EntertainingDIY 1-minute cloth napkins June 17, 2014 My mom taught me this trick with cloth napkins a couple of years ago and it has changed this party-throwing, table-setting girl’s life. I love dreaming up table settings and they always are based around some gorgeous linens. I usually want the napkins to bring a punch of color or pattern to the table. And often I’ll have the perfect, unique print in my head and can’t find anything close! I’ll search the stores (because my table-settings are usually last minute and no time is left for online ordering, though I haven’t found the perfect options there either) and find nothing even close to the image in my head. Of course, being a dreamer, I have already planned the entire tablescape around that one stupid, perfect patterened napkin and absolutely nothing else will do. Nothing. So, I started relying on fabric for my napkins and then you can just sew them into a napkin. Using fabric instead of trying to find the perfect, ready-made napkin opened up tons of options. But, you still have to sew the napkin. Now, I realize that sewing napkins aren’t incredibly difficult, but often that is time I don’t have. When I am planning a party or tablescape, I don’t have tons of advance time to put into sewing lovely napkins from fabric. In comes my mom’s little trick that changed the world of cloth napkins. This is one of those tutorials that I almost feel weird sharing and calling a tutorial because it is that easy. But then I thought, “Hey, these are the tutorials I want to read!” We are all super busy and while I love a detailed tutorial that will take me five hours to make, but yields something earth-shattering, the times I’m actually going to tackle that are few and far between. I love simple DIY’s that make life easier, while still yielding a great product and my friends, this is one of those tutorials. All you need is the fabric of your choice and pinking shears (NOT REGULAR SCISSORS). Step 1: Lay Out your Fabric Step 2: Measure Out your Napkin Size I took a cloth napkin that I already had to be my guide. I wanted these napkins big so that you really got the impact of the fabric on the table, so I used a 22″ napkin as my guide. Step 3: Cut Out Your Napkins with Pinking Shears Cut slowly and make sure that you’re cutting in a straight line. I know that may seem elementary, but when you’re cutting with the guide and pinking shears, it’s surprisingly easy to veer off of your straight line. You’ll notice that the pinking shears leave a zig-zagged edge. This is the key to these napkins because it prevents your napkin from fraying. When they’re folded up nicely on your table, you don’t even notice the zig-zagged edge and I’ve never had anyone comment on it. The point of this tutorial obviously is that you can make cloth napkins from ANYTHING in just a minute. The options are endless for fabric, sizes of napkins, you name it. You can always go back after the party and sew the napkin edges for a more permanent finish, if you like. That was my intent when I started making napkins this way, but as you can imagine, new projects come along and those napkins never got sewn. But they have held up great and I keep using them time and again! These photos were from the July 4th party I styled last week. You can see more about it here.