Make Fabric Napkins With These Easy Tutorials

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Cloth napkins aren’t just for fancy dining, they’re great for every-day use too (which cuts back on the cost of paper towels). Keep watch for sales on bed linens since you can make several from one sheet at a fraction of the price. Here are nearly a dozen different ways you can make and embellish them, some pretty simple and basic while others are more eye-catching. After you’ve whipped up a bunch for yourself, how about learning a few tricks folding and displaying them on the table?

I’ve included a nice selection of folding references at the bottom where you’re sure to find just what you’re looking for as well as several different DIY napkin ring projects you can try. Enjoy!

Mitered Corners: Made with 21″ squares of fabric, nice illustrated guide for making tidy mitered corners. Free template download available.

Button & Embroidery Embellishments: Turn ready-made linen napkins into something special with buttons and a bit of hand embroidery.

Molly’s: 16″ squares of solid fabric are trimmed with self-made binding using a coordinating print (quick tutorial for using a bias tape maker included).

Fabric Borders: 21″ squares of fabric are trimmed with a 3″ border using a colorful print.

DIY Fringe: Repurpose sheets for fabric, hand stitch two squares of fabric together with a contrasting thread color. Edges will fray over repeated washings.

Scrapbuster: Collect assorted fabric scraps to use for the patchwork border across the top, back is lined with a single piece of fabric.

Reversible & Rick Rack Edged: Can’t decide between two favorite fabrics? Use both with this easy project! Rick rack is sewn along the edges of one fabric piece before sewing to the second piece. Easy project.

Easy: Here’s a set featuring both solid & print napkins, the solids feature a strip of matching print along the bottom.

Bordered Linen: Colorful squares of linen are trimmed with a strip of a quilting cotton print. Nice amount of pictures showing how to make the edges tidy.

Basic: Simple, fuss-free design with step-by-step instructions to walk you through the project.

Kitchen Applique: Finished size measures 20″ square and features a lovely border accent and appliqued teacup (template download provided).

Decorative Folding Tutorials

Handy Online References: Now that you have a lovely collection of fabric napkins, what about folding and displaying them? Here are a few great resources showing detailed instructions:

  • Features a couple dozen tutorials, learn how to make a Diamond Fold; Pyramid Fold, Diamond Silverware Pouch and more.
  • 5 Ways To Fold Napkins: Tutorials for Envelope Fold; Slipper Fold; Up-The-Steps Fold; Pyramid Fold and Diagonal Pocket Fold.
  • 20 Napkin Folds including details for Fleur De Lis; Buffet Tuck; Place Card Holder; Bunny Napkins; Taper Roll; Waterfall Pleat and more.

DIY Rings

Whether you want to make napkin rings for everyday dining or for something more elegant like weddings, this list has you covered! Plenty of different ideas to choose from using a variety of crafting methods (sewing, paper crafts, etc.). Here’s my handpicked collection of tutorials from around the web, I’ve separated it into two groups: the first collection features assorted ideas suitable for any day of the year then I added a “Flowers & Seasonal” collection that features projects for holiday entertaining and Spring flower ideas. I’ll be adding to this list over time so you may want to bookmark this page for future reference, enjoy!

Reversible Fabric Rings: Secured in place with a button & button hole, can be trimmed with rick rack for a pretty effect if you like.

Knit Beaded Wire: So unique and pretty! Knit with 34 gauge silver wire and embellished with an assortment of glass beads.

Decorative Ribbon: These are probably the simplest to make, but so lovely! Sew the ends of 6″ ribbon lengths together then slip around rolled napkins.

Fabric Covered Cardboard Tubes: Here’s a trash-to-treasure project, repurpose the cardboard tube from Saran Wrap and cover with bits of pretty fabric, grosgrain ribbon and no-sew interfacing.

Vintage Fork Holders: You’ll need a sturdy work bench and a few tools for this project but wow! these are lovely and so unique.

Ribbon Rings: Learn how to braid two colors of grosgrain ribbon together to make these charming rings to slide over napkins.

Beaded: Simple but time consuming project, strands of beaded memory wire are shaped into rings to slip over napkins.

Buttons: Here’s another easy project, a length of cording is threaded through the shanks of buttons with the ends tied in a knot.

Vintage Style: Made with inexpensive jute chair webbing, hemp cord and assorted decorative elements such as buttons, beads and bits of ribbon or paper.

Monogrammed: Made with strips of burlap, fabric selvages, linen covered buttons (stamped), Mod Podge and a toilet paper tube.

Fabric Covered Button Rings: Made with fabric covered buttons (1 1/2″ diameter) and strips of 1″ wide decorative ribbon.

Eyelet Trim: Romantic rings are made with lengths of eyelet trim sewn on top of ribbon.

Paper Lace: Free printable with three colors per sheet: soft blue, green and yellow. Print then secure ends together with double-sided tape. Free pdf download.

Recycled Rolls: Made with paper towel rolls and paper scraps such as sheet music and handwriting. Embellish with ribbon and other crafty bits.

Knotted Cord: 6mm thick camping cord is knotted and woven around a cardboard tube for shaping then slipped off the tube and over fabric napkins as rings.

Flowers & Seasonal

Acorns: A felted sweater sleeve is cut into rings then topped with felted bits (leaf shapes and felt balls made into acorns).

Poinsettia: Here’s a festive decoration for the Christmas table, these are made with fat quarters and sheets of Steam-A-Seam, thread and decorative beads.

Autumn Acorn: Lovely for Fall and Thanksgiving, these are made with pieces of felt, silver metallic floss, glass seed beads and thread. Free pattern download available (via pdf).

Fabric Flower: Made with recycled materials (toilet paper tubes, scraps of fabric), beads and paint. You’ll find more flower ideas on this page.

Fabric Rosette: Strips of webbing are covered with fabric to make the rings then scraps of fabric are shaped into a rosette and hot glued on top.

Paper Daffodils: Flowers are made with white and yellow tissue paper then tied to a strip of ribbon to make napkin rings. More paper flower ideas found here.

Liberty Flower: A stack of fabric flower shapes are cut in assorted sizes then stitched together in the center with a button, lengths of ribbon attached at the back.

Autumn Leaves: Made with faux fall leaves, faux berries (on wire stems), bits of felt, ribbon and a hot glue gun.

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Published: June 29, 2011
Updated: January 5, 2013

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