Confession: Recently I watched in horror as my 6 year old, the tidy little eater that he is, used no less than 6 paper napkins over the course of our dinner! Just to clarify, we don’t have fancy 6 course meals at our house, nor were we eating BBQ coated chicken wings. This was just a regular 1 course meal! I nearly shed a tear for the tree waste that lay in a pile on my dining table. I needed a solution and cloth napkins from a store are expensive and huge, too huge for a child!
Not to brag, but I’ve come up with a pretty awesome, not to mention, earth friendly solution. Best part is, it’s simple. All you need are old dish towels and a sewing machine. I also have to tell you that I am in no way a proficient sewer. In fact, the only real reason I even own a sewing machine (until today, that is) is to hem pants! Don’t judge 🙂
Follow these easy steps and you too will have a stack of reusable everyday cloth napkins in little time.
DIY Upcycled Cloth Napkins
Sewing Machine with matching thread
1. Gather up any and all dish towels that have passed their prime. I used ones that either had some minor staining or just needed some repurposing. If you prefer to buy new, be sure they have been washed and dried to allow for shrinkage.
2. Measure and mark an 11″x11″ square (assuming 2 sides r already hemmed). Call me lazy but I like to use as many sides as I can that are already hemmed. If not including any pre hemmed sides, measure out a 12″x12″ square.
3. Cut along your chalked lines and turn fabric upside down.
4. Starting with one side, fold over 1/2″ and apply heat from an iron to press. Fold over another 1/2″ and press again. Repeat on each side.
5. Run over each hem with your sewing machine, being sure to keep stitches close to inner edge of hem.
6. Cut loose threads and smile while looking at your homemade creation because trees everywhere are smiling with you. 🙂