Easy Cloth Napkins Tutorial: How to sew mitered corners

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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”.

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  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. Patti says

    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.

  3. says

    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.

  4. Angela says

    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…

  5. 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!

  6. says

    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

  7. says

    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.

  8. Milca says

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

  9. lara says

    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.

  10. Deb says

    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

  11. Moi says

    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!

    • says

      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!

  12. Cora says

    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.

  13. says

    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

  14. says

    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.

  15. Patricia says

    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.

  16. 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!”)

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