How To Make Cloth Placemats and Napkins


Cloth placemats and napkins are super-easy to make if you have the right tools.  They can be made any theme or style of fabric you want to match your decor.  And switching to cloth napkins saved our family a TON of money over the years instead of using paper.  So let’s get started with this DIY!

These directions are to make 12 reversible placemats with different fabric on each side, with 12 napkins that match one side, and 12 napkins that match the other side, for a total of 24 napkins.


  • Serger and 3 Spools of Serger Thread  (I have a Bernina serger and LOVE it.  I have also used some other brands of sergers and never liked them as much as my Bernina.)
  • Cutting Mat and Rotary Cutter
  • Fabric – 2 yards of EACH of 2 different fabrics for each side of the placemats, and 4 1/2 yards of EACH of 2 different fabrics for the napkins that will coordinate with each side of the placemat.  You will need more fabric if the fabric has nap (a directional pattern).
  • Scissors
  • Fray Check (a special fabric glue found at craft/fabric stores)


First, wash, dry, and iron your fabric

Next, use your rotary cutter and mat to square up your fabric and cut it into 12 x 15 inch rectangles for the placemats, and 12 x 18 inch rectangles for the napkins.  There are a couple of videos on youtube that will help you with this process if you have never used a rotary cutter before.  They can be seen by clicking here and here.


Now, you will put your two placemat fabrics together with the wrong sides of the fabric touching and line them up evenly.


If you want your placemats to be rectangles, skip to the next step.  But if you would like the corners to be cut then using your rotary cutter cut each corner off 3 inches in from each side.

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Now you are ready to serge the edges of your placemats.  Keep the wrong sides of the two fabrics together and keep them lined up while you serge the edges using the 3-thread rolled hem setting on your machine.  You will have a tail of thread left at each corner as you work your way around each side.

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Take your Fray check and squeeze a small amount on each side of each corner of the placemats.  Allow to fully dry before you cut off the extra thread tail.


Now your placemat is done!


For the napkins you will do the same thing, except your fabric will be the same one both sides and your corners wont be cut off.

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These placemats and napkins can easily be thrown into a regular load of wash and will last for years.  Enjoy!


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