DIY Double-sided Table Napkins – Version 2.0

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Double-Sided Table Napkins, Version 2.0

  • Fabric Used: 1 yard of 100% cotton twill (Doodles Collection at Jo-Ann Fabrics) and 1 yard of quilter’s cotton
  • Product Dimensions: 13″ x 13
  • Quantity: 6 napkins total, 3 from each cut of fabric

My sister requested a set of cloth table napkins for her kids to use, as a way to encourage them to actually wipe their mouths during/after meals. Who knew kids were so filthy? (Filthy cute, that is.) She chose two patterns, a cotton twill from the Doodles Collection at Joann’s, and a quilter’s cotton. They were one-sided, meaning there is an obvious front and back to the fabric. Uh oh, this was venturing into new territory…challenge accepted.

The mitered version I had previously made wasn’t going to work because you’d see the backside of the pattern. I took two square pieces, sewed them right side together leaving an 1.5-2 inch opening, turned it right side out, then topstitched the edges and the opening where I turned it. These were way easier to construct than the mitered version because it requires much less precision pressing. However, it requires twice the amount of fabric. As I did last time, I only purchased one yard of each fabric. I opted to make these napkins slightly smaller, since they were meant for 5-year old hands and laps, with the final dimensions being 13″x13″.

I got the brilliant idea to take pictures of steps, except this stroke of genius happened when I was midway through the process. I’m probably going to make some more of these so I may try to put together a more comprehensive how-to.

If I could go back and change something, I wish I did a better job of turning the corners so they are more pointy, but I didn’t have a good tool at the time. Thanks to Amazon, that problem has been fixed. Amazon Prime is the best.


DIY Mitered Table Napkins – Version 1.0


Mitered Table Napkins Version 1.0

  • Fabric Used: 1 yard of a linen blend (55% linen, 45% rayon)
  • Product Dimensions: 16″x16″
  • Quantity: 6 napkins

I’ve never been a cloth table napkin kind of person. Cloth table napkins were reserved for meals at nice restaurants, while Kirkland paper napkins was what I stocked at home. It’s hard to beat the convenience of $9.99 for a 1040 ct package. Recently, I’ve seen many articles extolling the benefits of converting to cloth napkins. Arguments include less waste, cheaper (in the long term) than paper products, and a simple way to add color to your dining experience. However, I still wasn’t sold. How much color do you need for taco nights?

Unconvinced I remained, until one day, while perusing the aisles at Draeger’s, I found the most beautiful set of cloth table napkins. I salivated over the idea of a brunch party with a fresh baked breakfast quiche and steaming cups of coffee set on rustic table with these cloth napkins and a vase of fresh cut wildflowers. It’s the classic photo cover of any food magazine’s spring issue. I flipped the price tag and almost fell over at the $17.99 PER NAPKIN price. Yes, it was a pretty pattern, yes, it was well-made and the fabric was wondrously soft. It was also $17.99 for a dumb piece of square fabric.DIY-Mitered-Table-Napkins-1

Okay, it wasn’t dumb. It became a new symbol of a matured dining table that had evolved past pizza bagels and instant ramen meals. Or perhaps more realistically, it was a way for me to feel elegant and classy while eating pizza bagels and instant ramen. Feeling empowered by the pillowcases, and encouraged by the square (read: no curves) shape of the napkins, I decided to make my own.

I started with this awesome tutorial for mitered napkins. Not really knowing how much fabric I really needed, or whether I was ready to commit to the idea of using cloth napkins, I bought one yard of a solid blue linen blend.


First of all, buying just one yard was really dumb. Second, don’t ever buy just one yard of fabric unless your pattern says you don’t need to buy more than that. One yard goes by very quickly and I found myself rather limited in my napkin size options. In order to optimize the fabric I had, I reduced the napkins to 16″x16″ (original post’s final product was 18″x18″) and squeezed out 6 napkins. I was concerned they would be too small but after using them for awhile, I haven’t noticed an issue.

So, in the end, do I feel classier because of these napkins?

Trick question. I’m always feeling classy. 😉

This napkin adventure continues with additional versions and tweaks…to be continued!