How to Make Your Own Linen Napkin.

How to Make Your Own Linen Napkin.

How to make your own linen napkin

Here’s a quick and easy project for a Sunday afternoon!  Sewing your own linen napkins adds a personal touch to any table  and is an affordable way to dress up any meal. 

This is a great craft for beginner sewer’s as well!  Once you nail this simple DIY napkin, you can get creative with some clever variations.  This is a great base to test out fun decorating ideas, such as lace, applique, embroidery, stenciling, and more.

This easy-to-follow hemming technique can also be applied to kitchen towels, placemats, and other household linens.  Just adjust the length and width of the linen to achieve your desired size for any project.

how to Make Your Own Linen Napkin.

Linen is a great material for napkins because they never leave any lint on you.  They also come in a variety of colors, so you can have plenty of choices to match different occasions and seasons.

Linen is super absorbent, so turning these into dish towels is a great idea!  In fact, linen is one of the most absorbent fabrics out there, so it’s perfect choice for wiping up any liquids.The long fibers found in our linen make it extra sturdy and a wonderful choice objects like this where durability is important.

Before we begin the tutorial, select the pieces of linen you will be working with.  I love the look of natural colored linen because they work well for any occasion.  I actually use them daily!  I used our IL019 flax linen in Natural.

When you pick your linen, measure each side to create a square.  This can be however big you like.  20-25 inches on each side is a typical measurement for napkins. Remember, we will be hemming these edges, so measure an extra inch on each side.  So, if you are planning on making a 25’’x25” napkin, measure and cut it at 26”x26.”  Every napkin is made in the same manner regardless of size.

how to make your own linen napkin


  • Enough linen for your napkin(s)
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Pins


How to Make Your Own Linen Napkin.

Press one of the sides of your piece of linen a ¼ inch up and then fold it over again on top of itself a ¼.  This will hide the raw edge of the linen.  Pin this double fold into place.

how to make your own linen napkin

Top stitch the fold down.

how to make your own linen napkin

Repeat these steps to hem the opposite side of your linen and make sure to fold the hem towards the same side as the first fold.

Repeat the same process to hem the two remaining sides.  Fold towards the same side for these as well.  You can cut the tip of the corners for these sides to reduce the bulk.  Be sure to back stitch at the beginning and end of this seam.

how to make your own linen napkin

There you have it! Your very own handmade linen napkin!  Repeat these steps to make as many napkins as you want.  Try different sizes to make towels and other useful items too!

* This idea can be applied to so many different crafts.  I hope you found it useful!  Feel free to visit our Facebook page too.  Thanks!


  1. Karen Converse

    I’m going to make these napkins, and would also like to make bath towels. What weight of linen would be best for napkins and for towels?

  2. Debbie froehlich

    I have been reading many dyi sites for cloth napkins. One has mentioned drop cloth. Is this a good material and would fabric paint work well if I wanted to write something?

  3. Emile

    We’ve been using cloth napkins at our house for about 20 years and what I have learned: They get incredibly dirty so use either a very random pattern in foodlike colors or make them plain white so you can bleach the $%^&* out of them. I find that using the soak cycle overnight works pretty well too. But make plenty so that you won’t feel sad when you have to throw away the ones with permanent stains.

    Also, never reuse a napkin, they get disgusting if you do that. Make enough so that you can toss them in the wash after every meal….

  4. Sharon O

    I loved all the linen napkin ideas. I plan to try the table runner next to match the checkered napkins……….want to
    use this set for an outside picnic table. Thanks for all these great ideas. SO

  5. Cathy

    Love the idea of napkin making. Great idea. Now on to Sharon Holcomb? Is she on Eastern Daylight Time? Just wondered if she’s been going without sleep or something?

  6. hobbit

    I’m rolling on the floor here. Read the comment about the synthetic blanket versus wool and cotton and vibration….and thought I must be having a senior moment because I don’t know WTF they are talking about. Scrolled a bit further and say your comment and had to say thanks for bringing me back to reality.

  7. Mary Bennett

    What a nice way to use up left-over bits of linen. A matching or co-ordinating place mat would be nice addition to the napkins.

    Hand hemmed linen towels would be a welcome addition to kitchen ware for re-enactment kitchens or feasts.

  8. AmyCat =^.^=

    WTF does Sharon Holcomb’s comment above have to do with linen napkins?

    And claiming synthetic blankets are better than wool due to “vibrations”? My Bullsh!t-meter’s pinging wildly…

  9. Brenda ParkHansen

    Thank you for this. What weight of linen, would I purchase
    to make kitchen towells or tea towells?



    yes they cancel each other out. wool and linen both have a signature vibration of 5000. so the electrical fields they generate collapse. so even a synthetic blanket would be better than wool. how about a cotton blanket. organic cotton is nearer 100 in the vibrational measurement. not health promoting, more neutral. but at least not detrimental.

  11. Emily

    Ok – these I can do! Some of the sewing ideas have been so fun to look at and read about, but I would never actually make them. I have linen scrap that is too nice to pitch but not enough for reenacment clothing. Thanks for this great idea!!!

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