Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Creative Reuse: Dinner Napkins from Pillowcases

Before I dive headfirst into my holiday decorating, are you all ready for a creative reuse? I've got a good one for you!

At the start of my vacation, my mom and I stopped into the Ralph Lauren Home outlet and found several king pillowcases in the 'Cote d'Azur' print for $6.48 each pair. Immediately, I knew I could use the print for something other than pillowcases. The print was reminiscent of a Robshaw-esque block print, but for a fraction of the price.

Each package contained 2 king pillowcases that measured 20" x 40". Using one of my mom's existing fabric napkins as a template, I began cutting 16 equal-sized 14" x 14" squares from the 4 large pillowcases.
The fabric was doubled so that both sides of the finished napkins were printed (that is, no "wrong side" showing). I ironed each square carefully to make pinning and sewing easier.
This is where my very talented mother comes in. Mom turned each of the printed squares wrong-side out and pinned the template red napkin to both to guide her stitching.

Using a simple straight stitch, Mom followed the edge of the red napkin and sewed up 3 1/2 edges of the square (as if she was making a pillow). She left a small opening so the napkin could be turned right-side out. Each napkin she sewed I turned right-side out and used an awl to make each corner clean and sharp.

Back under the iron these napkins went!

Next step? A trip back under the sewing machine's needle--this time to using the embroidery stitches on the machine to finish off each with a blanket stitch about a quarter inch from the edge. This final stitch closed up all the open seams and added a professional look to my 8 finished napkins.

...Ready for the final product?
$12.96 and a little bit of team effort resulted in 8 handmade napkins that look much more costly. This project would make a cute Christmas present for newlyweds or those who just settled into their first home.
Hope you like them!


  1. Ashley, so cute! And, I love how you incorporated the blanket stitch. Is that hard to do? Supposedly, I heard that Robshaw has stopped using the blanket stitch - such a shame b/c I love it!

  2. super cute, I'm embarrassed to admit I don't own any napkins. Someday I'll have to step it up and get myself a grown up pair.

    hmmm.... for the Christmas list?

  3. Glad you ladies liked them! Fran, the blanket stitch is part of the various stitches that my mom's sewing machine has the capability of sewing--takes all the guesswork out of it!

    Naomi, don't be embarrassed...these beauties are my first fabric napkins. I'm hoping to step up my sartorial game at the dinner table with them.

  4. using another napkin for a guide is genius!


I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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