Thursday, November 20, 2008

Giving Thanks - Homemade Cloth Napkins

Giving Thanks I am joining the ~Giving Thanks~ celebration this week. Monday through Thursday we are sharing as we prepare for Thanksgiving. Stop by Kelli's and see what others are up to this week. Or join in the fun by signing onto Mr. Linky and share how you are preparing for this special holiday.

Here are some things you could share:

-What you are thankful for
-Thanksgiving traditions and memories
-Decorating ideas
-Your menu
-Cleaning/Organizing "before" and "after" pictures
-Anything having to do with Thanksgiving!

For Thanksgiving Dinner I have decided to make cloth napkins for my table setting. So far there will be eleven of us for dinner so I wanted to make at least 12 to 16 in the event that someone else is able to come. The more the merrier, right?:)

In planning for this, I was hoping to find some fabric that would look the same on both sides - no "wrong side" of the material, as it is termed in sewing lingo.
And then I remembered that I have some beige table cloths that I got for free several years ago. Some have permanent stains, so cutting around them to make napkins would be the perfect way to make them useful again.

In an earlier tutorial by Kelli, I learned that dinner napkins are 18" or 22" square. I chose to make the 18" size. So, with the fabric folded double, (and avoiding the stains:) I measured and cut 19" squares to allow for a half inch for the hem on each side.

By folding it double, I was able to cut two napkins at a time. I ended up using three of the table cloths, with enough fabric left to make more luncheon-size napkins later.

Next, I folded the raw edges over twice, pressed them down with an iron, pinned the hem in place and sewed a straight stitch on each side. Most often the pins were not necessary after pressing the edges down.

This is not a difficult project, but does take some time to complete.

Since I was using my kitchen table as a sewing table, I didn't take the time to set the whole table to show. But here is how one finished napkin looks on my plates. I haven't made my napkin rings yet, but here is an idea for adding some color to the setting.

When I have completed all the napkins, I will throw them in the washer and dryer and then do any ironing that is necessary, including pressing down the hems. This is a permanent press fabric, so they should be easy to fold and put away after each use.
I am happy with the neutral color of my "new" napkins that go perfectly with all the color in my tablecloth and plates.


LBP said...

What beautiful napkins. I love cloth napkins as opposed to paper. My great aunt used to take all her soiled tablecloths and cut them into either napkins or bread cloths.



Lora said...

Very nice! I love cloth napkins!

Jules said...

I love using cloth napkins too. We have my family almost every Sunday for the noon meal and I like using my cloth ones verse paper.

Dan and Jess said...

Wow, Linda - what a great idea! I'm excited to use them next week! Way to be creative and crafty :)

Susie Homemaker said...

What a great way to reuse all those tablecloths...and the neutral color will carry you through any season!


Wanita said...

Such a great idea! I love using cloth napkins rather than paper.


Terri said...

Very nice! My mistake was forgetting how large dinner napkins are. Oh well. Yours are beautiful!

Deb said...

Hi Linda ~ You have a beautiful blog, and I enjoyed scrolling down through and reading all your Giving Thanks entries. Sounds like you have a wonderfully large family, too, to share all the blessings of Thanksgiving. What a creative idea to use your old tablecloths for napkins!

Cris said...

What a great idea! These can make a nice gift too!

Melinda said...

I love cloth napkins for special holiday dinners, thanks for sharing this. I am just learning to sew so I may give this a go.

Becky said...

I just read LBPs hint about cutting up worn table cloths and I love that. I use cloth napkins all the time, and have for many years. It is one of our efforts to help the environment.

I love this tutoria for making them. Can you believe that even though we use only cloth, I have never made them?

Time to fix that I think.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Your table will certainly be lovely.

ladybugsmom said...

What a great idea! I have a couple of table cloths that are now too short for my new dining room table, but I hate to part with because I really like the colors. I see some napkin making in my future!

Lady Farmer said...

Thanks for visiting me today and for your sweet comment. I think we are kindred spirits! I am making cloth napkins and I just read your post on "Count you Blessings", which is what mine today was about. I promise I didn't steal your idea! :~O But, great minds think alike!
Thanksgiving Blessings,

P.S. Don't you just love grandbabies? I suppose that's why they call them "grand"! *smiles*

ceekay said...

Wow, what a great idea and cost efficient. Love that. Thanks for coming by and saying hi! Have a great week!

splummer said...

Your napkins turned out beautiful!! Good job done. They look nice with your other Thanksgiving table "stuff". Thanks for stopping by my place. Take Care!!


Jenn said...

What a nice touch to the dressed table this year! Good job~

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

You are so smart to make your own cloth napkins. They look pretty on the place setting.


Alexandra said...

Lovely! We use cloth napkins(vintage) all year round. I love the way they dress up every meal. :)

JanMary said...

Love your napkins - great job.

I imagine your mashed potatoes will go down well with your visitor. I am sure she is really looking forward to an American Thanksgiving. I hope some day to be In America for Thanksgiving, and have some kind soul invite me for a home-made Thanksgiving Dinner.....with all the trimmings!

Enjoy :)

Christy Lee said...

Your napkins are beautiful! Learning to sew is one of my goals for the upcoming year, so that I can make pretty stuff too! Thank you for your nice comment on my blog. The doctor is inducing labor on Monday morning at 7:00a.m. so we will have a baby by Thanksgiving after all!

Happy Holidays!

*~Christy Lee~*

Anonymous said...

Hello Linda,

Thank you for visiting and leaving the kind, kind comment!

I am definitely for cloth napkins! Yours look great with your dishes. I have to admit I have never made any napkins of my own. I am just never brave enough...

Anonymous said...

Great job on the cloth napkins! They'll look pretty on your Thanksgiving table.

Kelli said...

They are wonderful....I love cloth napkins, too! I'm glad you joined in with us this week!

TJ said...

What a wonderful way to recycle! I love cloth napkins although they don't go far with my 2 year old and 5 year old. For them a drop cloth or tarp would work much better!

~TAMY 3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

What a great idea! I have a couple of old ones like that too that will make great napkins.

FourOf5zs said...

Such a great idea. I enjoyed reading your blog.

Happy Thanksgiving!