Crafts and Sewing, Green Products

Homemade Cloth Dinner Napkins

I’ve slowly been switching our home over to washable/reusable things for the last few years, but it’s been quite a process. There were so many disposable items in our lives!

A recent change – which I’ve been thinking about for what seems like forever – is switching from paper napkins to cloth. Yay, we’re finally doing it! The reasons I hadn’t until now are:

  • I don’t care for hemming at all! Most, if not all, cloth napkins I’ve seen are one piece of fabric with great hemming and metered corners. No thanks. :/
  • They’re not all that cheap when you buy them retail. It would take a pretty long while to make it worth it financially to buy them (though I do realize the environmental impact is worth it).
  • And, finally, I don’t actually like the feel of cloth napkins! Maybe after lots of washes they get soft and absorbent…? I don’t know, but they seem stiff and not what I want to wipe my hands or mouth with (at least not when they’re brand new).

All that to say that I decided to sew my own, with soft and affordable fabric! And I love them!! I used fat quarters (98¢ each at Walmart – and that makes four napkins!) and white jersey knit I already had. So each completed napkin set me back approximately twenty-five cents.

Considering that I want to have about 40 (50?) napkins in rotation, I’m looking at spending a little over $10 when all is said and done – not bad at all!

Here’s what I did, if you’d like to make your own:

fat quartersYou’ll Need

fat quarters (18×21 in)

jersey knit or flannel


Cut your fat quarters into four squares and discard the leftover fabric. Cut knit squares the same size and match them up with your patterned fabric. Place them with good sides facing each other.

Sew them together with a ¼ inch seam allowance, leaving a two-inch opening on one side. Trim the corners close to the thread (this helps the corners to lie flat when you turn it right side out. Also, trim any excess of fabric all the way around.

snip corners

Turn material right side out.

Sew a top stitch very close to the edge, starting at the two-inch opening.

All done!


What do you think of cloth napkins?

Have you found a brand or Etsy shop that you like, or have you made your own?

7 thoughts on “Homemade Cloth Dinner Napkins”

  1. I have made these before! Well, mine are “unpaper” towels so I’m not sure if they’re the same size as your napkins but we use them for all kinds of things. Paper towels, napkins, wash cloths, kitchen rags. Even cloth wipes(don’t worry, they get sanitized in the wash!!) mine are all made like yours because I hate hemming too! Some are just printed cotton on both sides, some are flannel on both sides and then some have a cotton side with a flannel side. I probably have about 40 plus about 30 baby wash cloths that end up in the rotation as well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s awesome! Yay for anti-hemmers! lol
      Yeah, I made some separate ones to use as generic kitchen rags a long time ago (they’re just white and white) but it just recently occurred to me that I could make cute ones to use as dinner napkins! I also made fifty or sixty cloth baby wipes the same way with some pastel colors and white, but I’ve yet to get them out because I’m not cloth diapering much yet. :P
      Have you given any thought to “family cloth” ? I’m not sure how I feel about it….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes i have thought about it! Actually I use it for myself occasionally because I like it better than toilet paper. However I only use it for peeing. The whole poop thing is still a bit much for me. I mean, I wipe baby poop with them and then wash and reuse so I don’t know why I’m stuck on that. I also made some tiny “napkins” that are maybe 3″ squares and I use them for makeup removal or like applying medicine like peroxide or witch hazel to cuts and such. I love the idea of making everything in our home reusable. But like i said, the poop thing still bothers me with family cloth! Haha and my husband is definitely not up for that right now.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m the same! I have toyed with the idea of making cloth wipes (at least for me) but just for pee. I am still close-minded about the poop thing. :/ I don’t think my kids would like the idea at all (yet) but I bet my husband would. I haven’t even started that conversation, though, because it’s almost embarrassing to talk about. :P

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Haha yes it is! I have been into cloth for years in different ways and my husband has always thought it was gross. But having baby this time, our budget is so tight it finally convinced him that cloth diapers and pads aren’t that bad and it’s worth the savings! Plus in his mind, the trash from those things is more gross than the wet bag hanging there where he can’t see anything inside. But we still don’t talk about it. He just pretends not to notice and I just make sure I am good about caring for all of it. He would probably cry if I asked him to reuse a wipe he had already used (and washed of course). 😂😂😂


  2. Oh I just thought to share this with you! Even though I hate mitered corners and hemming things, I have a YouTuber I follow who has awesome tutorials and makes it not so bad. Her channel the Crafty Gemini! Have you heard of her? Her tutorials are so great they make things so much easier!!

    Liked by 1 person

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