Thursday, June 25, 2015

D.I.Y. Cocktail Napkins

A while back I found this cute fabric at a local quilt shop and knew it would be perfect for little cocktail napkins to use this summer.

I only bought a half yard and wanted to make eight napkins, so they were going to be small, just perfect for daintily dabbing your fingers when you're drinking a cocktail and munching on appetizers, or using as a coaster.  We seem to serve a lot of cocktails and munchies around here and I'm always wanting to put out some tiny napkins rather than our big dinner ones.  I hadn't found any I wanted to buy and when I saw this festive fabric I decided to make my own.  (After all, quilters are also sewers, right?  Right. Well, at least when it comes to something simple like napkins!)  

My first experiment was to make them the way I make dinner napkins; with folded under hems and mitered corners.  But this took too much fabric and I wasn't enjoying all that folding, ironing, and careful stitching so I gave it up.  I mean, it's summertime and the living is supposed to be easy!

Browsing around Lord Google for other options, I found this excellent tutorial  showing a way to make reversible napkins involving just sewing and top stitching and none of that tedious folding and pressing work.  It didn't hurt that the site posting the tutorial was named Forever Young Adult.  Yes, that is me!  And then I realized it's actually a site promoting the reading of Young Adult books.  Even better!

I found some cute fabric for the backing and with a little easy sewing soon had some fun napkins to put out at our next gathering.  (The tablecloth is an old one I got from Target years ago.  I've had great luck with Target tablecloths, especially the all cotton ones.) 

The tutorial cut the napkins at six inches, but I made mine a bit bigger, cutting at nine inches so they finished up at eight and half.   The tutorial doesn't mention prewashing and I never prewash my fabric, but I should have and will the next time I make some.  I used 100% cotton which you know will shrink a bit and I was lucky the two fabrics didn't shrink differently in the wash.  But they didn't and were easy to press, and now they are back in the dining room drawers ready for the next cocktail hour. 

These were such fun to make that I'm already thinking of making some more.  Maybe red, white and blue for the various patriotic holidays or some Christmasy ones?  The possibilities  are endless. 


  1. How cute (and fun) are those! The paper ones (which we hold down with a stupid rock) just fall apart and blow around. Great idea!


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