I'm trying not to buy paper napkins and want to replace them with cloth ones. Even at Wal-Mart, they were more than I wanted to pay. I'm not a sewer, so I need a creative alternative. Thanks in advance.
You can always use inexpensive washcloths. Buy fabric and cut into the size squares you want, either use pinking shears to cut or else fringe the edges. You could also turn over a narrow hem and hem them either by hand or sewing machine. Colorful bandanas would be cute if you like that look.
Check out thrift stores, Goodwill and/or Salvation Army. Another option is to use a tablecloth, cut in squares and use Stitch Whitchery or iron-on seam binding to double roll the edges sealing with the iron-on tape.
Buy the fabric you like, along with Stitch Witchery (or its equivalent). Fold the edges 1/4" and finger-press it down. Fold over another 1/4", slip a piece of SW between the new fold and the rest of the napkin, iron it down to fuse it.
For reversible napkins, sandwich fusible webbing between two fabric squares and iron. Use pinking shears or other decorative edging scissors to trim the edges; add Fray-Chek to prevent fraying, if you choose. (Fraying can be an interesting decorative edging, too.)
For a colorful idea, you could purchase those bandana type hankerchiefs at Walmart. They are $1.00 a piece and they have so many beautiful colors. I am thinking about it myself.
I always go to the remnant section at Walmart in the fabric section at the back. There is a box full of little left over rolls of fabric most of them under one dollar or two dollars. I then cut little zig zag edges on the ends and use them as napkins and rags, etc.
I have made at least four napkins out of one 99 cent remnant roll of fabric I like.
I've used medium-quality washcloths for napkins for over thirty years. I don't use the cheap bundled ones at the dinner table, they're not cut true, so they're not square, and wear out quickly besides. (They may be fine for sack lunches or picnics, though.) But I do use the least expensive of the individual napkins. Over the years, I've built up quite a collection of different colors, as I added a set of six every time I bought a new set of placemats or tablecloth, and they just don't seem to wear out except for the sets I made and monogrammed! Now with just two of us using them, they're lasting even longer. ;D (They also make great packing material when moving, to wrap around fragile items or pack between loose objects.)
This is from another post I replied to. I have a suggestion. I have been using other things for napkins for many, many years. I hate paper towels & napkins, poor trees, just to have something to wipe your hands on.
For really grimy stuff, like eating pizza or fried chicken, I have a number of those shop wipes. They have been washed many x's & are soft. I also use those microfiber cloths, get the cheapest ones you can find & you can find them in many different colors, black included. When you 1st start using these cloths, they feel funny, cause they are not like cotton or anything. But they are very absorbent & clean your hands well.
I have 2 laundry bags hanging in the washroom area & I put the lighter colored ones in one bag & darker ones in another. These micro fiber clothes have to be washed by themselves cause they attract lint like mad but by washing them by themselves, you can use very strong cleaners & they release the dirt & grease nicely.
I also use them for dusting, cleaning, dishes, counter tops, in the bath, mirrors, for everything. They last for years & you don't use fabric softener on them either. You just have to make sure they are rinsed really well. I always put them through an extra rinse, but I do this with all my clothes, anyway. You would be surprised how much dirt & oils are left in clothes after washing, cause they weren't rinsed enough, many years ago, I had to wash some already clean sheets. I put them in the wash, with no detergent & I was amazed at how much soap & crud is left in my supposedly "clean laundry".
What came out could have cleaned those sheet all over again & that crud was being put on me & my family' skin & with sweat & what not, it goes back into your body so these days, my laundry gets rinsed till there is no soap left in the rinse water.
I also put about 3 cups of white vinegar in one of the rinses, cause it releases the detergent from the material.
I do the same as lieast. (her post is above.) I buy one color for my husband and another color washcloth for me, then we can use it 2 or 3 times before tossing it into the wash. I stack them in a little basket in the corner of my counter in the kitchen so we can each grab our own if I forget to put them out on the table with meals.
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