How to Make Your Own Napkins Using Old Fabric

make your own napkins

Napkins are a quick and easy way to recycle fabric. Use the instructions to sew a set of napkins.

Cloth napkins are being recognized as the eco-friendly, less wasteful choice for our tables. And they are not hard to make from old material you may have around your house. Here are some ideas on how to make your own cloth napkins.

Start with these possible sources of old fabric to see what you may have available.

1. Old bedding such as quilts, thin blankets, or sheets

2. Tablecloths

3. T-shirts

4. Skirts and Dresses (what a great way to use that floral-print bridesmaids dress!)

5. Curtains

You can also look at consignment shops, yard sales, and antique stores for used clothing and fabrics.

Here is how to make a cloth napkin out of used fabric.

1. Decide how big you want the napkins to be, then cut squares of fabric one inch larger all around. In other words, if you want napkins that are 8 inches square, cut your fabric into 9-inch squares.

2. Make a 1/4-inch fold all the way around the square, ironing the fold flat each time.

3. For mitered corners, unfold all the edges and cut the tip off each folded corner. When you fold the edges back in, they will meet in a mitered corner.

4. If you don’t want mitered corners, just leave the folds as they are and iron them down flat.

5. Sew around the edge of the fabric square, trying to keep the stitches near the flap of the folds so that the napkin will lie smooth.

6. Wash and iron the napkins.

You can make napkins in all kinds of fun and festive designs. They don’t have to be formal. Use fabric with cartoon characters (old t-shirts or curtains maybe?) for fun children’s napkins. Use holiday colors or prints for festive napkins. The possibilities are practically endless! You can give them as gifts, too.


  1. valleycat1 says:

    Don’t you need to fold the edges 1/4″ twice instead of just once?
    (Followed today’s link from WiseBread.)

  2. NEVER in a million years would I have thought of this..and so easy!! thank you for the idea!

  3. My wife did this for me from older towels she just wanted to replace but not throw away. Now I have some in my truck for lunchtime. Easy to make and “green”

Speak Your Mind

Connect with Facebook