Tuesday, November 12

Day 30 - Cloth Napkins

Welcome back, friends! This month we're working on 31 handmade gifts for everyone on your list. You can find links to the full series here.

We're almost done! Today is our last gift project and tomorrow we'll do some easy gift-wrapping. So let's get started on these cloth napkins!

These are a great gift for just about anyone. They're practical but also super fun to use. And really easy to make!

I picked a fun print so these are perfect for everyday use with the family. If you wanted more formal napkins you could go with something like a natural linen for a boost of fancy.

You can use just about anything that fits the style of the recipient! (I made sure the print I chose was pretty dark so it won't stain as easily. My style is "little boys eat here.")

Here's what you need to make a set of four napkins:

  • 1 yard fabric (I used quilting cotton, but you could use any natural fiber like linen)
  • thread

Start by pre-washing and drying your fabric, then cut out four 16 x 16" squares (You can make them bigger if you prefer - napkins from places like Pottery Barn are as big as 24 x 24" but that seemed a bit big for our everyday use.)

A cutting mat and ruler come in very handy for this next part. On the wrong side of the fabric, measure in 1" from each corner and use the ruler to draw a line across the corner.

On one corner fold the fabric with right sides together like this:

Starting at the folded edge, stitch on along the marked line just about 1/2 way across (it will be about 1/2") back stitching at each end. .

Trim the extra leaving about a 1/8" seam allowance. Repeat for the other three corners.

Now flip the corners right side out and push the corners out nice and square.

Use your iron to press the edges of the napkin under. Your fabric will naturally want to fold along a line between the corner points, so just work with that the best you can. The corners won't sit quite flat just yet, but you can still get nice crisp edges in between.

Now tuck the raw edges under and press again. At the corners there will be a natural lip to fold along (because the corner seams only went halfway down the line). Let it form a natural line between the corners again. The corners should be laying a bit flatter now.

Stitch right along the folded edges.

Repeat for the rest of the napkins and you're done!

Tie it up with a ribbon or piece of twine and it's ready for gifting. You can get four napkins from one yard which makes a nice little gift set, or use two yards for a more substantial set of eight.

The napkins would be great paired with a new tablecloth, napkin rings, or a napkin holder. They also make a great wedding gift or hostess gift.

Here is my cost to make a set of four napkins:

$5.60 - fabric 30% off
$0.00 - thread left over from my owl pillow cases

Total: $5.60

If you waited for a 50% off coupon you could make these same napkins for just $4, or a set of eight for $8. Plus there are plenty of good deals to be had in the clearance section - I've paid as little as $2 per yard in the remnant bin!

I know I've been super-slacking now that we've hit November. Part of it is lost motivation... and part of it is a last minute trip to visit our best friends who are back in the country after a year of missions work in Ecuador! We spent a bit of the weekend at an apple orchard... so here are a ton of photos of our favorite boys. Big Brother couldn't pass up an apple hat.

His favorite part was the big outdoor play area. They normally charge for entrance to all the fun stuff, but this late in the season they just left the gate open so we could come and go! It was great! We started with the swingset.

Then moved on to the pirate ship. Baby A made an appearance in the window, much to Big Brother's delight.

Then I took Big Brother down the big slide. Well... I tried. First of all, no one told me there were sacks to sit. So we didn't slide at all. I had to drag us down with my feet. Until we got about halfway down and hit the water I didn't notice. Turns out you slide faster with wet pants.

Then we went into the petting zoo area where Big Brother made several new goat friends.

Note the one-finger poke. It's the only way he would touch them.

Here is is checking out the ducks. "They be tired!"
And the bunny rabbits. "Dat big one awake! Dat tiny one not awake! Him sleeping!"

See the tiny chickens along the bottom of the fence? They were thoroughly chased. I won't say who did the chasing, but he was wearing froggy boots.

Then we went in to check out the shop. Big Brother got in the wagon, looked at Baby A, and said "That my baby brudder! I hold him?"

So he did. And Baby Brother rode on his lap all around the store.

Best friends in the making? I think so.

Anyone else starting on some Christmas projects? What's on your to-do list this year?

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