Hello friends! I’m sharing with you a tutorial for DIY cocktail napkins or any kind of napkin for that matter. But first, the backstory.
My grandmother moved in with my family when I was about 4 years old and spent the last 12 years of her life traveling the world with our Navy family. To say we were spoiled by having Grandma live with us is an understatement.
Her never-ending passion was baking…enough said. It wasn’t until after her death when I was 16 that we had store-bought bread in our home. Her pies, cookies, and baklava were legendary. The fierce combo of my mom and grandma ensured we had a kitchen that was sparse of processed foods.
Grandma’s other passion was embroidery and crochet. Not only did I fill my belly with her hand made goodies, but I laid my head down each night on pillowcases that she embroidered and sewed her crocheted lace on.
We were a paperless kitchen well before it was an environmental issue. Grandma and mom outfitted each kitchen with coordinating fabric napkins and grandma made and embroidered several of our tablecloths. Now that I think of it, they were Martha before Martha was Martha!
I am the logical extension of my mom and grandma.
They instilled in me the appreciation nice linens, that whole functional aesthetics thing. I have a great collection of cloth and linen napkins that we use instead of paper.
Some I’ve bought locally, others I’ve picked up on our travels. I love sitting down to dinner with the napkins I bought at the Louvre Museum Shop, in a little village I passed through when hiking through Alsace-Lorraine or at World Market for that matter.
My fabric cocktail napkins stash has been looking a bit tired, so I decided to get busy and make some fabric napkins, including these DIY cocktail napkins. I found a nice neutral linen at my local JoAnn’s Fabric Store and went to work.
I’m not even close to a seamstress; if I can do this, so can you. I’m also working on my other Grandma’s 30+-year-old sewing machine, so while you do need a sewing machine, you don’t need a fancy one.
Since I’m still in my ‘put a crochet border on it’ phase, I did add a very simple border. I timed the process and you can produce a napkin from start to finish in about 2 and 1/2 hours.
After figuring out the process, what I did was spend some time cutting, ironing and sewing the cocktail napkins and then my napkin stash was portable, so I could do the hand-sewing and crochet anywhere.
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I’m thinking of spending some time at my sewing machine and whipping up a bunch of these DIY cocktail napkins as gifts this year. We’ll be traveling overseas this summer and doing the edge work will be a great way to spend the time on the long plane and train trips. So family…guess what you’re getting this year!
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