No Sew Napkins for .10 Cents?

Hi everyone!

One of my favorite part of summer is yard sales. And I mean the real yard sales! The ones where people really want to get rid of their junk and make a little pocket change in the process.

When I stop at yard sales, I look at everything! Even things that may not be my style or size or whatever. When I look at things, I don’t always see what they are but, what they could be.

Whenever I see a fabric I like whether it be a blanket, a linen, a piece of clothing or a shower curtain, if the fabric appeals to me and the fabric is in good shape and the price is right, I buy it for a future project.

Fabric is not cheap. It is no longer cheaper to make your own things generally from fabric bought at a fabric store. You have to really watch for deals, coupons and maybe a blood donation in exchange for a discount (okay, so that was just me being sarcastic).

At a recent yard sale, I was going though a table of bed linens. The woman hosting the sale had a large variety and very low prices. It was worth my time to go through them. I spotted this purple floral pillowcase. Y’all know purple is my favorite color so, it caught my eye. Just the one standard size, well used to the point of such softness and only .10 cents. It came home with me and into the washing machine with a few other odds and ends fabric finds.

Everyone knows I love table linens and I have a lot that I have thrifted at very low prices. But, our budget is really being tightened these days so, if I still want to add to my hobby, I need to get super creative! Fortunately, it is pretty easy to do!

I decided it was the perfect size to make a set of 4 napkins. Yup, a standard size pillow case is just right for 4 napkins. And I have very little purple table linens. So, my mind was made up. I thought it would be super quick and easy to just run them through my sewing machine. Instant napkins in no time! But, I know a lot of my readers don’t sew and well, I had just cleaned the dining room and placed a new centerpiece in my table and I didn’t want to drag out my sewing machine and mess up the room (Oh, so lazy!).

So, out came the scissors, no-sew tape and iron!

make fabric napkins 002-tileFirst, cut at the seams. You want one large piece of fabric. If you are careful, you can rip the fabric at the seams. Just go slowly.

make fabric napkins 004-tileNow we want to get rid of that bottom pillow case cuff.

make fabric napkins 006-tileCarefully cut off the seams and pick out any loose threads. At this point, you should iron the entire piece of fabric. It makes everything else a lot easier.

stepsFold the piece of fabric in half. Cut at the fold. Now fold the two pieces of fabric in half and cut. You now have 4 square pieces of fabric.’

You can now do a quick measure to even up the squares by trimming a bit if you need/want to. Remember, perfection is overrated.

projects 049Now, turn over each edge (eyeball it or measure, whatever works best for you) and iron in place. Do all 4 sides of each napkin square.

projects 048-tileGrab your Stitch Witchery or Heat n’ Bond (under $2.00 at Walmart and one package will do a LOT of projects). Measure out a length of the adhesive tape to the length of your fabric and cut.  I had this tape on hand so, I used it however, normally for napkins I prefer a thinner width tape. They come in various sizes.

Once you have the right length of tape cut and placed along your ironed seam, flip the seam over again and iron into place. The tape will glue the fabric together. Do, this to all four sides of each napkin. Don’t worry about the corners not being perfect or completely glued in place. Just get it as close as you can at the corners.

projects 052 Now to finish those corners, lift up the top folded over corner and snip diagonally to create a mitered corner. At this point you do want to make sure everything is adhered. I like to do a couple of quick small stitches at each corner to just reinforce them.

projects 053Now you have a set of four custom made pretty cloth napkins for little to no money!

projects 054You can add rickrack, lace, ribbon or whatever embellishments to them if you want.

So, see a pretty skirt with beautiful fabric at a yard sale but, it isn’t your size and it is priced to sell? Can you use the fabric to make a set of napkins? Or maybe placemats or table runner ? Use the same instructions above to create them.

Yard sales can open up a very inexpensive option to add to your table linens!

I hope this tutorial opens up many fun and inexpensive ideas for you!

I am joining:

Seasonal Sunday

Metamorphosis Monday

Masterpiece Monday

Amaze Me Monday

Wow us Wednesday

Nifty Thrifty Tuesday


  1. Clever! How does the Stitch Witchery hold up in the laundry? Dianne

  2. It holds up pretty good. I have been using stitch witchery for about 25 years. Sometimes after a few washes, some will some loose. I just put a dap of liquid stitches in that spot. Heat and bond works really good as well.

  3. Diann! This would be a great project for me. I hate sewing.
    Your new napkins look fabulous, and the price is perfect!

  4. Well done! 4 *new* napkins and in your favorite color. Have a great week!

  5. How clever. I would never have thought of that in a million years. They look wonderful. Love them. Hugs, Marty

  6. Yep, I have done that with pretty new pillowcases I found on sale. A lot more colors and variety. I love stitch witch too!
    Ten cents for a pillow case in new condition is unreal!

  7. They turned out pretty Diann! I can't get over fabric being $10 a yard (and flimsy)! I actually bought clothes at the Salvation Army specifically to use for a sewing project recently:@)

  8. I love to see people repurpose things and these turned out so lovely. She have a very creative mind!~Ames

  9. Go Diann! That was a neat idea. Love the purple flowered napkins. I'll have to write down that stuff you made them with. So cool. Susan from (Can't leave Comment through my Google account. Don't know why.)

  10. Diann
    You are amazing! Love your pretty napkins!

  11. Diann what a great creative idea! I sometimes have a certain look for a table in mind and can't find linens to match it..this way I can make my own from really inexpensive fabric that is re-purposed!


  12. You are just too cleaver Diann! I will have to remember that the next time I see some old material.

  13. They are beautiful! I love finding fabric, just
    the way you described! I have found skirts and
    pillowcases and used them to fashion my Flora Dooras! It is the most fun!

    Thank you for the post!

    Flora Doora

  14. Great tutorial, Diann. I love to read about others who repurpose things. It helps me to have a more open mind when I'm thrifting.

  15. Diane this is an awesome tutorial! I love how you re purpose things.

  16. I need to get my hands on some of that stitch witch. Goodness. What have I been missing all this time! Brilliant post. Fabulous napkins. The possibilities are endless.

  17. Beautiful lilac colored fabric and from a pillowcase. Great bargain at 10 cents! The photos with tutorial are very helpful. The napkins look so pretty.

  18. Nice post, thank you for sharing. You have really imparted useful knowledge on

    placemats and napkins

  19. Wow! this looks so pretty and I love the print with the lavender and green colors. You did a wonderful job with such neat seams using stitch witchery... have to try this... it looks so fast and easy!Thanks for sharing this awesome tutorial. Have a great week!~Poppy

  20. What a great use for stitch witchery! I have been longingly admiring cloth napkins lately but refuse to pay the ridiculous prices for them. I own four, but we're a family of five, so I can't even use them when we all sit down for dinner.

    I am a non sewer and have used iron on hem tape for a lot of things- this is an idea I will definitely use, thanks for sharing!

  21. Hi lovely lady.
    This is a great Idea useing Stitch Witchert sweet lady!!
    I need to do this seeing I make a lot of my napkins for my tablescapes. Thanks so much for sharing with me... I hope you have a great week.
    XXOO Diane

  22. I have been looking for some purple napkins, and I haven't been able to find any. Now I'll be looking for pillowcases, thanks to you. How clever!

  23. I love your napkins and your quote "perfection is overrated".

  24. I haven't sewn in years. This stuff sounds great.
    Great to have you being a part of Seasonal Sundays. Sorry to be so late in getting to visit.

    - The Tablescaper


Thank you for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your ideas. If you ask a question, I will answer it here in a comment back to you. Please check back! Thank you for visiting and have a wonderful day! Diann :)