I try to be green as much as realistically possible. I try to buy local, I always recycle, I don't use paper goods in my house, except paper towels...with two kids and a dog, I can't cut those out! When it came to my sister's shower, I've had a lot of time to plan. One of my goals was to make cloth napkins instead of using paper ones.
When I first thought of this, I multiplied how much it would cost and decided it wasn't possible. I couldn't spend $60 of my party budget on napkins. Then, I scoured all my miscellaneous fabric and realized I had enough fabric to make 41 napkins. I was shocked! My goal was 50 napkins, so I just needed to purchase a few yards. This brought the cost down to about what it would be if I purchased paper napkins. I was ecstatic! The added bonus of this project is now I have enough napkins to use for all my future birthday parties and showers. They are a smattering of colors and patterns that create a fun, bright party atmosphere.
As far as cloth options, I used what I had on hand. I know that they may fray, that is why I double folded the seams. A co-worker of mine suggested broad cloth. Experiment to find what fabric you like the best.
Here is how I did it...
Supplies for a set of 6 napkins:
2 yards of fabric for napkin base
1/4 yard coordinating fabric for accent piece
Cut your main napkin fabric into 21 x 21 inch squares. Cut your coordinating fabric into 3 x 21 inch strips. iron 3" strips and fold under 1/4" twice- press. Pin strip to napkin at desired location. I pinned it 4 inches from the bottom. Top stitch 1/4" from the top and bottom to the napkin.
Iron 1/2" fold all the way around the napkin.
Repeat so you have a double fold.
Clip corner of the napkin about 1/2" down.
Refold the napkin to create a mitered corner by refolding the first 1/2 inch fold, folding down the corner and then folding the second 1/2 inch fold again.
Pin in place.
Stitch about 5/8" from the outside boarder of the napkin.
And now you have a set of 6 beautiful napkins...so easy!