Autumn has made the perfect in-between size napkin, just right for a small lunch bag or an afternoon cocktail. Enjoy whipping these up by the armload and giving them as a great holiday gift for your entertaining friends, or tucking them inside your wee ones lunch bag every day.
Now that the kids are back in school and lunches are being packed, let’s learn how to make lunchbox napkins. What's so great about this kid-sized napkin? It's cute, great for the environment, and it can double as a cocktail napkin after the kids are in bed.
Contrasting fabric: I like quilters cotton fabric for napkins. Linen is another great choice. Be sure to choose fabrics with very little white or light colors, because we all know our kids are messy eaters and it is terribly sad to see those napkins you worked so hard on get stained. For this pattern you will need a fabric for the top and bottom of the napkin. I like using two different fabrics, but you could choose the same fabric for top and bottom. You will need ½ yard of each fabric…a total of 1 yard for 8 lunchbox sized napkins.
Thread: If you want your topstitching to be hard to find, choose thread that will coordinate with your fabric when you top stitch. I like contrast in my topstitching so I usually stick with white, which will show up more against my fabric since I chose fabric with little to no white.
A measuring tool and rotary cutter: When making the napkins I like to use my clear Omnigrid quilting ruler and a nice sharp rotary cutter. You can mark with a ruler and cut with scissors if you don't have a mat and rotary cutter.
You will also need: your iron, scissors, your sewing machine, a turning tool, and maybe a seam ripper.
1. After you have washed and pressed all of your fabric, cut your fabric into 9 inch squares. Use your quilting ruler and a rotary blade for a nice straight cut and to help you measure 9 inches.
2. With right sides together match your two fabric squares for your napkins. Sew your napkins together with a 3/8” seam. Leave an opening in the center of one of the sides for turning your napkin.
The opening should be at least 2 inches. To help when turning, I usually angle the stitching out to the edge of the fabric on both sides of the opening (see below). This helps leave the edge straight once your napkin is turned right side out.
3. When you are done sewing each side, clip the corners to help make the corners “sharp” once you turn it right side out. Now, turn the napkins right side out through your opening.
4. After your napkin is turned, use a point turner to push out the seam all the way around your napkin and gently poke out the corners. After your seam has been pushed out and straightened, press your napkin, paying extra attention to the edges and corners.
5. There is no need to hand sew the opening closed. Simply topstitch as close to the edge as possible and you will never know where that opening was.
Play around with your topstitching adding more detail to your very cute cocktail, I mean lunchbox napkins.
6. Now watch your kids wipe their dirty mouths on those cute napkins you made.