A Tutorial:

Making your own napkins can be economical, fun and easy. Choosing fabric that coordinates with your table brings added detail and style.

You do not need to know how to sew either! In this tutorial I have both a sew and no sew method. Both are easy!

Material, enough for the size and amount of napkins you want to make- it must be washable fabric
Heat and Bond Tape- for no sew napkins
Matching thread- for sew napkins

1. I wanted to make 8- 21 inch square napkins. I bought 3 yards of fabric with a 48 inch width.

2. Wash and dry your fabric.This is a very important step. If you skip this step you run the high risk of shrinkage and the shape of your napkin will be destorted.

3. Iron your fabric- You need it to be nice and flat to measure and work with. Fold material in half lengthwise matcing the length edges. The width edges will probably not meet. That is okay. Just fold the material in half where the lenths naturall meet and iron crease in fold.

4. Cut out napkins: Look at the short ends. Do not try to make the short edges meet- make the long edges meet naturally. The short ends will probably be uneven. Take a yardstick and lightly draw a straight line from top to bottom on both sides of the width edge, close to where the width  material meets. Try your best to make it a very straight and even line from top to bottom. Cut with sissors.
Open fabric and cut on the length crease. Now you will have 2 lengths.

Cut out napkins: Before cutting out your napkin add 1 to your measurement. I wanted to make a 21 inch napkin so I cut out a 22 inch square. You can either make a template out of posterboard or measure the fabric and cut out napkins. I chose a small check fabric and had a natural line to cut along. If you are a beginner, a small checked pattern gives you natural cutting lines.

5. Making mitered corners- On the wrong side of  fabric, press all edges of your napkin under 1/4 inch.
Fold that edge again and press under 1/4 inch.

Open, and mark crease lines (make sure you are using the WRONG side of the fabric) at corner
Do this for all 4 corners. I used a blue fabric pencil. A pencil or chalk can be used, just make sure it does not show on the right side of fabric.

Make a diagonal line across the corner of the napkin where the 1st crease lines intersect.

Cut on diagonal line.

Do this for all 4 corners.
Press the new cut off corner on the intersection of the second 1/4  inch fold line.

Repress the first 1/4 press line down for all sides of the napkin.

Press edges under again making corner meet diagonally in center of the corner.

Finishing The Napkin:
1. Sew Method: Sew around all sides close to the fold line.

2. No Sew Method: Heat iron according to directions on back of heat and bond box.

Place Heat and Bond under the fold edge- cut Heat and Bond if too wide to fit. Press according to directions.  I cut 2-3 inch pieces and tucked one length under and pressed and then tucked the next length under and pressed. I kept repeating this for all edges. VERY EASY!


Tutorials are great ways to learn new things from people that have had success with a certain technique. My dear friend Maggie at The White Farmhouse has a wonderful tutorial on on how to make a covered button. Wouldn't a covered button look so pretty  on one of your mitered corners?