St. Paddy's Napkin

By Eleah

It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day, and if you’re like me, your days of armature night pub-crawling are over and green was never really your color anyways. The next logical approach to a holiday where everybody is Irish is to host or attend a dinner party. It’s no secret that cloth napkins are slightly more sophisticated than paper, so this year I’m going to step it up a notch and make my own cloth napkins. Tasteful St. Patrick’s Day fabric napkins are hard to come by, especially if by tasteful I mean “not covered in glitter, scary lepricons, and a poor font choice spelling out exclamatory remarks on the holiday at hand”. You are only hurting yourself by allowing these objects into your home. What’s a person to do you ask? Make your own napkins! If you follow the instructions below you will soon have your own set of home made fabric napkins, and yes they will be machine washable.

You will Need:

  • 1 yard of cotton fabric (or) pre-made plain fabric napkins from the store of your choice (I used a light gray since white is always risky)
  • 68” of 3/8” wide grosgrain ribbon in a darker shade of green.
  • 34” of the same width grosgrain ribbon in a lighter shade of green.
  • Three 13mm buttons (I chose a 2-hole white fresh water shell button for their slight shimmer and organic appeal)
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing Machine
  • Needle + thread to match the ribbon/fabric.
  • Iron and Ironing board

(The above list of supplies yields 4 napkins…multiply as needed.)

Making The Napkins:

  1. Begin by pre-washing the fabric. (Otherwise the final piece could deform when washed with ribbon sewn on.)
  2. Iron Cotton fabric and cut into 17×17 inch squares.
  3. Arrange the ribbon along two neighboring sides of the cut squares. I think they look nice if they are about ½ inch from the edge and each other.
  4. Weave the ribbons over and under each other in the corner of the napkin where they intersect.
  5. Pin down ribbon with straight pins
  6. Fold over each edge ½ inch, press with iron
  7. Fold over edges another ½ inch, press and pin with straight pins
  8. Hem both edges of each ribbon (One stitch down the center is fine too, you will just need to iron them after washing)
  9. Hem the edges of the napkins (about ½ inch in from edge)
  10. Sew buttons where you think they look best….
  11. And Serve!


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