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!


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.


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


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.


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


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


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.



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.


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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