Cloth Napkin Tutorial

A while ago I guest posted at A Joyful Owl and shared this easy sewing project.  I thought I’d repost it for you today… just incase you need something else to do this weekend!

Christmas is coming!!  This year we are hosting Christmas dinner at our home with my mom, my sister, brother-in-law, and my nieces Charlotte and Sophie.  If you’re like me, you’d like things to look at least a little bit special for the special meal, but can’t spend a lot of money on new dishes or a fancy tablecloth… we’re not fancy-shmancy at our house anyway.  There is a simple little thing that you can do to bring a little bit of personality to your holiday table.  It’s inexpensive and doesn’t take a lot of time… cloth napkins!  Besides being good for the environment because they are not disposable, cloth napkins are a great way to bring color and design to your table.  Today I’ll walk you, step by step, through this little project.  Let’s get started!

What you’ll need:

1/2 yard of fabric for two napkins.
coordinating thread
a sewing machine
an iron 
scissors or a rotary cutting tool and mat (these quilting tools are great for achieving straight lines)

1. Cut a square from your fabric that is 20″x20″.

2. Fold all four sides 1/4″ toward the wrong side of the fabric and press, starting with the top and bottom, then the sides.

3. Repeat this again… and pin.

4. Edge stitch around your napkin, sewing close to the inside fold.  Back stitch at the beginning.

5. When you get to a corner, sew close to the end, then back stitch a few stitches.  Stop with your needle down and pivot at the corner.  Simply lift your presser foot (making sure that the needle is down in the fabric), turn your fabric, and lower the presser foot.  Continue to sew and repeat this step at each corner.

Needle is down.

Lift the presser foot and turn the fabric.
Don’t forget to put the presser foot back down!

6. When you get back to where you started back stitch to finish.  That’s it!!

Fancy Napkin Fold

When I waited tables I learned how to fold napkins the fancy way.  You can use a pretty fold to pretty things up at your table too!  Here’s how…

1. Start by folding your napkin in half, corner to corner.  Fold the bottom corners up to meet the top corner.

It will look like this.
2. Flip the napkin over and fold the top corner down to meet the bottom corner.

It will look like this…

3. Now just pull the napkin up, letting it fold in half, and prop it up on it’s “legs”.


I hope you have fun making these!  You’ll impress everyone with your cloth napkins, and incidentally, they make great Christmas gifts too!  


  1. thais. says:

    they are adorable! congrats :)
    a merry happy weekend to you!!


  1. [...] to paper, they add a nice touch to your party! Don’t have any cloth napkins? Check  out this easy tutorial on how to make your [...]

  2. […] Southern Institute for Domestic Arts and Crafts : a blog which explores homemaking in a humorous and creative way. Her tutorial for cloth napkins is what really prompted the link. […]

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