got some different napkin tricks for next week. Beverly is my best friend.

Di, I was just showing was was possible, laying the ric rac down for demonstration purposes. I didn't have enough on hand to actually go around the entire napkin.

1inCollege1inDiapers said...

Very cute. And I like the dark coloring,won't show up all the ketchup we wipe from the kid's faces.


I will send my Mom to your post. She wants to make some. I adore your sewing machine. You should sell some postcards of it. It's darling.

belladella said...

Hi there! I have not stopped by in ages. Now, I must admit I NEVER use cloth napkins but they sure do look pretty. It's a good day when my family gets a folded bounty paper towel ;)

Susan said...

Yes, Suzanne. Thanks for the post. I had asked what kind of fabric you use. That looks almost linen-like and substantial. Thanks again.

LDF said...

Thank you! Very timely post ... I had dinner guests last night and as I was setting the table, realized it was going to be paper napkins (AKA "the fancy linen") cuz I no longer own 4 matching fabric napkins! I best get busy!

lifeinredshoes said...

And I'll bet they launder beautifully;)

Anonymous said...

I have not checked your blog for a couple of days and I was really feeling down. Thought you had gone on an adventure and forgot about us!! Glad you are in touch but now not only am I going to have to make my own soap and softner but I will now have to sew napkins!!! Keep up the good work I love it and a day is not complete unless I hear from the Farmers wife!!!

Queen "B"

StitchinByTheLake said...

I love to make placemats and napkins - this was a great tutorial for the napkins. I've never tired folding the corners up first but I'm sure going to do that next time. blessings, marlene