Are you hosting a meal this holiday season?

Here is a great idea for creating custom napkins and placemats that are interchangeable.  If an extra person shows up for dinner you can easily re-set the table.

Make one-size-fits-all napkins and placemats!  Why are napkins square anyway?


I chose a neutral color hopsack fabric that would blend with table settings all year, and just to make them a little more special, stitched the hems with Coats Metallic thread.

Making hemmed napkins is easier than you might think.  Complete how-to instructions can be found on the HomeDecGal website, including the corner template pattern, and sewing step-by-step.  The finished size for these rectangular napkins, after hemming is 12 x 18 inches.  Follow the instructions in the link above but cut your fabric 16 x 22 inches instead of square.


In the photo above you will see how the fabric is stitched to create a mitered seam at the corners of the hem.


When the fabric is turned right sides out, the mitered corner is finished.


The double hem is pressed around the edges.  Secure the hems with a few pins and take it to the sewing machine.


Typically one row of stitching is used to sew the hem but since I was using a pretty metallic copper thread, I wanted to see more shimmer along the edges so I used a double row of stitching.  When using metallic thread, sew a few test runs to determine the best settings for your machine.


I am so happy with the finished napkins and placemats, sewn with a little metallic touch.  I hope you enjoy making these for your table, or make sets to give as gifts, neatly folded and tied together with a ribbon and bow.



About the Author

Susan Woodcock owns HomeDecGal.com, a how-to sewing and decorating resource. She previously owned a wholesale custom drapery workroom, serving interior design professionals for over twenty years. She is the editor-in-chief for the trade magazine Drapery & Design Professional, and has also worked in marketing and brand management. Susan is an experienced and popular teacher and speaker for sewing and decorating groups nationwide, and has been published in many sewing and decorating publications. She credits her mother for teaching her to sew, leading to a career of creativity.

3 Responses to Napkins and Placemats: One-Size-Fits-All
  1. Your method for your mitered corners is wonderful. I have struggled with perfect corners on napkins forever. Thank You

  2. i would like to make cocktail napkins which finished size is about 5 ” square-what size would I make the template?

    • We asked Susan at HomeDecGal.com and this was her advice:

      The answer is to make the cardboard template the same, and to cut the squares for the cocktail napkins 9 inches. This will give you 5 inch cocktail napkins with 1 inch hems.


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