DIY Cloth Napkin Tutorial

One question, friends, before we get started.

Do you like eating?

Ok, wait, wait, one more...

Do you like having something to wipe your hands on

while you are eating?

Obviously I was lying, but this is the last one, I promise.

Do you care about the environment?

Y'know, trees? Landfills?

Water usage in paper manufacturing?

I thought so.

     And I know you like making things, using pretty fabric and giving handmade gifts as a way to show your love.  So, friends, I have the perfect project for you today!

Cloth Napkins!

DIY Cloth Napkins

     They are easy and fun to make.  They will look beautiful on your table on the table of your loved ones.  They serve an important purpose.  And you get to feel good about doing a bit to help the earth, not only today while you make them, but every time you use them after that. 

    And if you use organic fabric... Dude! Double whammy of goodness!

And might I recommend you get my Handmade Holiday Gift Planning Tool, fill it out, and make a plan for all the good stuff you will need that you can buy at my big sale on Friday. 

What big sale, you say?

Further proof you should get on my email list so you get all of the details and do not miss out.

Ok, enough of all that.  Let's get down to business! 



  • 1 Yard Woven Fabric for every 4 Napkins
  • Matching/ Coordinating Thread
  • Chalk or Fabric Pen
  • Scissors/ Iron/ Pins - All that good stuff!

*** Remember to always prewash your fabric, and iron it before cutting***

Step1: Cut

    The straight and squarer you do this, the easier the rest of this will be and the more perfectly your finished napkin will fold. 

    But, do not let fear of imperfection stop you.  (My mantra in so many areas of life)!  Take action! Do it! You will get better and this will all get easier with time!

But enough about the revolution, back to sewing...

    If you have a cutting mat, rotary cutter and fancy, see through quilting rulers, use them! And if you do, you probably don't need me to tell you how to cut something square. 

    If you don't, no need to go buy them.  Six years ago I made the napkins for my wedding.  108 of them.  I bought those tools for that lunacy, but you don't need to just to make a set or two. 

    My favorite way to cut things square is to use something you have that you know is straight... the selvedge!


And some geometry...


    First, take your 1 yard of fabric, fold the selvedge up up to the perpendicular side, overlapping just the selvedge itself.

   Cut off the selvedge and the 8 inches remaining from your yardage.  Save this piece.  You can make so many things with it. Cut it in to ribbons.  Make a top knot.  Sew lots of tiny pillows for baby dolls or stuffed animals.  

     Now, you have a 36" by 36" square.  Hooray!

Fold that square in half.


Cut on that line.

Fold each of those pieces in half to make a square.


Cut on that line.

Ta Da!

Now the fun begins...

Step 2: Trim Corners

  • Measure 1/2" from each corner in both directions.
  • Mark with chalk or fabric pen.
  • Draw a diagonal line.
  • Cut



    Repeat on all corners.  I mean, to be honest, I would do one step at a time on all corners.  Production lines are all the rage for a reason.

Step 3: Press and Pin - This one is a doozy.

  • Heat up that iron and emotionally prepare your finger tips for what you are about to ask them to do.
  • Fold sides so they meet in the middle of the diagonal cut.
  • Press.
  • Press around edges to work your way around the napkin
  • Fold and press corner toward the center at the base of where the folded sides met.  What?  Thank goodness for pictures that so easily explain what words complicate. 
  • Fold edges in to center of diagonal fold.
  • Pin in place.
  • Pin around edges.
  • Repeat on all corners. 

Step 4: Top Stitch

     Matching or coordinating thread, straight or decorative stitch.

It is up to you!

    Be creative, have some fun! Do what fits your style or that of the awesome lady you are gifting them to. 

  • Start at a corner.
  • Stitch down one side
  • Stop at corner with needle down in fabric, lift presser foot, rotate fabric.
  • Repeat all the way around. 
  • Remove pins as you go.  I used to sew over them, and stopping or slowing down is a bit of a pain in the bum, I know, but you will break far fewer machine needles this way, I promise.  And it takes way more time to stop, fish around in your bobbin carriage for that broken off needle tip, replace the bobbin, replace the needle and re-thread everything.  Not that I would know anything about that particular struggle. Haha...

    Step 5: Finish

    • Trim threads.
    • Fold.
    • Ooh and ahh over your creative genius.
    • Feel super awesome every time they are on your table. 

          That is it for today friends!  I would love to see any napkins you make with this tutorial!  Please share them with me.  You can email them to me at, you can share them to my facebook page or group, or tag me on Instagram or use #makermountainfabrics.  And of course, let me know if you have any questions!



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