From Shower Curtain to Napkin

As I was celebrating End Cap Clearance Appreciation Day — which is, as it happens, every day I’m at my favorite large retailer — I came across this deal.

You can’t read the clearance sticker but it says $7.48 for a shower curtain. Or, in my world, for a 6 foot by 6 foot piece of 100% cotton fabric. Sold!

The first step in making your own cloth napkins is deciding size. If you are looking for square napkins, 12X12 is about your smallest and 20X20 is about your biggest. Size truly does not matter, ladies. Choose what you like.

After your squares (or rectangles… let’s not be shapist here) are cut, bring them over to your iron. Incidentally, sewing projects are about the only action my iron ever sees. You’ll want to fold each side in and iron then fold them in again and iron again. To get nice clean corners, iron opposite sides first. I drew a picture in photoshop to illustrate this and it turned out soooooo bad that I have no choice but to use it.


Proof I can laugh at myself. Anyway, the above is a… um… abstract representation of my napkin. You’ll want to iron both As first and then iron both Bs. Trust me. Your corners will be so much nicer this way.

After you’ve pressed a few napkins, take them to the sewing machine and sew along the edges. WAIT! I don’t meant to alarm you but BEFORE you take them to the machine, check your corners. Because a few of them might look like this:

Tuck the escaping fabric back in so your corner is flush.

Now you can sew. Use matching thread to hide your stitches if you’d like but, if you are pretty good with the straight line sewing, use a contrasting thread to give your napkins a little more funk.

Check it out now Funk Soul Brother! (sorry… randomly broke out in song):

This project hit the homemade gift giving trifecta: inexpensive, easy, and practical. But I’m not making these for holiday gifts this year. No, I’m not. Not me. No siree. So random relatives who just read this, don’t worry. You won’t be getting napkins this year. Nope.


6 thoughts on “From Shower Curtain to Napkin

    • Yeah, you’d think I’d let go of the reigns and allow him to help me out… He does have a little experience in the field.

    • I see all large pieces of fabric — sheets, tablecloths, shower curtains, window curtains — as the fabric value rather than the function the manufacturer intended.

  1. Love that you thought to use a shower curtain for napkins. I’m in the midst of making cloth napkins myself. From leftover curtain fabric 🙂 Your post reminds me I still need to find a shower curtain for one of our showers. Or maybe I’ll just look for great napkin fabric.

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