Sewing Blog

DIY Dinner Napkins With Mitered Corners

Are you ready to dress your dinner table in style? Here’s a project that’s sure to add pizzazz to your next meal! Sew a rainbow of DIY mitered corner napkins in coordinating prints, to give each guest their own unique experience!

DIY Mitered Corner Napkins Tutorial DIY Dinner Napkins with Rainbow Remix Fabric

Once you learn how to sew neatly pressed mitered corners, you’ll want to practice again and again! Sewing your own cloth napkins is an inexpensive way to set the table, and it will help save the environment. Think about all of those paper towels you’ll save.

DIY Dinner Napkins with Rainbow Remix Fabric

Photos via Ann Kelle

Do you know what else is great? You can make each napkin with just one fat quarter of fabric! Choose your favorite fat quarter bundle and you’re all set to sew a coordinated collection of beautiful cloth napkins!

Ready to sew your own cloth napkins? Let’s get started!

DIY Dinner Napkins with Rainbow Remix Fabric

Step 1:

For each napkin, trim one fat quarter (18″ x 22″) into an 18″ x 18″ square to make a 17″ square napkin. I used prints from the new Rainbox Remix line by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman.

Mitered Corner Napkin Tutorial

Step 2:

I’m going to use a 4″ fabric square to show you how to sew one mitered corner. Apply this technique to all four corners of your dinner napkin to make a set of fun and functional mitered corner napkins! Measure and mark a line 1/2″ from the border. Measure and mark a second line 1″ from the border. I used a ballpoint pen for visibility, but you might want to use a pencil or fabric marking pen.

Mitered Corner Napkin Tutorial

Step 3:

Fold and press the fabric along the 1/2″ line so it touches the 1″ line. Unfold. Trim off the corner as pictured. (Trim off the whole box in the upper corner and dissect the two adjacent boxes with your rotary cutter.)

Mitered Corner Napkin Tutorial

Step 4:

Fold the corner you just trimmed so that the fabric points align with the 1″ pen marking.

Mitered Corner Napkin Tutorial

Step 5:

Open up the fold and draw a line along the diagonal fold. The line should not touch the edges of the napkin, but just stay inside the center portion (like the dotted line pictured).

Mitered Corner Napkin Tutorial

Step 6:

Fold the fabric right sides together. Sew along the line you marked earlier (dotted line shown highlighted in pink above).

Mitered Corner Napkin Tutorial

Step 7:

Here’s another view of the line after it is stitched. In this example, the section you stitch is highlighted in yellow, and the fabric is opened up slightly.

Mitered Corner Napkin Tutorial

Step 8:

After stitching the dotted line, it’s time to flip the fabric right side out. Use a tool with a point to poke out the corner. Next, you’ll fold the raw edges of fabric under, using the fold from step #2 as your guide.

Mitered Corner Napkin Tutorial

Step 9:

Fold the raw edges under and topstitch 1/8″ from the folded edge.

Mitered Corner Napkin Tutorial

Step 10:

A good tip is to use a stitch in the ditch foot along the folded edge, and move your needle position a few steps to the right to get an accurate topstitch.

DIY Dinner Napkins with Rainbow Remix Fabric

Wasn’t that easy? If you try this project, we’d love to hear about your DIY dinner napkins in the comments! You can also take your mitering skills to the next level with Linda Lee in her Classic Table Linens course.

DIY Dinner Napkins with Rainbow Remix Fabric

What’s your favorite sewing project to make with just one fat quarter?

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20 Comments

Mary

Great directions, but with 1″ folded under on each side, the resulting napkin will be 16″ not 17″ if you start with an 18″ square. I generally buy 1. 1/4 yd for four napkins and cut 22″” squares to finish to 20″. I like to use Kona cotton and prewash the fabric.

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Anna G

I would like to try making napkins rather then purchasing premade. Do you find the all cotton Kona fabric needs ironing after washing? Perhaps I should use a cotton blend. Any suggestions are welcome for this novice sewer.

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Jones

Very useful tips! Thank you!

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BarbaraP

Great tutorial. Mother’s Day gift for my daughter-in-law. I know she’ll love them. Thank you.

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LindaG

For a finer, more professional looking napkin, cut a 19″ x 19″ square and make a narrow hem, with a total of 1/2″ folded on each side. This yields an 18″ square with a finished hem of 1/4″ (with 1/4″ turned under). If you want to use the fat quarter, change the starting square to 18″ to end up with a 17″ napkin having 1/4″ hems. With careful pressing and a few pins, I have found the hems can be sewn without pre-stitching the miters, if using 1/4″ hems, but stitching the miters can help hold them in place. The 1/2″ finished hems can seem a little heavy-looking, unless you are using a heavy or loose-weave fabric.

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gwen

I am all about saving the trees and the least I can buy from China the better… I love sitting my table with pretty things… I will defiantly make these….

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susan

Thanks for sharing this detailed tutorial. I have trouble with the mitered corners and this was very helpful. I will try this method in the near future:)

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Sue

Best tutorial on mitered corners I’ve seen! Thank you! I plan on buying sheets from the thrift store and making napkins out of them. It’s a fabulous way to recycle and it benefits the thrift store, and I get lots of fabric for less than $3.00!

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Karen

What a great idea! Thanks for sharing, fabric can be so expensive and ill l definitely check this out.

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staci

Thank you for this tutorial! I not only love the wider hems (so much cleaner and sharper looking than a rolled or 1/4″ hem) but ESPECIALLY love that you cut off the tips and there’s now no bulk in the corners – whoohoo! I had a tendency to break needles sewing those durned corners without you teaching me to trim them.

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Louise

Thank you for the tutorial! I am a beginner and was able to make my first napkin, not perfect yet but will try another one and another one till perfect!

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Amanda

Lovely! Thank you so much for providing this tutorial. Easy enough to follow for even an extremely inexperienced seamstress like myself. My napkins turned out wonderfully polished-looking. (Sidenote: I love the fabric you chose for your examples, too!)

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Bernadette McTavish

Thank you.

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Kathy Watson

Excellent tutorial, but darn, I wish I had measured my existing napkins. A 17-18 inch napkin is more of what I would call a “luncheon” napkin. My dinner napkins are quite a bit bigger …. 20-22 inches. BUT, now that I know how to do this, I’ll make bigger ones next time. Thanks.

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Suzi

I’m making 1/4-inch hems. It’s easier to sew the dotted line by hand (needle and thread), since the seam is so short and you have to be accurate and not sew past the folds.

Reply

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