4.21.2011

Cloth vs. Paper: Which Do You Use?




There's nothing quite like freshly washed linens, is there?
The smell, the softness...





Cloth napkins are fast becoming an everyday reality around here.
The kids are more aware of environmental issues and are pushing for reform :)
I resisted the idea at first - it seemed like they were going to be a lot of work. 

Do you use cloth napkins? Heaps of our friends think we're crazy!

But the with three darlings the reality is they barely count in the weekly laundry.
I like cotton for everyday, and linen for guests.







Linen napkins and tablecloths may be fairly pricey to purchase,
but they are really, really simple to sew up yourself.

I"ve found a plethora of DIY's out there over time, and thought I would share.

The easiest idea out there - perfect for everyday napkins.
Purchase fat quarters (pre-cut squares used in quilting) 
in bundles (usually grouped by color - yay!)
and just iron and sew...






Playful brights - just cut iron and sew.



 1 2 3 4



add some detail with rikrak or edging..







If you're fancy :) have your napkins monogrammed, or use fabric paint and do it yourself.
The minimalist font in the bottom right is perfect, isn't it?







A package of rit and an hour gets you ombre or batik effects.






Plain napkins work perfectly for folding.
A charming bunny fold is festive.
 Martha's rose bowl is stunning but sadly would require folding skills superior to my own :)
My old standby is the bow -
it only takes a minute and all you need is a piece of ribbon - 
how great is that?






For really large dinners we serve buffet style, 
and it's usually a ribbon around a roll-up,
cutlery tucked neatly inside.
Love that tailored look on the right, it reminds me of an obi somehow!






If you like napkins rings those beautiful versions left and top right
were made with dollar store items!!
Lushly colored linen highlights place settings -
a tiny version of a birds nest shines atop a mauve napkin.







We don't have a set of napkins large enough that they co-oridnate for large soirees, so
I'm halfway through making an enormous set of white linen napkins for this weekend!
I've kept it neutral so they can be used for Easter, Christmas, a birthday, etc.
but I'm planning to add a tiny rikrak trim for a bit of detail :)

Show you when they're done..








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6 comments:

Heather (love your space) said...

we use cloth--I have a couple of sets that can mix and match, including a dark brown heavy linen which is casual and forgiving, and pretty white cotton than can be bleached. I'm pretty unfussy about them, and I never iron them (though I probably should for guests!)

There are SO many pretty ones out there, I always have to restrain myself from buying more!

christine {bijouandboheme} said...

I have a mixmatched set of antique white/cream cloth napkins and I absolutely love love them. I'd like to add to my collection with some monogrammed beauties and some pretty patterned ones as well- great post!

Casey said...

We have been using cloth for a few years now. It's easy to just toss them in with the clothes for washing. Thrift stores are a great place to get linen napkins, or retro ones! And of course, I can't resist buying fun fabrics with which to make my own..

Paris in Pink said...

Gorgeous post and even more gorgeous blog! You are an inspiration :)

Hugs from your fan in Paris xx

Camille @ Paris in Pink

The enchanted home said...

What a stunning post! I love using linen or cotton napkins. I grew up with a mom who refused to use anything but even on a day to day basis. However I must admit...I use paper day to day (helloooo I have 3 boys, need I say more) that said for special dinners and any occasions..we always whip out my pretty white linen monogrammed napkins..which I have a lot of and somehow it makes the whole dining experience feel that much more special (and that much more delicious) Great post!

About Me said...

Thank you for reignighting my love of table settings! Beautiful!

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