Project – Reusable Cloth Napkins

I have recently realized that each time we move, I go through a cycle. When the boxes arrive at our new house, we spend about a month unpacking, organizing, and arranging things. Once the house is habitable, I quit. For about six months. Then, finally, I begin to nest and make the house mine.

That’s where I am now. We’ve been in this house since October, and I’ve finally spent enough time in it to recognize what needs to change and what needs to be finished. I have an ever-growing list of Pinterest projects I want to try. I’ll take it one day at a time and see which ones I can make work for this house.

My first project? Napkins!

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A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a photo of some mismatched cloth napkins on the interwebs. For some reason, napkins are one of those random things that I always forget to buy, but I usually have them left over from a party of some kind. Anyway, I’m not so big on the mismatched part, but cloth napkins are something I thought we could give a try.

Before we moved, I had a business making children’s clothes, so I have a gigantenormous stash of fabric that I was able to go through for material.

I began by cutting 17-inch squares of each of my chosen fabrics. You can make these smaller or larger, depending on your preference. We’re not going to be folding swans around here, so I didn’t need them too huge.

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Next, pin the edges for a double hem. You’ll need an iron for this. And lots of pins.

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On to the corners! I tried two different ways. I’ll show you both, and you can decide which you think is best.

For the first, start with both edges pressed under once.

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Next, take the corner, fold it in toward the middle of the napkin, and press it down.

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Once you’ve done that, you’ll fold each edge in toward the corner, press it, and pin them down.

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The other way to do the corners is just to continue the double hem all the way around, pressing the corners down square.

Of the two options, I prefer the first. It takes a little more time to get them ready, but the folds aren’t quite as thick. My machine got hung up on the corners on all the napkins I did using this second method.

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Once you’ve got everything pinned up, you’re ready to run a straight stitch around the edges of all your napkins.

Did you run out of pins? I almost did. I need a bigger pincushion.

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There you go. Cloth napkins – ready to wipe milk mustaches, tacos, chocolate chip cookies, or whatever messy foods your family likes to eat.

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