How to Make Napkins & Placemats

In one afternoon and with little expense, you can make new napkins and placemats to make your table colorful and give your dishes and glassware a pretty background.

Country placemats with contrasting napkins.Country placemats with contrasting napkins.
Cloth napkins help the environment also by keeping paper out of the landfills.

Wash the fabrics using normal laundry procedures and press it. Fold right sides together.

Patchwork napkins and place mats

Using a tape measure and the straight edge, cut 4 pieces of fabric that are 18 inches square for napkins. Cut 4 pieces of the same fabric 14-by-20 inches. Repeat for the contrasting fabric. To sew the napkins, turn under a 1/4-inch hem and press. Fold again. Sew around all 4 sides of the napkin. Repeat until all napkins are hemmed.

Making a mitered corner

Using the double-fold bias tape, sew around all 4 sides of the placemats, mitering the corners. When sewing with bias tape, keep the narrow side up. At the corners, leave the sewing machine needle in the fabric and pull the fabric around to make square corners on the bias tape. Back tack at the corners through all the folds to secure the miter. Press the placemats.

Things You Will Need

  • 2 1/2 yards, 36 inches wide, fabric
  • 2 1/2 yards, 36 inches wide, contrasting-color fabric
  • Thread
  • Sewing Machine
  • Bias tape (double fold) four packages
  • Straight pins
  • Iron
  • Tape measure
  • Straight edge or yardstick

Tip

  • For an easy way to display your napkins, use napkin rings or place the folded napkin in water or wine glasses.

About the Author

Myra Smith has retired from the business world after successfully working as a manager in the accounting field over twenty years. Smith received her education in Texas (high school) and Missouri (University of Missouri) business courses offered by employer. Smith has now embarked on an exciting second career as a writer for Demand Studios. Smith writes articles in the Home and Garden section.