Upcycled T-Shirt Napkins - The Happy Housewife™ :: Home Management

Upcycled T-Shirt Napkins

By contributing writer Jackie

My family has been using cloth napkins for several years for a few reasons. They are frugal, better for the environment, and are sturdier than paper products.

While I have several types of cloth napkins I only recently thought about making some out of old T-shirts.

Upcycled T-Shirt Napkins | The Happy Housewife

How to Make Upcycled T-Shirt Napkins

Supplies Needed

  • Old T-shirts
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Sewing Machine
  • Rotary Cutter & Mat
  • Iron

I had cut up a bunch of my husband’s T-shirts to make a T-shirt quilt and so I have a surplus of T-shirt fabric lying around.

Upcycled T-Shirt Napkins (T-shirts) | The Happy Housewife


1. Cut 2 squares out of your T-shirt using the rotary cutter and mat.

I made my napkins using a 12 1/2 inch square cutting guide but you can make yours smaller, larger, rectangular, etc.

Upcycled T-Shirt Napkins 2 | The Happy Housewife

2. Place the T-shirt squares together, lining up the edges.

Upcycled T-Shirt Napkins 3 | The Happy Housewife

3. Using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, sew around the 2 squares being sure to leave 2-3 inch opening for turning.

It helps to start in the middle of one side and then stop 2-3 inches from your starting point after you have made it around all of the other sides.

Upcycled T-Shirt Napkins 4 | The Happy Housewife

4. Clip the edges off of each corner as shown in the picture below.

Upcycled T-Shirt Napkins 5 | The Happy Housewife

This is what your napkin should look like at this point.

Upcycled T-Shirt Napkins 6 | The Happy Housewife

5.  Turn the napkin right side out through the opening you left in step 3.

6. Turn the edges of the opening under and then press the napkin.

Upcycled T-Shirt Napkins 7 | The Happy Housewife

7. Using a decorative stitch sew around all four sides of the napkin.

You can use a regular straight stitch if you prefer, but I personally like the look of the napkins with the decorative stitching.

Upcycled T-Shirt Napkins 8 | The Happy Housewife

That’s all there is to making a T-shirt napkin.

Upcycled T-Shirt Napkins 9 | The Happy Housewife

These T-shirt napkins are so easy to make and work very well. I think I am going to have to make lots more.

Upcycled T-Shirt Napkins 10 | The Happy Housewife

Considering a couple of my kids use their T-shirts instead of napkins I am hopeful our new T-shirt napkins will help keep the T-shirts they are wearing cleaner. 🙂

Do you use cloth napkins?

More projects from Jackie

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  1. I bought cloth napkins with a pretty autumn print maybe 20 years ago? They’re falling apart now, some still look pretty good. Others are about to rip right down the middle (where folded) to become 2 napkins lol. The pattern is almost gone too…couldn’t believe they lasted this long. I’ve never liked the “feel” of paper napkins on my mouth, for some reason it makes me shudder.

  2. P.S. to my post above: They are Martha Stewart fruit pattern napkins from back when she was K-Mart’s spokesperson.

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