Hello Cloth Napkins

by leanneja on March 11, 2011 · 24 comments

in Sewing

Goodbye paper towels and napkins! Well, not totally, but we’ve cut our paper towel usage down by about 80% and I rarely buy paper napkins anyway. I decided we were just being too wasteful. Do you remember last Summer when we stopped using paper plates and plastic cups, except for a few special occasions? It took hubby a while to get on board, but he’s doing great now. I do know he sneaks a few paper plates from storage every so often if I’m away during dinner time, but he’s trying.

Anyway, I decided we needed to use cloth napkins with our meals. They didn’t need to be very big, since we usually used paper towels anyway. These flour sack dish towels from Dollar Tree would work perfect.

First, I washed them. I folded a towel in half and cut on the fold, then I folded the 2 pieces in half again and made another cut.

I ended up with 4 pieces out of each dish towel. They measure about 2″ bigger than a paper towel.

Two of the edges were already finished on each napkin, so I folded and ironed the other 2 edges.

Then used a zig-zag stitch to finish it off.

We have a total of 28 napkins now. I already had this cute little basket to put them in. It sits on the cabinet next to the table (perfect for the kids to help set the dinner table).

Have a Wonderfully Awesome Weekend!

I’m linking to these awesome blogs:
Saturday Nite Special at Funky Junk Interiors
DIY Project Parade at The DIY Showoff
Tutorial Tuesday at Hope Studios
Tutorials and Tips Tuesday at The Stories of A2Z
Tuesdays Treasures at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Strut Your Stuff at Somewhat Simple
Hookin Up With HOH at The House of Hepworths
Everything But the Kitchen Sink at A Little Knick Knack
Sunday Showcase Party at Under the Table and Dreaming

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristina @ A Home Made by Kiki March 11, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Love this! I am trying to put together some cloth napkins for us to use too. Thanks for sharing yours!

Maureen March 11, 2011 at 8:56 pm

Hello,
Love your blog, the cloth napkins are a great idea! Thanks!…I am now following you, Please stop by and say hi and follow me too…Areyouamom.com
Thanks,
Maureen

Tami March 11, 2011 at 9:14 pm

So funny you posted this today! I was thinking about making napkins to cut down on paper towels just today. The floursack towels are a great idea and never would have thought of finding them at the Dollar Tree. Thanks for sharing! Tami

Lisa March 11, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Very smart idea! I really like all the white instead of colors.

Crystal March 12, 2011 at 12:39 am

I have seen a few people make cloth napkins for their families, and each time I tell myself that I should do the same. But I like your idea of getting the cheap towels to use! I will definitely use that idea. :)

dawn March 12, 2011 at 5:33 am

Great idea, and a nice way to cut down of paper product costs. Thanks for showing us.
Have a Great Day :)

April March 12, 2011 at 6:13 am

Thank you for sharing. I love the idea & love the basket. Another reason to go to my favorite store ~the Dollar Tree

Becca March 12, 2011 at 7:46 am

Good for you! We made the switch last year sometime. It’s been great. I can’t give up papertowels, but we only have cloth napkins now.

Sorry I haven’t been joining your linky parties as much. Teaching has been a little nuts this year and I’m having a tough time keeping my head above water. Summer is coming, though!

Becca

Lori@kitchenfunk March 12, 2011 at 9:38 am

Hi, These are great – we rarely buy paper towels & napkins ourselves because I made lots and lots of kitchen towels, but I do buy paper napkins and intermix them with use of the cloth ones. Another nice thing about this is that you can make the colors match your seasonal decorating!

kelly@imperfecthomemaking March 12, 2011 at 9:48 am

These are lovely! We us cloth serviettes as well. I just have a bunch of mis-matched ones picked up on sale. I keep them in a drawer and my kids love to set the table with them. I love the idea of using dish towels! so clever!

Carolyn March 12, 2011 at 11:13 am

I have been on the lookout for an easy and thrifty way to do cloth napkins! Thank you so much for sharing! I just had to share! :) http://www.apurposedrivenhome.com/?p=514

Elizabeth@BlueClearSky March 12, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Great idea! I may have to borrow this idea for our casual entertaining. We have practically eliminated paper products from our big extended family bbq’s and get togethers. I bought two 12 packs of caterers white dinner plates on sale. It is way cheaper to throw them in the dishwasher than to use paper plates -and sturdier too. We use cutlery from assorted sets we have left over and have collected. That way if a piece of cutlery gets thrown out accidently, or left in the yard, I’m not missing a piece from my good set.

Amy March 12, 2011 at 7:09 pm

look at you sewing fabric and using a zigzag stitch! Next thing you know you’ll be sewing prom dresses! ;)
Well done! I need to make some of these for my messy brood.
xoxo,
Amy

Pat March 12, 2011 at 10:56 pm

great idea! especially good to teach the kiddos!
I always just buy mine at yard sales and junk… same savings, I suppose… and I don’t have to sew them. I started using cloth when my kids were little and it helped a lot. Especially on one income.

blessings!
Pat

Judy March 13, 2011 at 6:49 pm

I will be jumping on board with this idea. Thought I would do a little stamping on them to jazz them up.

Jill @ Our Seven Dwarfs March 13, 2011 at 7:14 pm

This is a fantastic idea! I am going to go pick up some flour sacks tomorrow! No more paper napkins for me. Thanks!

Jill of oursevendwarfs.com

Simone March 15, 2011 at 10:03 am

So cute and chic.

Jen @ Domesticated Nomad March 15, 2011 at 10:08 am

We’ve used hand towels for years because they are cheaper than the the cloth napkins at the store, but the towels are a little big. I never once thought to cut them down. Duh! Thanks for the tip.

alison March 15, 2011 at 12:07 pm

what a nifty idea…love cloth napkins…when i visited family in ireland years ago, they would use the same cloth napkin for all three meals in a day…each person would get a different napkin ring to keep track…back then i thought it was gross, but now i realized they were on to something pretty smart…thanks for sharing!

blessings,

alison
stuff and nonsense

Sally March 15, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Great idea! I quit using paper napkins a couple of years ago. I have some cloth napkins of different colors I got here and there for cheap, cheap. Now I’m using a package of the cheap washcloths you can get at Kohl’s or wherever. I got mine for 3.99 for 10 at TJMaxx. I mostly use old dish towels instead of paper towels.

Meg March 19, 2011 at 5:56 pm

That’s a great idea! I’m still trying to get through a huge paper napkin package I bought 5 years ago! Yeah, we don’t use napkins much. We should, though! I love these, they are totally better for everyday use than those fancy-need-to-iron napkins I have. Love it.

Stitchfork March 20, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Great idea! Also love how it involves the kids!
Cathy

Kristin February 7, 2012 at 9:17 am

Great idea! I just bought a pack, and I’m going to wash and cut, but I don’t have a sewing machine. I was wondering if you have to stitch them? Will the ends fray if you don’t?

thanks!

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