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How to Sew Cloth Napkins With Mitered Corners

In this easy, beginner sewing project you can learn how to make your own DIY cloth napkins to suit your own style.

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What is the best fabric for cloth napkins?

You can use any pattern or color you would like, just make sure the fabric is mostly cotton. The main purpose of a napkin is to wipe dirty hands, so you want a fiber that is going to be absorbent and will wash easily. For that, cotton is a great fiber!

I chose to use ticking striped fabric that I found on Amazon. I’ve also made these using old cotton curtains, large fabric scraps I’ve found at yard sales, and fat quarters from the quilting section in the fabric store.

cloth napkins make your own


Sewing Level: Beginner
(if you know how to straight stitch on a sewing machine)

1.) Wash It

First, you need to wash, dry, and iron your fabric. This needs to be done before any sewing project, especially when you’re sewing something that you will eventually wash. It prevents the fabric from shrinking or twisting after your project is made.

2.) Cut The Fabric

Cut the fabric into large squares, somewhere between 16″ x 16″ to 22″ x 22″.
The size is completely up to you, depending on how large you’d like your napkins to be. For reference, 22″ x 22″ would be your standard large, dinner-size napkin like you would get at a restaurant.

I wanted a smaller set of napkins this time so I cut mine to 16″x16.″ Just keep in mind you will lose about an inch after sewing. If you wanted your finished napkin to be 17″x17″ you need to cut a square that is 18″x18″.

Then cut out as many napkins as you would like.

3.) Creating the Outer Seams with an Iron

  • Start on one edge and press the fabric down 1/4″ pressing the wrong side to the wrong side.
  • Then fold it over another quarter inch and press it again.
Repeat this process with all four sides.

Using a sewing gauge makes this easier!

Your napkin should look like this so far:

4.) Sewing a Mitered Corner

Unfold the second fold only. Fold the corner towards the wrong side as shown so that the creases line up with those from the second fold. The creases that need to be aligned are marked in purple.

mitered corners, cloth napkin

Press lightly to crease the fabric and then unfold.

mitered corner, finished corner

Now fold the corner right sides together, aligning the outer edges. You should be folding so that the most recent crease – the one diagonally across the corner – is lined up with itself through the layers. You can see below the crease is marked in purple. Pin it.

cloth napkin DIY

Stitch along the crease, backstitching at beginning and end. Cut off excess and clip the top corner.

Cloth napkin tutorial

Turn the corner right side out and use a point turner to push it out (if you’re fancy.)

I am not very fancy and just use a chopstick or a dull pencil. 🙂

Follow this same process for all of the corners and edges until everything is ironed and pinned.

5.) Start To Sew

Once you’ve finished ironing and pinning, it’s time to sew!

Press, then topstitch around the inner fold, pivoting at the corners.

mitered corner
Cut any stray threads.
Then repeat the sewing process with all of your napkins.
Enjoy your new table decor!
ticking stripe napkins

Save It For Later…PIN IT!

Check out my other sewing projects HERE:



  1. Thanks for this post! Super helpful and informative. The pics help a ton!

  2. These are beautiful homemade cloth napkins! I love your fabric too! Thanks for the great tutorial!

  3. I love this easy tutorial! What better way on saving money on paper napkins and creating beautiful tablescapes than sewing your own!

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