Cloth Napkins with Mitered Corners Tutorial

Matching set using Art Gallery Fabrics in Summer Grove

Matching set using Art Gallery Fabrics in Summer Grove

I love cloth napkins! They are reusable, and washable, and they can be made in any cotton fabric that you want to use! They make great gifts too, which is what I did for Mother’s Day this year (if my own mother reads this blog frequently: stop reading or ruin the surprise!). In this case, I chose some nice brightly colored fabric for my parents to use in their gazebo this summer. I picked 4 half-yard cuts and was able to make 2 napkins from each. I started by cutting all my fabrics into 18″ squares. You could do 20″ as well, but then you’ll need slightly over 1/2 yard, so it makes it a little trickier. For this tutorial we will be finishing the edges using mitered corners. Start by marking a right angle shape 1 3/4″ in from each corner.


Clear ruler marks 1 3/4″ from each side.

Once you’ve done that you will want to snip a corner off. If you have a ruler with a 45 degree angle line on it, use that to mark the corner, measuring up 1″. You can also mark a point 1″ up from the corner on each side– the diagonal line that connects those points will be the mark you’ll follow to cut the corner off.


Marking the corner piece to snip it off


After snipping, your corner now looks like this


Fold the corner up until it meets the right angle you drew in a previous step. Finger press so it stays folded while you do the other corners.

Repeat this process with all the corners of each napkin. Once that’s done you are going to fold over each edge 1/2″ , with the wrong side of the fabric facing you, and press it down.


Please excuse my horrendous ironing board cover…. it got like that after 1 week!!


Once you’ve folded the corners once by 1/2″ your napkin will look like this.

The next step is to fold the edges over one more time, again by 1/2″. When you do this the corners should been up, forming a 45 degree angle.


Mitered corner

Sew along the edge of the folded part, keeping the needle down to pivot at the corners.



I sewed two times around each napkin, one toward the outside edge and one towards the inside edge of the folded part of the napkin, just for some extra security.

Finished set

Finished set


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