Thursday, September 20, 2012

How to: DIY disposable cloth napkins

Have to share this idea.

The other day I went to my happy place, Anthropologie, and in the sale section they had a sort of cloth napkin that was disposable and that you could tear off a roll. Not with snaps or anything, just a roll of cheap cotton fabric in cute gingham prints that you could tear. Kind of like an upscale picnic item. I was intrigued but I didn't bite. But at home, I did have, waiting for me to do something with them, two worn out pillow cases.

You know when sheets or pillow cases get so thin there is no point in mending them? A sheet might become a tarp for spray painting or a pillow case might become rags for cleaning. Once I made waxing strips out of an old sheet and and old pillow case. But we currently have enough rags and tarps and waxing strips so these pillow cases were just waiting. I couldn't throw them away, but I didn't have much time to deal with them either.

Soooo...idea! I quickly tore each pillow case
just to the side of each seam. With the seams dispatched (no cutting needed), I had a nice long rectangle of fabric. That tore easily into long strips about 9 inches wide. I think I tore it in half, but any multiple will work: thirds, fourths. The width doesn't matter, just make all strips roughly a similar width and a width that is a good for a napkin. (You can keep the hems/casing, that part is just fine).
Roll of disposable cloth napkins

Then, I wrapped my strips onto a dowel and voila! A roll of cotton cloth napkins!

The beauty is that the fabric is so thin it tears super easily and it tears straight. Maybe I've just reinvented the wheel here (was this the original inspiration for paper towels?), but I'm pretty excited about this new use for worn out bedding. (And now that it's on a blog, I can "Pin" it! Yes!) I really enjoy using a cloth napkin and these don't seem so "precious," you know?
Tears easily!

Of course, I still can't throw them out, so they've gone into the laundry. They will either be used again as napkins or as rags until...
Rustic/minimalist table setting with "disposable" cloth napkins


Mom said...

Mrs. Stainbrook, the rag rug weaver from Bettsville, Ohio, often cut up old denim jeans and corduroy pants to make rugs. She saved all the pockets and used them to wipe the grease out of her frying pan, then threw them away. Saved soap and hot water.

Lisa G. said...

Genius, as usual!

Anonymous said...

Haha, my mom bought me some of those napkins you saw. I have them and have used them over and over and over! But homemade/upcycled would be even better!

cda said...

You are too cool, J!