Cute DIY Reusable Cloth Napkins

Make Your Own Cute Reusable Cloth Napkins!

There are some great reasons for using reusable cloth napkins and if you like to sew then I think you’ll like this one, and if you’re a beginner then this easy sewing project is a perfect place to start!

Unlike disposable paper napkins, cloth napkins are washable, reusable, and available in more designs which means you can match them to your personal decor, event, or holiday!

They look & feel nicer, and they can spruce up your dining table with a little added visual interest. Paper napkins don’t offer any of that. They are simply… boooooring & wasteful.

Being washable and reusable means you’ll save money in the long run (but not that long) while helping out the environment. They might cost a little more initially but they’re still affordable, and even more so if you make them yourself.

Think of them as investments because they really are, so let’s say goodbye to paper napkins since I’m going to walk you through how to make your own 8 x 8 inch cloth napkins quickly and easily.

Supplies to Make Reusable Cloth Napkins

  • Cotton or linen fabric of your choice for the front of napkin 1 yard x 1 yard (36″ x 36″)
  • Cotton or linen fabric of your choice for the back of napkin (same size as the front)
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Something long and thin like a pen or paint brush
  • Pen or pencil
  • Sewing clips or pins
  • Iron & ironing board

The amount of fabric you’ll need really depends on how many napkins you want to make, and what size. Keep in mind that one yard of fabric is 36″ long but widths can vary from fabric to fabric. My instructions are for 8 x 8 inch napkins made from 1 yard of cotton fabric that is 36 inches wide.

Steps for Sewing Reusable Cloth Napkins

Step 1

First, wash & iron your fabric. You can tumble dry on low heat or air dry. This will reduce the amount of any warping that may occur later.

Keep in mind that if you throw them in the dryer you’ll have some shrinkage. The instructions below will still apply but the size of your fabric might be a little smaller.

Step 2

Trim the selvage so you prevent accidentally making it a part of your napkin. Selvage is the edge of your fabric that is tightly woven to prevent fabric from fraying.

Step 3

Cut your fabric into eight 9 x 9 inch pieces. You can cut them into 8.5 x 8.5 inch pieces if you’re comfortable working with smaller amounts of fabric along the edge. Do this with both fabrics.

Now lay each piece of fabric for the back on a flat surface. If there’s a design it should be facing up.

Then lay a piece of fabric for the front on top of each piece, facing down.

Step 4

Then pin or clip each end to keep them together.

fabric clipped together

Step 5

It’s now time to sew the pieces together. Use a straight stitch to sew 3 sides together about 1/4 inch in. Sew the 4th side in the same manner but leave a gap about 4 inches long.

Step 6

Trim each corner to remove a bit of bulk.

Step 7

Turn your napkins inside-out and use your pencil or paint brush with a thin handle to poke the corners into shape, then iron your napkins flat.

Fold the edge of your opening in, iron flat, and clip them. Then sew the gap closed using a simple straight stitch then continue all the way around your napkin about 1/4″ or so from the edge.

Now you have some cute washable and reusable cloth napkins that you can keep for yourself, gift to a friend or neighbor, or sell on Etsy!

While these cuties are 8 x 8 inches, a perfect size if you’re not a messy eater, you can use the same instructions to create smaller or larger cloth napkins.

If you’d rather use your cloth napkins for other things you can fold them into quarters and set your glass on it, use them for simple clean ups, set a small dish on top of it, or cover a small dish of pastries or bread. You could also fold them into a triangle and hold your sandwich or burrito in them. You can really get creative with ideas!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tutorial & if you want to make a matching tea towel to go with your new cloth napkins hop on over to my diy tea towel post!

❤️ Happy sewing!

Updated 4/29/2022

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diy cloth napkins with red birds and flowers on a light blue backgound.