how to sew your very own cloth napkins

This tutorial is brought to you by Citlalli from Sew Beastly

How To Sew Your Very Own Cloth Napkins

Have you ever thought about how many paper towels you might go through in a week, a year?   How about all the money you might be (literally) throwing in the trash?  
Paper towels have become a part of our everyday life, and using them as napkins is probably one of the most common uses.  

Can you imagine how many paper towels and paper napkins we could keep out of landfills by switching to cloth napkins?  Not to mention the money saved!  

Cloth napkins are usually thought of as either costing too much, or being just too difficult to keep up with.  Truth of the matter is, they are not!

We started using cloth napkins instead of paper, and we couldn’t be happier.  Not only are we keeping paper out of landfills, but we are saving some money.  Keeping up with them has been a breeze, and the following tutorial will have you whipping some up!

Materials needed:

→ Sewing Machine
→ Fabric pencil/chalk
→ Fabric
→ Ruler
→ Scissors
→ Thread
→ Iron

Step 1.

Start by cutting your fabric into squares.  I made mine into 18 inch squares.  One yard of fabric should be enough to make a set of four napkins.  Bonus points if you reuse some old-sheets!

Step 2.
Grab your ruler, measure one inch from the corner and make a mark.

Now make a mark at the half inch mark as shown below.

This is what your markings should look like when you are done.  Do this on all four corners.

Step 3.
Fold your corners in half and stitch from the half inch mark to the folded edge.  Make sure to backstitch at each end.  Repeat this step with all four corners.

Step 4.
Cut excess fabric on all corners.

Step 5.
Turn your corners over, and iron them out.

Step 6.
Now tuck in the half inch seam as shown below and iron. 

Step 7.
This is what your corners should look like after you’re done ironing them.

Step 8.
Get your sewing machine and stitch all the way around your napkin.  This is what your corners will look like when you’re done sewing.

You’re done!  Now you’re ready to use your napkins!  I love the idea of picking out some unique fabric and making your napkins unique.  I think these would make a nice housewarming gift when accompanied by some placemats, don’t you think?

Maybe you are or know of a new seamstress?  This is a great simple sewing project to fall in love with the craft!

I hope you’ve been inspired to save some paper from making it to the landfills as well as making your dining experience a bit more funky and unique!

Want to see more handmade, eco-friendly beauty from Citlalli? Stay in touch. 


  1. Thank you! Do you have a recommendation for types of fabric to use? My first thought would be simple cotton broadcloth or quilting cotton, but maybe that would stain/fade too easily?

  2. Awesome! Makes me wish that I could sew. :)

  3. I never even thought about how easy these would be to make. The corners are brilliant! I have tons of fabric I could try this with. Thanks for the tutorial!