4 colorful fabric napkins on plates

Easy to Sew Fabric Napkins Everyone Will Want

DIY fabric napkins that double as unpaper towels are the perfect gift for others (or yourself). They are great for the environment and can showcase a beautiful favorite fabric or you can make a bunch of different prints. This quick, basic project is easy enough for total beginners.

To make durable napkins that can be used as counter wipes as well you’ll want to back your cotton fabrics with flannel. This makes it similar to the weight of a nice thick paper towel, yet still nice enough to use as casual everyday napkins. I regularly use these on the messy faces of littles and the messes they leave behind.

Materials Needed for Twelve 8″ Napkins:

  • Quilting Cotton (3/4 yard or 3 FQ)
  • Flannel (7/8 yard)
Fabric Napkins in a Woven Basket

Decide on your desired finished size. I wanted to use a cute basket I had on hand so I made my napkins an 8″ square. To sew at a 1/2″ seam allowance you’d add 1″ to each measurement (cut a 9″ square to end up with an 8″ square).

If you’re using fat quarters (FQ) you can just fit four napkins per FQ. I was able to get five across a regular quarter yard cut. For twelve 8″ napkins I used three FQ and a 7/8 yard cut of flannel (technically it should actually fit on 3/4 yard, but flannel shrinks sooo much and cutters sometimes cut on an angle so it’s best to get extra to account for that). Wash your fabrics before use so that they shrink up beforehand and press before cutting.


Cut your squares, 1 of cotton for the front and 1 of flannel for the back.

Match up your squares, right sides together (RST), so that the cotton fabric is face down on the flannel.

Sew around the square at 1/2″ seam allowance, pivoting at the corners, and leaving a 3″ opening.
To Pivot At the Corners: Sew down the side, 1/2″ away from the bottom edge stop sewing. Leave the needle down in the fabric. Lift the presser foot, turn the fabric around on the needle so that you can start sewing the next side. Lower the presser foot and continue sewing.

Clip the corners to reduce bulk.

Flip right side out and press. Press the sides of the opening so that the edges are folded 1/2″ inside, making a smooth edge.

Top-stitch 1/4″ from the edge, being careful to sew the opening closed. Press again to set the stitches.

Enjoy your colorful napkins!

NOTE: If you wanted to use these only as unpaper towels, and not fabric napkins at all you could replace the flannel with terry cloth.

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