The other day I stopped into Anthropologie to kill some time, and came across these napkins. I love cloth napkins, they make me feel so fancy, but usually when I have money for that sort of thing, I find myself drawn towards clothes. Who could blame me? After looking in my craft room, I found I already had all of the supplies needed to make myself a set of embroidered cloth napkins. There was just one thing left to do–channel my inner Martha Stewart and stitch, stitch, stich, and then throw together a 5 course meal to test them out. These are really so simple, here are the details.
You will need the following
1. Fabric – I used linen, but cotton is swell, too
2. Embroidery thread
3. Embroidery Needle
4. Rotary Cutter
7. 4″ Embroidery Hoop
8. Sketch paper & pencil
9. Sewing machine
10. Iron & ironing board
Step One: Using your rotary cutter and ruler, measure and cut your fabric. I made my napkins 14″ x 10″. After sewing they were 12″ x 9″.
Step Two: After your desired amount of rectangles have been cut (my heart’s desire was 6), it’s time to fold the edges! Using your iron, fold each edge over 1/4 in. and then fold again. Pins are helpful here too, sometimes those edges come loose as you sew.
Step Three: Using a thread that’s close in color to your fabric, sew up all the edges. Be sure to do double stitches on the bulkier corners, so that your napkins hold up and have a nice long life.
Step Four: Now that all the sewing is done, it’s time to decide what you want to embroider on your napkins. I went botanical, but there are lots of options. You could follow the Anthropologie version and do monogram–the sky is the limit! Once you have the number of designs you want, now comes the fun part.
Step Five: Using a pencil, I could not for the life of me find one in my home, so I used a felt tip pen, carefully draw your image on your napkin. If using a pen here, stay light with your pressure so the ink doesn’t bleed through. You could use carbon paper here and trace over your original drawings, but as I was out of carbon paper I decided to go freestyle with just my amazing hand-eye coordination.
Step Six: Now the super fun part! It’s time to embroider! Using you small embroidery hoop, frame your image, thread your needle, and start stitching. Tons of different options here, I went with a simple chain stitch, you can kind of see the process below. If you know nothing about embroidery, Sublime Stitching is one of my favorite places for ideas, inspiration, and tutorials.
Step Seven: Repeat with your other designs. Keep in mind that the best way to make the back of the napkin look nice is to limit the amount of “stops” and “starts” you have. It may take you a few practice runs to get the hang of it.
And there you have it folks! Embroidered napkins that have the potential to be in your family for generation after generation. Your children’s children will fight over them long after you are gone.