Homemade Everyday Cloth Napkin

Everyday Cloth Napkin Tutorial - FB


A great way to save money on paper products and start to go zero-waste is to sew earth-friendly cloth napkins.  This tutorial will show you how to sew a super simple everyday cloth napkin.  Sewing your own fabric napkins is fun and is an easy sewing project for beginners.  

Another money-saving and zero-waste paper product idea is to make and use unpaper towels instead of expensive disposable paper towels. Keep them handy for drying hands, cleaning up spills and more. This tutorial will show you how to make unpaper towels by repurposing old towels. 

At the end of this article are more zero waste projects for your home (i.e. grocery tote bag, produce bag, t-shirt yarn, and more).

Let's get back to making cloth napkins! Learn more about making them by watching our video or keep reading this post for a photo tutorial with step-by-step instructions.

Watch our video tutorial below or click the link if you prefer to watch Homemade Everyday Cloth Napkin in Youtube.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. We make a small commission on sales through the affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your purchase and your support! Please see our full Affiliate Statement for more information.


The napkin, you will learn today, is the most commonly way store brought napkins are finished.  Of course, you can purchase fabric but these napkins can be a great fabric stash buster project if you have extra pieces of fabric from projects laying around.  

No time to sew napkins but you want to be part of the planet friendly movement.  You can purchase basic and cute cloth napkins at Etsy or at Amazon

Everyday Cloth Napkin Tutorial - Finished Placesetting


  • Fabric
  • Rotary Cutter, Ruler and Mat (Or Scissor and Ruler)
  • Sewing Gauge Guide
  • Thread
  • Sewing Machine
  • Iron and Ironing Board

Everyday Cloth Napkin Tutorial - Supplies

INSTRUCTIONS for making cloth napkins

STEP 1: Fabric Preparation

Everyday Cloth Napkin Tutorial - Fabric For the best result, you should prewash/preshrink the fabric.  If you want to prevent fraying when you wash the fabric, check out our tutorial. 

Once the fabric is washed, iron the fabric to remove wrinkles. 

STEP 2: Cutting Fabric

Everyday Cloth Napkin Tutorial - Cut Fabric After the fabric is washed and ironed, with a rotary cutter or scissor and ruler, cut an 18” x 18” square of fabric.

STEP 3: Cut Corners

When hemming the napkin, the corners would be very bulky and thick if you left the corners intact.    To reduce the bulkiness, a small portion of each corner of the napkin will be cut off.

To do this, with a sewing gauge fold each corner toward the center ½” and press. Everyday Cloth Napkin Tutorial - Measure Corner

Cut along the crease line with a scissor. Everyday Cloth Napkin Tutorial - Cut Fabric

After cutting the other corners off, your napkin will look like this. Everyday Cloth Napkin Tutorial - Corners Clipped

STEP 4: Fold, Iron, Pin and Stitch

A nice, crisp, neat hem is essential in finishing the napkin.  There are lots of different types of hemming techniques out there.  This napkin will be finished using a double fold hem.

What is a double fold hem?

A double fold hem is the most basic hem that is used for a wide variety of projects.  You can use it when hemming clothing, curtains, tablecloths and other sewing projects. This hem technique means folding the hem to the wrong side of the fabric twice.  

Everyday Cloth Napkin Tutorial - Fold Quarter Inch The napkin will be hemmed one side at a time. 

To hem the first side, place the fabric on the ironing board with the wrong side up, using your handy dandy sewing gauge, fold the fabric toward the wrong side ½”.  Use an iron to press the hem firmly in place. 

Everyday Cloth Napkin Tutorial - Pinned Fold the fabric 1/2" toward the wrong side again, press and pin it in several places to hold it secure.

Before beginning to sew the hem, it is important to think about the bobbin thread.  The color in the bobbin will be visible on the front of the napkin.

Everyday Cloth Napkin Tutorial - Sew

To hem this first side, simply edgestitch along the inside fold, backstitching at the beginning and end.  Our edgestitch tutorial may be helpful.

STEP 5: Repeat 

Repeat step 4 on the other three sides.

Everyday Cloth Napkin Tutorial - Corner Pinned Closeup

Turn the fabric clockwise or counter-clockwise, fold the fabric 1/2" toward the wrong side, press, fold under again ½”, press, pin and edgestitch.

Everyday Cloth Napkin Tutorial - Corner CloseupThe above photo shows the back of the napkin.

After hemming all sides, the napkin is done!   Kids would love using cloth napkins when sewn out of kid, fun themed fabric.  With holiday prints, you can whip up napkins in no time to create a festive table.

Everyday Cloth Napkin Tutorial - Finished w/FlowersOnce you know this technique, you can use it to make tablecloths and table toppers and many other sewing projects.

We hope you enjoyed this DIY tutorial on how to make a fabric napkin and decide to make some for your home.  Check out our DIY Kitchen Projects Pinterest Board for lots of sewing, machine embroidery and quilting projects for the kitchen.   

If you are into recycling, repurposing and reusing, you may be interested in our Recycling Craft Projects Pinterest Page

Happy Sewing!


If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.

Other zero waste tutorials

DIY Zero Waste Produce Bag

How to make dishcloth or washcloth from old towels.

T-Shirt Tote Bag TutorialT-shirt tote bag tutorial

Fabric Shopping Bag Tutorial Fabric Shopping Bag Tutorial

DIY T-Shirt Yarn How to Make T-Shirt Yarn

Reusable Snack Bags.

DIY Plastic Bag Yarn How to Make Plastic Bag Yarn

Supporting Products and links: Some of the links below may be affiliate links. We make a small commission on sales through the affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your purchase and your support! Please see our full Affiliate Statement for more information.

5 in 1 Sliding Sewing Gauge #ad

A multi-functional sliding gauge for easy marking. Use this handy tool for marking button holes; seam allowance gauge; hem gauge; circle compass; T gauge and that is only sewing. Try it for scrapbooking; card making; paper crafts; and much more. Affiliate Link to Amazon

Dritz 100-Piece Long Pearlized Pins #ad

1-1/2-Inch, White Affiliate Link to Amazon

Fiskars 6x24 Inch Acrylic Ruler #ad

Ideal for cutting fabric strips or squares. The rulers 30, 45 and 60 degree line indicators make it easy to cut at perfect angles. Affiliate Link to

OLFA 18-Inch x 24-Inch Self-Healing Double-Sided Rotary Mat #ad

Use only rotary cutters and blades,Suitable for any small to medium size project Affiliate Link to

Olfa Rotary Cutter #ad

Cuts through 6 layers at once. Dual-action safety lock. Ergonomic handle for comfortable cutting; blade moves to opposite side for left-handed use. Affiliate Link to Amazon

Sewing Gauge #ad

ewing gauge with a sliding marker that will stay in place for repeated marking.
Sliding measure sets distance for marking hems, tucks, pleats and buttonholes.
Affiliate Link to Amazon

Sewing Scissors #ad

A huge selection of sewing scissors are available at Affiliate Link to

Everyday Cloth Napkin Tutorial - pin

Profile Photo

Annette & Chris are a mother/daughter team. We've brought you craft projects and tutorials through this web site for over 20 years.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Personal Projects

YouTube Video Topics

Annie OnlineClasses 300x250 Accucut - 250x250

Looking for something you cannot find on our site? Click here to e-mail the Needlepointers Information department.

Copyright ©2003 - 2019 All Rights Reserved. | Powered by w3.css

Secured by RapidSSL