Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Everyday Cloth Napkins

Everyday cloth napkins

We used to use a lot of paper napkins and paper towels when we ate our meals, and it seemed so wasteful to throw away so much paper that didn't even get that dirty. (I like to think we're pretty clean.) We finally decided to take the plunge and go the cloth napkin route, but we still use paper towels in the kitchen because eww no - I can't even imagine "reusable" kitchen rags let alone cloth diapering *shudder*.

We went and picked out several cute quilting cottons (100% cottons seem to be the best and cheapest for the job), and I bought 1/2 yard of each. 1/2 yard = 2 napkins. At first I tried to do a general color scheme, but I quit that real fast so now I can indulge my whimsical erratic style with whatever fabric strikes my fancy. Also, it's fun to pick out stuff from the red tag clearance section when it's an additional half off.

I'm sure there are many tutorials out there on how to do this, but I liked this one by Pretty Prudent the best. I cut my squares into 18"x18" (because 1/2 yard = 18", but of course you could always get a 22" cut and squeeze out exactly 2 napkins from 42" fabric). I then pressed ~1/4"-1/2" hem and again - just eyeballed it, no need to measure.

Mitered corners

Ahh, a beautiful mitered corner! Tip: If you're going to make several of these at a time, do it assembly line style, and do all the marking, then all the corner seams, then the final hem. It goes pretty fast this way! I've already made four more napkins since I took these pictures!

It's so much fun to have these pretty and colorful napkins at the dinner table. We like to pick out which ones "go best" with the overall feeling of the meal, is that totally weird?

And while we're being totally honest, we like to wash these after several uses, they're just not that dirty after a single use. What's the consensus on this one? (If you use cloth napkins) Do you wash them every time or are you ok with just throwing them in the laundry when the load has a little extra room? Chime in and let me know if you agree or think I'm a dirty dirty slob! :)


  1. I think this is awesome!! I recently switched to using terry cloth towels in lieu of paper towels. I'll use one cloth to wipe down the counters for 2-3 days and then chuck it in a bin designated for dirty towels, then I wash them all at once in super hot water with bleach to get out stains and bacteria. Not quite as cute as yours, but a similar concept. :)

  2. These look great! You did a superb job on the mitered corners.

    I wash my cloth napkins every...week or so? They have to get pretty grubby for me to throw them in. That, or company is coming over....

    I found it impossibly hard to cut squares for napkins. Was that hard for you too? Am I just bad at it?