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Easy to Make Napkins

Sharing this how-to for easy to make napkins. With miter-edged corners and a crochet edge, these napkins are perfect gifts…but you will most likely want to fill your own napkin drawer!

As you know, I am a sucker for nice linens of any sort, but I have a true penchant for table linens.  In case you missed the earlier post, this linen love of mine surely is a genetic thing I inherited the gene from my linen-loving, embroidery-embellishing grandma and mom.

Growing up, we ate our meals at a table with napkins sewn by Grandma and laid our head on pillowcases embroidered by Grandma.  So it’s no surprise that I have a kitchen drawer filled with linen napkins that are used at each meal and another drawer in my dining room console filled with tablecloths and napkins for ‘fancy’ meals.  

An easy to make napkin on a white plate.

And ever since I discovered how easy it was to make miter-edge napkins and add a crochet edge to just about anything, making napkins has been in overdrive.  You can see the simple, crochet-edge cocktail napkin here.  These easy-to-make napkins are just what I needed to bring spring to the dinner table.

A stack of easy to make napkins with mitred-corners and crochet edge.

And if your napkin drawer is filled (as if that would ever happen), these would make a wonderful gift …with or without the crochet edge.  

The napkins are easy to make with basic sewing knowledge, which is all I have.  I am not a seamstress by any stretch of the imagination, but give me a straight line to sew in a basic straight stitch, and  I’m all over it.  

And the crochet pattern is very basic as well…it requires knowledge of two stitches, the chain stitch and the single crochet.  I have included a video from a previous project giving some visual explanation, in addition to my written explanation.

A stack of easy to make napkins with mitred-corners and crochet edge.

What you need for 4 Easy-to-Make Napkins (15″ by 15″):

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  • 1 yard of 44′ wide fabric.  I prefer 100% cotton, but that’s a personal preference
  • 1 skein/ball of DMC Pearl Cotton Size 5
  • 1 skein/ball Aunt Lydia’s Crochet Cotton Size 3
  • Sewing Machine
  • Crochet Hook, size 1
  • Needle
  • Iron
  • Ironing Board
  • A piece of cardstock with a line drawn across 1/4″ down from the stop and another 1/2″ down from the top.  See below for an illustration.
  • Disappearing Ink
An easy to make napkin on a white plate.

Directions for Easy-to-Make Napkins:

  • Wash your fabric before you sew, but run a quick stitch along all sides with your sewing machine before you wash it, or you will have an unraveled, knotted mess!
  • Wash and dry your fabric.
  • Iron down, using spray starch,  1/4″ on all sides, and then iron down, using spray starch, 1/2″ on all sides.  I found the easiest way to do this part is to have a piece of cardstock marked at those increments that I could fold the fabric over and iron.  
    Guide for hemming napkins. Easy to Make Napkin Tutorial.
  • Once you have 1/4″ turned over and ironed, and then 1/2″ turned over and ironed, it’s time to make your mitered corners.  Here is the link to a tutorial I did on mitered corners for another project.  
  • Once your mitered corners are done, you may be inclined to sew the hem down.  I found it best to wait on this. If you sew it down, all your knots from sewing the backstitch will show.  If you’ve starched it well, the crease will remain while you sew in the backstitch, and you can sew the hem afterward.
  • I made marks every 1 cm around the perimeter of the fabric with the disappearing ink, threaded my needle with the pearl cotton, and sewed the backstitch at the edge.
  • If you aren’t familiar with the backstitch, it’s very simple.  
    1. Come up from the back of your fabric and out point number 1.  
    2. Then go in point number 2 and out point number 3.  
    3. You will then go back in point number 1 and out of point number 4.
    4. From point 4, you’ll go in at 3 and out at 5.  Get it?  
    5. Here’s an illustrated photo from an earlier project.
how to backstitch
  • You can put the crochet edge on once you’ve sewn the backstitch around your napkin.
    1. Work 3 single crochets into each backstitch segment.  This youtube video will show you how to pick up stitches within each backstitch segment (But remember you’re only putting 3 stitches into each segment).  
    2. You’ll repeat this for each backstitch segment all-around your napkin.  
    3. Add two extra chain stitches at each corner, as you turn the corner.  In other words, when you get to the last segment before your turn to the next side, after you’ve done your 3rd stitch, do two chains before you start the 1st single crochet in the first segment on the next side.  
  • It’s time to start the second row once you’ve gone all the way around.  Essentially what we’re doing on this row is doing a single crochet stitch in the middle of each of the three stitches you just did and then chaining 2 and repeating these three stitches for the entire row.
    Simple Eyelet Edge Pattern
  • When you reach each corner, chain stitch 3-4 to ease the edging.
  • I have produced a wee video giving a glimpse of how I created the eyelet. I am a firm believer in a picture (or in this case…video) is worth a thousand words. Hope this helps.
  • To finish it, use your sewing machine to sew down the hem you had ironed and starched earlier.
A stack of easy to make napkins with mitred-corners and crochet edge.

At the same time I was making these napkins, my sister-in-law redecorated her kitchen in these colors. So, I sent her these napkins for her birthday.

Looking for other knit and crochet patterns? Pop over here for all my knit & crochet patterns in one place!

Bookmark this page or pin the following image to refer back to this tutorial on these easy to make napkins.

Napkin on a plate.

Thanks so much for spending a few minutes of your busy day with me!

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Until next time…

Signature of Lynn



Thanks for making my day by SHARING!!

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  1. Aaaaaaaaah. The craft geek in me is geeking out over this!!! I’ve made napkins before but adding your own handmade trim….wow. Just when I thought I’ve seen it all, you share this amazing tutorial. I’m so inspired this morning thanks to you! I love vintage linens. and by his gives me so many options. just think of the fabric possibilities with that trim!!! Pinning, sharing, calling all my friends 😉 You are the best!!!!!! Hugs, jenny

    1. Hey there fellow craft geek! We NEED our crafting party…but looks like it needs to be a week long party to make napkins, carrots and shark teeth! I’m thrilled that I gave you some ideas…that’s quite an honor coming from you! Go find some pretty fabric and settle in for a great weekend of sewing.
      Hugs, Lynn

  2. Your linen napkins are so pretty Lynn, I wouldn’t want to get them dirt. I love the print that your chose for the napkins, and the crocheted edges. My mom is a crocheter. I can crochet simple things, nothing fancy. In fact I crochet my own dish rags. Maybe I will give these a try for Christmas presents. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thanks Linda. I won’t use these for every day or when spaghetti is on the menu, but my experience is that they really do wash up nicely. I picked up crochet just about a year ago and it’s been a handy skill for some of the projects I wanted to do.
      Wishing you a lovely day.
      Hugs, Lynn

  3. I love these! The crochet really dresses up the fabric. It’s been so long since I’ve crocheted anything but your video makes it kind of ring a bell. I might go buy some crochet needles and come back to this. 🙂

    1. Hi Stacey, thanks for coming by today. I picked up my first crochet hook just about a year ago and have found it a handy little skill. I am a very basic crocheter…just enough to add trim here and there. I promise, if I can do it so can you.
      Wishing you a happy day.
      Hugs, Lynn

  4. These are so pretty Lynn. The crochet makes them so special. And it also takes me back to an old time when things were handmade and well cared for. Not like today’s fast past and disposable life. Very well done friend! Have a great weekend.

    1. Thanks sweet Mary. I do think my grandma’s gift to me was the appreciation of adorning every day things to make them a tad more special. I still have some of her embroidered pillowcases and they are a treasure to me.
      Wishing you a lovely day,
      Hugs, Lynn

  5. I grew up with a embroidery-embellishing grandma and mom too. In fact, I still have the curtains that my grandmother made me over 50 years ago. They have puppies embroidery on them. You have given us great instructions for this project that are very helpful. Thank you!

    1. Hey Sherry…we do seem to have lots in common! And aren’t those embroidered items of your mom and Grandma such a treasure to you now? Guess we need to make sure we pass down some of our treasures to our children. Thanks for coming by today.
      Hugs, LYnn

    1. Hi Marjan and thanks for coming by to leave your kind comment. It’s nice to have something a little fancy now and again, right? And really pretty easy to do. You could easily buy napkins and add a trim to dress them up as well.
      Wishing you a lovely day,
      Hugs, Lynn

  6. Lynn, I love the crochet edges on your napkins. My mother had lots of pillowcases and other fine linens with crocheting on them. It takes me back to a simpler time when more women did this type of hand work. Your instructions are excellent, considering I know nothing about crocheting…LOL!

    1. Hi Carol, it does seem that handwork really isn’t done so much anymore and that is rather sad. I love that I still have some of the pieces done by my Grandma and now I need to make sure I produce somethings to pass down to my kids and grandkids someday.
      Thanks for swinging by today friend.
      Hugs, Lynn

  7. I love these napkins! I still love your linen throw too. Making one has been on my list for the longest time. Even though it’s hot as can be here already, we get chilled at night. Lucky you to have beautiful family memories of handmade napkins and things. It’s special that you get to use something daily that has so much family history in memories. Loved your post:)

    1. Hi Wendi and thanks for your sweet words. I do love have nice linens and am actually in the process of making another linen throw, this time for my room. That throw might actually be great for the fall weather where you are. They are really quite easy to make.
      Wishing you a lovely day.
      Hugs, Lynn

  8. Lynn, I love these embellished napkins you made! The details really make a items like these napkins special. They’re beautiful and perfect for spring.

    1. Thanks Keri, I really do enjoy having nice linens at my dinner table and even more special ones for those very special occasions. And adding the crochet edge is an easy way to make a simple napkin all the more special. Thanks for stopping by Keri. Very much appreciate it.
      Hope you are enjoying a wonderful week.
      Hugs, Lynn

  9. Lynn, these are so cute! I think that I could manage doing this small amount of crochet. Now, if only I could get my sewing machine to stop fighting me… 😉

    1. Hi Sweet Gina! I know you could do this crochet edge…it really is simple. I really only started crocheting this time last year and have really only attempted the most basic of stitches. But I get you on the sewing machine battle…I finally took mine in for a tune up recently. My sewing machine was my grandmother’s and I inherited it 20 years ago. Guess I can’t complain that I finally had to get it in for a tune up in the past 6 months. Wishing you a lovely week.
      Hugs, Lynn

    1. Hi Sarah Eliza! You are so welcome and I’m glad to have provided a wee bit of inspiration. Hope your week is wonderful. Hugs, Lynn

    1. Thanks Lindsey! I appreciate your input on the tutorials. I probably wouldn’t use them if we were eating spaghetti or ribs, but think I’ll use them for most every other meal. Life’s too short to save your good napkins and good china! Wishing you a lovely week.
      Hugs, Lynn

    1. Hi Debra, I hope that my tutorials, or the many available on youtube, help you with the crochet. It really is very easy…I picked up my first crochet hook about this time last year and my skills are very basic. Thanks for coming by today. Hugs, Lynn

  10. These are so gorgeous, just like all your other linens Lynn! I really love those little yellow flowers! These would look great with my yellow chairs in my kitchen! I still haven’t made the linen throw, and I will add these to my list of to~do diy’s, they are so so pretty and would also make a beautiful unique gift! Your are rocking the crochet needle Lynn and the tutorial is perfect! Thank you! Have a great Tuesday!

  11. Lynn, These are so pretty and they do give your table a sense of spring. I love that. I only have one set of cloth napkins for our table, I really need to make some more. I really like that you’ve created some for each season. The crochet edge adds a little extra specialness. I used to crochet, I think perhaps your napkins may get me to dig out my crochet hook!

    1. Hey Nikki…you know, you could easily buy some napkins and put a little crochet trim on them to ‘special’ them up. Grab that crochet hook…perfect way to spend an evening in front of the TV, especially if you need a pillow making break! 😉
      Hugs, Lynn

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