Making Cloth Napkins from an Old Shirt

- Who says you can't wipe your face on your shirt?

We made the switch to cloth napkins some time ago. I found some nice napkins in a clearance aisle and bought those for our dining room napkins. For the kitchen we used old baby washcloths and cut up towels. I prefer cloth napkins to paper, and love not having to buy paper napkins all the time.

Those original kitchen napkins have gotten a lot of use. It was time for something different.

My husband had several dress shirts that had various stains or small rips making them unsuitable to wear to work. I had them in a pile, not quite sure what to do with them. Then it occurred to me that they would make good napkins. I broke out the scissors and the sewing machine and got to work.

The first step was to cut up the shirt. I wasn't worried about exact measurements for these napkins. I cut squares that are roughly 10x10 inches.

Next I ironed the squares, and folded the sides over about a 1/4 inch and ironed the fold. Then it was simply a matter of sewing the folds. I used a zigzag stitch to sew it all up.

With use, I have noticed some fraying. To prevent this, I should have made my zig zag right on the edge, or folded and sewn the edges over a second time. The fraying is minimal, and it really doesn't bother me that much for these everyday use napkins, though.

The final product. Sixteen napkins were made from two shirts in a couple of hours.

I enjoy using cloth napkins. They work better, and save us money. Making them from old shirts makes them practically free. It also is a source of great amusement for my kids sitting around the lunch table. They find it hilarious that they get to wipe their face on daddy's shirt.

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Making Cloth Napkins from an Old Shirt + work