Monday, April 22, 2013

Home Project: Reusable Cloth Napkins

In honor of Earth Day, I have a project for you that's just about the Earth-friendliest I could think of. Reusable cloth napkins!

I made a set of 30 this weekend, and over their lifetime they should save hundreds thousands of paper napkins around here! They shouldn't cause any extra laundry, either, because I'll just toss them in with the other loads I'm washing.

Here's how I made mine:

 1. Find an old bedsheet. I had some around the house already, but you can find them easily at thrift shops. Wash it, iron it, and fold it in quarters.

2. Make a "pattern" for the shape and size you would like your napkins to be. I chose a regular 8.5x11" sheet of paper for mine, but squares are also common. Cut around your "pattern," leaving at least a half-inch around to leave space for the seams. I made mine larger to make just a slightly bigger napkin than my handy sheet of paper. :)

3. Pin two together. Make sure the right sides (prettier sides) are facing inward if your fabric has a pattern on it.

4. Sew around the edges, leaving about 1/4" for your seam allowance.

5. Sew almost all the way around, leaving a 4-or-so-inch gap before you meet up with where you started.

(a gap like this)

6. Turn the piece right-side-out again, and iron it so the edges are sharp. The 4-inch gap will stick out funny, so just fold it in as if it had been sewn with the rest. You'll secure it in the next step.

7. Top-stitch, about 1/8" from the edge, all the way around. Done!

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