Hello Cloth Napkins

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!

{ 23 comments… add one }
  • Maureen March 11, 2011, 8:56 pm

    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

  • Tami March 11, 2011, 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, 11:00 pm

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

  • Crystal March 12, 2011, 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, 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, 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, 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!


  • Lori@kitchenfunk March 12, 2011, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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.

  • Pat March 12, 2011, 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.


  • Judy March 13, 2011, 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, 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, 10:03 am

    So cute and chic.

  • Jen @ Domesticated Nomad March 15, 2011, 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, 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!


    stuff and nonsense

  • Sally March 15, 2011, 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, 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, 7:18 pm

    Great idea! Also love how it involves the kids!

  • Kristin February 7, 2012, 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?


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

About Me | Disclosure Policy | Copyright Policy | Privacy Policy | Contact Me