Monday, February 20, 2012

Green(er) Idea: Cloth Napkins

When I learned that the Dollar Store was offering large cloths for a dollar each that looked a lot like rustic antique French linens, I scooped up eight of them for the purpose of finally replacing our paper napkins.  Got them home, though, and realized that they were simply too big to be regular family I asked my "seamstress/artist/knitter/upholsterer extraordinaire" mother to cut them in half and seam them up (thereby making 16 napkins).

Cost = 50 cents per napkin.  :)

My mom does not like them.  And I quote: "they're kind of ugly, Steph."  But she agreed to hem them for me.

I told her that in a rustic table setting they would look pretty...   


or here....

People also criticize my desires to be more green, believe it or not.  While using cloth napkins might seem like a small thing compared to eliminating single-use plastic, my goal is to reduce waste and to tread more lightly on the planet.  Washing napkins does take water and energy, yes, but I am doing laundry anyway. 

We are a throw-away society.  Once you open your eyes to this, it really does get hard to go back.  I am sure someone reading this can relate to me.

We will see how my cloth napkin experiment goes with my family.  I still have paper towels in the kitchen, although I am personally using microfiber cloths for clean up, instead.

The cloth napkins need to be easily accessible to be used, so I have them stacked in a basket in the kitchen.   Personally, I like how they look.

I will be updating my attempts to go green on this blog.  While they are not design related per se, they are DIY attempts that incorporate beauty (again, my version of it) and practicality.  I hope you enjoy them!




  1. Great idea, cutting them in half! FWIW, I think they're beautiful in their rustic simplicity. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I love fabrics with that little ticking line. Very nice!

  3. Great idea with the towels. I love using cloth napkins

  4. I love your new napkins! I will have to look for them next time I am in the store :o)

  5. We have used cloth napkins for almost 20 years and we prefer them over paper. What I loved when the kids were growing up was being able to quickly clean up spills when they occurred at the table. We would all just start throwing our napkins on the puddle. I do need some new everyday napkins and intend to look for these at D Tree next time I go and thanks for the idea!

  6. Love the napkins and a real bargain. You are a smart shopper. I have also used $ Store's kitchen towels for table runners under the place settings. Too big for place mats.
    Blessings. Audrey Z.
    Timeless Treasures.

  7. I love the idea. Better cloth than paper.

  8. I have always felt it to be more civilized to use a cloth napkin. I love your finds! I am going to check out the dollar store tomorrow! Thanks for sharing! Oh, and also they look so cute in the basket!


  9. I love your cloth napkins, specially the price.
    Thanks for sharing.

  10. Love how these turned out! might have to head to the dollar store! :)

  11. Very nice napkins! Good idea. We use cloth napkins too. It makes every dinner feel a little bit special and looks much better than paper napkins ever did. Like you said, we are already doing laundry, so we aren't actually using any more water or energy to wash these. I hang mine to dry, saving energy and getting rid of the need to iron out the wrinkles.

  12. I'm slowly making the transition to cloth napkins. Love your find!

  13. My grandkids have always used cloth napkins when taking their lunches to school! My daughter started them young! All of us recycle as many things as we can. My backyard compost bins are full of kitchen scraps, grass clippings, and fall leaves.

  14. I love the cloth napkins...very frenchy inspired! Confessionsofaplateaddict made some super cute ones as well this week using adorable napkins from Ikea...with red ticking. They were only 79cents! Then she put on an adorable monogram transfer.
    I use paper 1x for disgusting jobs like the bathrooms, but actually get quite a lot of uses out of a single paper towel. People make fun of me, but their children will thank me later:)

  15. I did the same thing last year. I decided to pick up cloth napkins at garage sales etc and I just pile them in a basket on my table. I have since decided that keeping them neatly folded isn't going to work. So I fold them fairly well and just look the other way! It's one little thing we can do to be greener! Good for you!!


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