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How To & DIY

Reclaiming Old Tablecloths or Bed Sheets: Make Your Own Linen Napkins

Nothing is worse than finding a hole in your favorite bed sheets or a giant wine spill on your favorite tablecloth. But if you’ve got a sewing machine, or just a lot of patience, you can reclaim them for new, stylish linen napkins. Linen napkins are an easy way to make even take out night feel fancy, and they’re environmentally conscious as you’ll no longer be throwing out stacks of paper napkins every week which cannot be recycled.

We’ve created an easy How-To guide for you to follow along with and create your own. You’ll need a sewing machine and an iron for this project. You could probably, painstakingly, do it without either but you would need a lot of time, patience, and pins.

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  • Linen (preferably of cotton or muslin)
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Needle
  • Measuring Tape/Ruler
  • Iron
  • Pencil/Chalk/Washable Marker

Linen Napkin Red Plate


Steps One Two Three Four Napkins


Depending on how big you want your napkins, you’re going to measure out half an inch past your desired end result. I wanted 12 ½” x 12 ½” squares, so I cut my fabric out to 13″ x 13″ squares. On each square, measure and mark an inch in.


Fold over the edge so that it touches your marked 1″ line, making a ½” fold. Iron until it lays flat. Turn the square and do the next, until the whole square now measures 12 ½.” Fold over again, so that the raw fabric edge is tucked underneath and the fold is now against your measured line. Iron flat.


This is the easiest part. Sew the folds in place, going from the top to the bottom of the square. Cut off loose threads, turn to the next side and repeat. Instead of doing a solid sew all the way around, this way you get a cute cross-over effect that forms small x’s on each corner.

Linen Napkin Beauty Shot

Linen Napkin Blue Bowl

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