The Easiest Cloth Napkins

Up until a few years ago, I was adamantly against using cloth napkins. To me, cloth napkins were formal, uptight, and they didn’t feel good. They were just too stiff and perfect to actually clean your hands. A far cry from my beloved paper towels that we used at every meal. (Classy, I know) Plus, I didn’t need another thing to wash.

While trying to “green up” every other area of my life, this had me feeling pretty guilty.  But I just couldn’t make the switch to cloth.

Then I found a napkin (well, actually a towel) that changed my mind. Easy to use, easy to wash, absorbant and feels so good!

Disclaimer: These are so simple to make, you don’t even need this tutorial. And if you already know how to sew, you really don’t need this tutorial. I can sew in straight lines, but thats about it. I don’t know technical terms, and I pretty much make everything up as I go. So basically, read at your own risk.  :)

You will need:

  • a pack of Elly Dishtowels from Ikea (No Ikea nearby? No problem! These towels work just as well.)
  • scissors
  • an iron
  • a sewing machine or needle & thread

1.  Unroll the dishtowels. Using the crease already in the middle of each towel, cut each in half.

2.  Cut off the tag.

3.  On the edge that you just cut, fold it over twice and iron it down.

4.  Sew a straight line along the ironed hem.

That’s it! In about an hour (probably more like 30 minutes if you are actually good at ironing and sewing) you will have 8 nice little cloth napkins. But feeling them at this point might make you think that I am a little crazy. Because they don’t feel so soft and crumply and perfect yet.

Run them through the washer two or three times, and then you will see their true beauty emerge. They will look perfectly ready to use. Even if you are the OCD type, please resist the urge to iron these napkins. They are supposed to look like this!

These napkins are so easy to make, they make the perfect gift. Wrap them up in a cute little Anthro Farmers Market Basket or other decorative bowl or pot, and they are ready to be gifted!

If you are like me (or how I used to be), resistant to cloth napkins because they seem to formal or precious, try these.  They are every bit as casual and easy as a paper napkin, but so much more absorbent and eco friendly!

I would love to hear about your napkin habits! Do you prefer cloth or paper? Or do you do without napkins altogether and wipe your hands on your shirt if you need to?

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