One thought leads to another and this is how I ended up with these gorgeous dinner napkins! Over the holidays, we hosted a couple of dinner parties and I realized that I was short on napkins; I do have some white hemstitch linen napkins that are suitable for most occasions, but cotton napkins are way more convenient for semi-formal gatherings and I do not have any. So last week, while I was at the fabric store shopping for a good quality white cotton textile to make a dozen plain napkins myself, I came across fabric bolts in many different solid colors. I especially liked the soft toned ones and as spring is just around the corner, I thought it would be nice to make a few napkins in pastel colors, too! I quickly calculated: I would need about a yard and one quarter of fabric to make four napkins in one color and that would cost about $3.90 for all four. That is so inexpensive that I could also get fabric in more than one color to mix and match… I spent a good amount of time trying to get perfectly matching shades and I left the store with grey, yellow, pink and lavender fabric.
A few days later, when I started working on my colorful napkins, I thought that it would be nice to add a little something to them and make them more fun. A tassel for example? But a tassel would not be convenient at all. I wanted the napkins to be machine washable and I could see tassels coming apart after the first wash. However, if the tassels were removable, that would make things easier, right?
So I ended up making napkins with detachable tassels! Each of my napkins has one little satin ribbon loop that I added inside one of the four corners as I was sewing them. For every napkin, I then prepared a tassel, each with an inserted lobster clasp on the top part. The tassel attaches easily to the loop and it comes off when it’s time to wash the napkins or if I want to use them plain.
Each napkin has its matching tassel…
or maybe not. The tassels can be switched around for a playful table setting.
The color choices are endless, there are dozens of different shades to chose from. I can even imagine patterned fabric – geometric, flower, moroccan, gingham, any of these patterns could work with a tassel. I will be using the grey ones year round while the lighter colors are mostly suitable for spring and summer.
I can’t wait for the next dinner party to use them!
This is one easy way to fold them, but there are many more. The tassel definitely adds interest to this napkin.
For themed tablescapes, there are many more little items that can be attached to the loop instead of the tassel. I will have to try!
The fabric is a 100% light cotton that absorbs well and washes well. Napkins always look better when they are ironed and after a few washes these will iron well, too.
Grey is definitely the color that I will be using most, so I made eight of them. As per the others, I have four in each color.
I did not think it was worth preparing a tutorial on how to make the napkins; if you have a little sewing experience, you can probably make them better than me. If not, here is an easy tutorial that I just found online. It shows you how to make the corners in two different ways – mitered corners or square corners. For something that is not as formal, I think that the square corners are a lot easier and faster. Plus, it is simpler to add the loop inside a square corner. As for the tassels, here is how I made them:
One skein of pearl cotton No.5 makes four tassels. (1) Cut a strand of floss about 12 inches long and thread a needle on one end and a lobster clasp on the other, as so:
(2) Wrap the one end that has the clasp around the opened skein and tie two knots to secure the clasp in place.
(3) Wrap the strand around the neck of the skein without removing the needle, about seven times
and (4) insert the needle inside the tassel a few times to secure in place.
If you do not know how to sew but still like this idea, you can make a few tassels for the dinner napkins that you already have and just sew the loop in place by hand.
Materials for four napkins:
- 1.25 yard 100% solid cotton fabric @ $4.99/yard – Joann Fabric & Craft Stores ** always use coupon**
- DMC Pearl Cotton size 5 / $1.69 each, in assorted colors – Joann Fabric & Craft Stores
- Satin ribbon, 3mm wide – Joann Fabric & Craft Stores
- 15 mm lobster clasps, 10 pc pack / $2.99 – Michaels Stores