Handmade Linen Wedding Napkins

I must really, really, really like my sister.

mitered linen napkins

She’s getting married in two weeks (eek!!), and I agreed to sew up the table linens for her reception.

linen napkins for weddings

She’s having a “rustic” barn wedding with a food truck for the reception.  “Rustic” is totally in quotation marks, because my sister isn’t a rustic girl.  She has planned the wedding to be casual and comfortable, but she’s not really a paper napkin lady.  So when she called and asked my input (which made me feel honored) on her reception decor, I fully suggested using linen napkins.

And why rent when you can own?  As her wedding gift, I’m making 90 grey linen napkins for her–which she’ll use for the reception and hopefully for the rest of her happily married life at every party and family event and simple dinner with her husband and kids forever and ever and ever.  Heck, she can rotate them out and use a new set of 10 every week!

linen presses up crisp and neat

I’m using a linen/rayon blend from Robert Kaufman in color “smoke.”  The table runners will be in a linen/cotton blend in a slightly darker grey.  I love that linen presses up so crisply and holds a press so well–makes it very simple to sew these mitered corners.  And the rayon lends a lot of drape and softness to the napkins.

mitering napkin corners

I’m using the mitering technique from Stitch By Stitch, which you can get as a free download here on Sew, Mama, Sew.  The measurements are from my napkin cutting printable, which guides you through standard sizes for napkins (dinner, cocktail, and the like) and how much yardage you’ll need to make your desired number.  For 90! I needed two bolts of 45″ linen.  So much fabric!

mitered linen napkin corners

I love that contrast between food truck and linen napkins.  Down-home, with class.

linen dinner napkin DIY

One down, 89 to go!  Can’t wait to be done with these–and gift them to her on her special day.  Weddings are the best.


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  • Laura J.
    June 8, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    Be glad you didn’t offer to monogram them. Maybe that can be a future anniversary gift.

    • Deborah
      June 8, 2015 at 4:24 pm

      Haha! I thought about it, and then realized I was in crazy town territory. I’m just hoping to get all 90 finished before the deadline, and that she loves them! 🙂

  • Maureen
    June 9, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    Holy smokes! That is pure sister love. I am guessing that 2 bolts is about 30 yards of linen. Handmade is the perfect wedding gift.

    • Deborah
      June 10, 2015 at 9:40 am

      They were actually bigger bolts. Ack! So it comes to around 34 yards. I think I stopped counting at 96 napkins. I have no idea what she’ll do with 96 napkins after the Big Day, but maybe they’ll become a family legacy!! Lots of kids to pass them down amongst… 🙂

  • Adventures at the Atlanta Food and Craft Swap | Whipstitch
    June 16, 2015 at 8:56 am

    […] I’d already been making a zillion napkins, it wasn’t too big a leap to make more.  And everyone needs cloth napkins, right?  I buckled […]

  • Kristin
    June 30, 2015 at 6:04 am

    How large did you make the napkins? Im trying to figure out the size in inches for my own!

  • Sarah
    February 5, 2016 at 11:02 am

    Where did you find your fabric? Is it a linen blend? I’m trying to do something similar for my wedding and am not sure where to find affordable linen. Thanks!

    • Deborah
      February 5, 2016 at 9:19 pm

      This is a Robert Kaufman linen. Most independent retailers carry it, including Pink Castle and Drygoods Design!