Friday, June 10, 2011

Napkin Tutorial Roundup

Metro Cafe Napkins

To get your creative juices flowing for the Bloggers' Dinner Party, I wanted to share a roundup of napkin tutorials and inspiration!  Napkins are a great project - quick and easy, they are a fun way to show off a favorite fabric, try out an embellishment technique, or just keep it simple with a beautiful solid.  We pretty much always use cloth napkins at our house, and in addition to a number of store-bought sets, I have a few fun sets that I made myself which we mainly use on our patio (with our bright red melamine target plates).

Lotus Napkin - Inside Edge

Both of these sets of napkins are made with a very basic technique, just starting with a square of fabric and then folding and ironing the edge over 1/4 - 1/2" twice and then stitching the edge in place - pretty much using the second technique in this skip to my lou post.  I started with fabric squares about 21-22" square, which is basically the largest you can cut them and fit two across the width of fabric - so with 1 and 1/4 yard of fabric, you can get 4 napkins.  In addition to your choice of fabric, you can spice these up a little by using a fun contrasting thread color.

I think these look great and are definitely fine for our everyday use, but if you want to take it up a notch, you can miter the corners for a more finished look.  There are lots of tutorials out there for mitered corner napkins - in addition to the first part of the skip to my lou post above, here are a few more:

For really quick everyday napkins, if you have a serger you could make napkins with a serged rolled hem, as shown in this video tutorial on Sew Mama Sew.

      Photo from Purl Bee
      Photo from Purl Bee
      Photo from Purl Bee

      If you want to make slightly more complicated napkins, the Purl Bee has a bunch of really great napkin tutorials:

      Photo from Sew Take a Hike

      Sew Take A Hike has a fun tutorial for colorful linen napkins with a wider contrasting edge with mitered corners - which she accents with embroidery stitches, too.  I think this would look great either with or without the embroidery!

      Photo from Sew4Home

      Sew4Home has some really cute napkin tutorials too, including the Italiano Kitchen Bistro napkins with a fun fabric band (above), and their Citrus Holiday Easy Napkins which have a fabric border at one end.

      There are a wealth of options if you wanted to embellish plain cloth napkins (either handmade or storebought) - here are just a few ideas that come to mind:
      • Applique a patchwork band on the napkin (similar to the Sew4Home tutorial above, but using a pieced strip instead)
      • Raw edge or traditional applique - geometric shapes or other fun designs
      • Embroidery - in a band or a border around the edge, or with a motif on the main part of the napkin
      • Fabric stamping - with either store-bought or hand-carved stamps and a permanent ink pad or fabric paint
      • Freezer paper stenciling or screenprinting
      • Bleach Pen decoration
      How about you - have you made napkins before?  What is your favorite napkin technique or tutorial?

      I hope you are feeling as inspired as I am now to whip up some fun cloth napkins!  Don't forget to link up with this month's Bloggers' Dinner Party for a chance to win a great fat quarter bundle from Sew Fresh Fabrics!


      1. What a terrific post -- hopefully I'll make some of these beauties in a few weeks.

      2. Great post! I'm inspired!
        (I used the dark brown version of the utensils
        fabric to make oven mitts. LOVE that fabric.)

        LeAnn aka pasqueflower

      3. terrific post, Kate! Thanks for the shout out!

      4. Just last week I made a napkin with mitered corners using the tutorial at Prudent Baby. Thanks for the additional resources.


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