DIY No-Sew Linen Napkins


Is there anything lovelier than fresh linen napkins adorning the plates of your dinner guests? We think not, especially when you can make them yourself and don’t even need to pull out the sewing machine. That’s right, my pretty little handspun crafters – you do not have to thread a single needle or pull out any pesky thimbles to make these linen napkins! Oh, and did I mention they have mitered corners?!? [for the non-sewers out there, that's fancy talk for clean 45 degree corners].


That being said, they are an absolute breeze to make. Seriously. And I would recommend making a batch pronto because you will need them for another tutorial I have coming up in the next month. It will be all kinds of fun and is also quite easy, so get a jump on it and invite over your favorite gal pals for a ladies night of napkin DIY-ing.



Makes six 20″ napkins

Step 1:  Cut the fabric into 20.5″ squares

Lay your fabric out on a flat surface and if it looks a bit on the wrinkly side then you might want to iron it first so it will be easier to cut accurately to size. [Note: If you need an idea as to what 'a bit wrinkly' means then just look at the lovely photo above - it is a wonderful example of what more than 'a bit wrinkly' looks like. I did that for illustration purposes and not at all because I was impatient to make my napkins...]  Use your ruler to measure out 20.5″ squares. You can also choose a smaller size if you want your fabric to go farther, for example 16″ or 18″ square napkins (which would give you 12 or 9 napkins, respectively). If you choose to make a different size, don’t forget to add 1/4″ to each side for the hem (ex. 16″ napkins would be cut to 16.5″ x 16.5″).

A tip for cutting perfect squares:

In order to create a perfect square, measure and cut two of the adjoining sides. Grasp the corner you just created and pull it over the rest of your fabric to fold it into a triangle shape. Now cut the other two sides using these edges as a guide.


Step 2:  Use Steam-A-Seam to fold up corners

Cut the Steam-A-Seam tape into small strips and place one on each corner of your napkin, sticky side down. Use the gray dotted line in the “Step 2″ photo as a general guide when placing your strips. Remove the wax paper, fold the corner at the bottom edge of your strip and press down onto the tape to create a small triangle. Use your iron to activate the adhesive on the strip by pressing down for approximately 10 seconds (check the directions on your Steam-A-Seam product for exact time recommendations).


Step 3:  Finish hems with Steam-A-Seam

Once all of your corners are finished, place a strip of Steam-A-Seam along the edge of your napkin. Fold up to create a 1/4″ hem (the same size as your tape, so just use that as a guide) and press with an iron to seal as you did with the corners. The edge of your hem should roughly line up with the gray dotted lines shown in the “Step 3″ photo (a closeup of this is pictured in the circle photo). If you strive for perfection then you can get a more pristine edge by folding up your hems and ironing them before you apply the Steam-A-Seam. Then just tuck the tape into the fold and iron to seal the adhesive. Repeat this step for the rest of the sides of your napkin.



And that’s it! You now have pretty mitered corner linen napkins to admire, use, or flaunt as you please! Be sure to put them out for your next soiree and brag about how you are such a fabulous seamstress that your stitches are not even visible. Or you could just tie them up with pretty ribbons or slip on a sequined napkin ring to let them shine quietly, but beautifully.



So, what do you think? Do they seem easy enough to give them a try for yourself?


  1. Suzy VanDyke says:

    I need to do this, love how simple it is!

    • Christy | One Handspun Day says:

      Suzy – You definitely should! They would be perfect for the adorable dinner parties you and Lukas like to throw


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  3. [...] I was watching Rachel Ray and she had someone on her show repurposing old shirts and turning them into cute square cloth napkins. This could be a quick fun way to use fabric from an old or thrifted shirt that may not fit anymore. Sometimes it’s the textile that you can’t part with, so you end up keeping it. Making cloth napkins can jazz up the dinner party table and make use of something that was going to sit idle in the closet. All you need is a little patience, scissors and steam a seam tape. It’s similar to hem tape one can use on pants. See a tutorial here. [...]

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