Careful. You’re gonna be addicted to making these easy no sew diy drop cloth napkins.
So much that they just might become Christmas presents for friends and family.
Seriously, they’re super easy and cheap to make.
Drop cloth painters canvas is awesome to use as napkins. You’ll be surprised at how soft the fabric is. It’s not rough against your skin, as you might expect.
And the natural oatmeal color is perfect for a neutral color pallet. Or you can stencil on it, dye it, or even bleach it.
Supplies for No Sew Drop Cloth Napkins
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- Drop cloth
- Tape measure or ruler
How to Make DIY Drop Cloth Napkins
Before starting the steps to make your diy drop cloth napkins, determine how napkins you want to end up with. And the size of the napkins.
Dinner napkins are anywhere from a 14-inch square up to a 22-inch square. Note that napkins are always square in shape.
Usually, the smaller dinner napkins (14 x 14, 16 x 16, and 18 x 18) are for casual meals. When napkins are 20 inches by 20 inches or 22-inch square, they’re for formal meals.
It’s important to know what size napkins you want, and how many, so you buy the correct size drop cloth.
For example, if you buy a 6′ x 9′ drop cloth, you should end up with about 15 napkins that are 20 inches by 20 inches. Or 24 napkins that are 18″ x 18″. (I think I got my math right, lol!)
Step 1: Prep your drop cloth to make napkins
Before you do anything with a canvas drop cloth, you need to wash it. Because it will shrink.
You need your fabric to shrink before you start measuring and cutting to make diy drop cloth napkins. Otherwise, you will end up with much smaller napkins than anticipated.
Wash your drop cloth in warm water and dry in the permanent press or cotton cycle.
Step 2: Measure and cut the width of your diy drop cloth napkins
Once your drop cloth has been washed, it’s time to transform it into no sew napkins.
Depending on your drop cloth, you might need to iron your cloth before measuring and cutting. Mine wasn’t too wrinkled, so I didn’t bother with an iron.
First, you will want to cut off one edge of your drop cloth. Preferably a side that has a folded seam, as you won’t want it as part of your napkins.
I would suggest cutting about an inch or two up and then gently pulling the two pieces away from each other.
Drop cloth fabric is either 100% cotton or a poly-cotton mix and tends to tear in a straight line when you use this method.
Continue to rip the fabric all the way down until you have removed the folded seam.
The edge of your drop cloth is now straight. Yay!
Now measure 16″ from the ripped edge. (If you want 16″ x 16″ napkins) If you want larger or smaller napkins, measure that distance from the ripped edge.
Cut about an inch or two up and gently pull the two pieces apart. You should now have a long strip of drop cloth the width of your desired diy no sew napkins.
Continue measuring, cutting and ripping until you’ve gone all the way down your drop cloth fabric.
Step 3: Complete making napkins from drop cloth canvas
With your long strips of drop cloth, you are now going to transform them into drop cloth napkins.
We’re going to do the same process going in the other direction.
You probably have a selvage edge on each side of the strip. The selvage edge has a tighter weave than the rest of the fabric and appears finished. There are no loose threads in the salvage edge.
You will want to remove the selvage edge.
Now, you could just cut it off, but most likely you won’t be cutting straight and you won’t end up with a perfectly square diy napkin.
So you can do one of two things. You can cut about an inch or two along the selvage and then tear it away from the long strip.
If trying to tear in this direction doesn’t work (depending on your cloth, one direction might not tear as easily as the other direction), then you’ll use a different method.
The other way to cut your drop cloth into napkins, is to cut about an inch from the selvage, then pull a thread away from the middle where you just cut.
Hold onto this thread and gently pull the fabric away from the thread. You will notice that the fabric gathers as you pull the thread. This is good. Try to not break the thread.
If you’re able to pull the thread all the way through the cloth, or if it does break while you’re pulling it, you should see a space where the thread was. This is your guide for cutting a straight line. Follow the empty space and cut the cloth.
Now measure 16 inches (or the size of your napkins) from your new edge and do the same thing to cut down the cloth. Either tearing or pulling thread.
You should now have a finished 16 inch by 16 inch napkin. Yay!
Continue this process until you have the desired number of no sew drop cloth napkins.
Step 4: Finishing off your diy drop cloth napkins
Since these are no sew diy napkins, we’re going to create a soft fringe around the napkins.
Super easy to do.
Just take a thread from the edge of your napkin and pull it off the napkin. Sometimes you can pull more than one thread at a time.
Continue pulling threads until you’re happy with the length of the fringe. I removed about 1/4″ from around my napkins.
Do this on every side of your napkin.
That’s it! You have now completed your easy no sew diy drop cloth napkins.
*If you like these no sew drop cloth napkins, then you’ve gotta make a matching diy drop cloth tablecloth.
Shop the diy supplies:
Check out other easy diy projects:
- Drop Cloth to Tablecloth DIY
- How to Dye White Fake Flowers
- DIY Ice Cream Place Card Holders
- Easy DIY Centerpiece for an Umbrella Table
- DIY Wooden Target Tray Transformation
- How to Stencil Cloth Napkins: Easy DIY
- Easiest DIY Napkin Rings for Everyday
- DIY Unique Menu Holder
- DIY Wine Cork Napkin Rings
- Simple Moss Bowl Centerpiece DIY
This is such a wonderful idea. I never thought to use drop cloths for napkins. I can not sew a button so I am so excited about making these. I love the way you created fringe too. Great post! Thank you for sharing on Home Imagined.
Meagan ~ Thank you for the kind words. I appreciate it!
Cute idea. Just an FYI from us ‘vintage aged’ sewers the correct spelling is: selvage.
Thank you for letting me know! I’ll update it asap.
Iv just made my own with calico (100% cotton)
Would you suggest ironing before washing or after ?
If I understand your question – iron after washing.