Easy Cloth Napkins Tutorial: How to sew mitered corners

Sign up for our newsletter to get weekly emails full of great sewing tutorials and sales!


Cloth napkins make any table look a little bit homier and fancier at the same time. The trouble is, paying $15 for 4 napkins is an insane price. Making homemade napkins is EASY. Choose some of your favorite fabric or mix and match to make an eclectic collection. This cloth napkin tutorial has perfect mitered corners. Your guests won’t guess you made them!

How to sew cloth napkins with perfect corners #sewing #tutorial

Supplies: (makes 4 napkins)

  • 1 yard of fabric (quality quilting fabric or linen)
  • rotary cutter and mat
  • coordinating thread
  • iron

How to sew easy cloth napkins with perfect corners tutorial

Cut your fabric into 4 equal pieces. About 18″x22″ (that’s a fat quarter). Trim them to be squares if you prefer.

  1. Press fabric in 1″ all the way around the edge. Open then press the edge in 1/4″. 
  2. Fold corners right sides together. Make sure the 1″ fold mark is folded exactly in the corner. Sew as seen in the photo. Do not sew over the last 1/4″. This seam will be slightly less than 90 degrees. Trim edges.
  3. Turn right side out.
  4. Tuck edges under on the 1/4″ fold. Sew around edges.

That’s it! You’ll finish all six in no time!

easy cloth napkins tutorial

easy to sew cloth napkins with perfect mitered corners!

Do you use cloth napkins?

Head over here to see how I turned 1 yard into 6 napkins and named them “lapkins”.

Andrea Pannell
Andrea is the owner and designer of Go To Patterns, Go To Sew, and The Train To Crazy. You can find her playing with her four kids, designing clothing and sewing in her spare time. Follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or Twitter.
Andrea Pannell
Andrea Pannell
Andrea Pannell

Latest posts by Andrea Pannell (see all)

Andrea Pannell
Follow Me on Pinterest


  1. Ruth Stark says:

    Wow! You make this look so easy! Mitered corners have been a challenge for me, so I was glad to see another way to try to make them. Thanks!

  2. Great tutorial! I am a beginner at sewing so I appreciate this!

  3. cute! i never use them but for parties, but i def need these ones!

  4. Thank you for this tutorial. We switched to cloth napkins about a year ago (using them everyday instead of for “company”) and I have enjoyed sewing some new ones out of about a yard of “fun” material.

  5. I like how you did your corners. They are so much neater than mine.

  6. Easy and perfect!!! Almost made some of these for the GNO dinner…almost. Lol

  7. Neat trick! Never, ever thought about how to do this, but it looks so simple! Pinned!

  8. Great tutorial! And I love the fabric! Can’t wait to try this! Pinning!

  9. Ii ALWAYS use cloth napkins; it’s the one touch of elegance I love. We may eat on paper plates, but we have cloth napkins! Thanks for this great tutorial.

  10. Love this. Since I have given up paper towels I need to add to my napkin collection and can also do this for the flannel I use in place of the paper towels…

  11. Cindy Berry says:

    I have been sewing for about 45 years, and have never tried this trick, see you can teach an old dog a new trick, thanks!

  12. what a great tutorial! i always dread doing mitered corners because they take me forever and i can never get them perfectly even. i will definitely try this way next time! thanks so much! :) lisa

  13. Great tutorial – I used some of my decorative stitches to stitch around. They look great!

  14. I have made a lot of napkins, but your tutorial makes them so much easier. I always like mitered corners and never knew to sew down corner to make it so much easier! Thank you so much! I will be making many more now. We only use cloth napkins.

  15. Love those! I want to make some as soon as I find the right fabric for these and a couple matching runners.

  16. I love these, I grew up using cloth napkins every day and have made some for home. But I can’t get my husband on board with them. Maybe if I made some manly napkins and tablecloths he’d be more likely to get on board.

  17. Wow, I love this. I have made several sets of cloth napkins, so much nicer than paper and eco friendly. Mine never looked this good but they will now. Thanks for the trick. LOVE LOVE LOVE it

  18. Hello,
    I’m not a sewer but thought the instructions sounded easy enough that I’ve give it a try. I read through the instructions beginning with cut into 4 equal pieces, all the way to “You can see how I turned 1 yard into 6 napkins”. I don’t understand how four can become six. Please explain. Thanks!

    • Hi Moi – that threw me at first, too. The tutorial is for making 4 napkins out of one yard of fabric, then there is a link at the end to another, different, tutorial where 6 napkins are made out of one yard. They’re less squarish and more of a longer rectangle…cutely nicknamed “lapkins” ;-) HTH!

  19. I have gone back to using cloth napkins for the past 6-8 years but now I want to make my own! Thanks for the tutorial

  20. Great tutorial on making the napkins with mitered corners. Unless your fabric is 50 inches wide or more, you will only get 4 napkins in the yard stated.

  21. I already commented on this post, but I just used this technique for corners of a tablecloth and they came out PERFECTLY! I’ve never sewn such beautiful mitered corners before! Thank you so much! :) Lisa

  22. Best napkin tutorial I found via google! super! Even the Fiskars’ tutorial was not as easy, I didn’t think. Tho it was the only other one I saw with mitered corners. l like that yours have a wider hem and a sewn miter. I think wider hems lay flatter and look classier than roll hems and are probably sturdier.

    I plan on replacing not only paper napkins, but all paper towels, except possibly really messy exceptions. I’ve been quilting for years, so don’t expect a problem whipping these darlings up. Thanks for the how-to! I can’t wait to raid my fabric stash. I’m going to do 18″ (unfinished) squares.

  23. I don’t get step 2 :-(

  24. A couple things to add: (1) To have a 16″ square napkin, start with 18″ x 18″ pieces. To have a more finished look, after sewing the 4 sides of the hem, stitch again about 1/4″ away. Using a somewhat longer-than-typical stitching length seems to look prettier to my eye.

  25. Can’t wait to try this out tonight! I want to make matching placemats and napkins :)

  26. quiltzyx says:

    I’m looking forward to trying that way to make the nice mitered corners! But I have one question:
    If we’re cutting the one yard of fabric into FOUR equal pieces, how do you end up with SIX napkins? (“That’s it! You’ll finish all six in no time!”)

Leave a Reply