Whenever I give gifts, I usually like to give handmade. Making a gift yourself means that you’ve put thought, time, and effort into the project, and it just makes the item that much more special. I understand that not everyone is crafty, so handmade gifts aren’t always an option (although you can always buy from someone’s etsy store!). Luckily, I’m skilled in a few different crafts, so I can usually whip something up for whomever.

The tutorial that follows was born out of a project I undertook for a dear friend’s Christmas present. I was running a little low on time, so I made these no-sew embellished cloth napkins to give to her.

Quick and cute!

What you’ll need:

4 cloth napkins (Mine were white, but you could always spice it up a bit with colored napkins. I got these at Target.)

1 fat quarter of patterned fabric

1 roll hem tape such as Stitch Witchery

self-healing cutting mat

rotary cutter


sewing gauge


The rotary blade makes precise cutting easy & quick. It's not essential (scissors will work just fine), but it sure takes a lot of work out of the cutting!

Step 1: Measure and cut. You want to first measure the width of the cloth napkin, so you can do the math to figure out how wide you need to cut the patterned fabric. Add one inch to the width of your napkins, and you have the measurement for your fabric! Then, decide how thick you’d like the strip to end up and add an inch to that as well. Easy peasy!

Here’s how I figured out my measurements: The napkins I used measured approximately 16″ across, so I added an inch to that, and determined that my strips needed to be 17″ wide. Then I decided that I wanted the band of contrasting fabric to end up measuring 2 1/2″, so I added an inch to that for a total of 3 1/2″. I cut my four strips 3 1/2″ tall and 17″ wide.

The perspective is wacky, but I promise all four strips are the same size!

Step 2: Fold and iron down the top and bottom edges. Using your sewing gauge, fold the top edge down 1/2″ and iron. Repeat for the bottom edge.

Use the handy dandy sewing gauge to make sure you're only folding down 1/2".

Now you've got clean edges, and you're ready to attach the contrasting band to the napkins!

Step 3: Attach the band to the napkin. Here’s where the Stitch Witchery comes into play. You first need to decide how high up you want your band to go on the napkins. I chose to place the bottom edge of the contrasting band at 1 1/2″ from the bottom edge of the napkin. *You can make your own judgment call, but it’s important to fold the napkin into quarters when choosing where to place the band.* Once you’ve decided, measure and line up the bottom edge of the contrasting band with the height you chose, making sure to move the ruler to the other side of the napkin so that the band will be straight once affixed to the napkin.

Now take the Stitch Witchery, unroll a bit of the hem tape, hold the end of the tape about 1/2″ in from the left edge of the napkin, and cut it about 1/2″ from the right edge. Slide the hem tape under the top edge of the contrasting band and use the iron to fuse the fabric to the napkin, being careful not to let it slip or iron in any creases. Repeat for the bottom edge of the fabric.

Step 4: Fold under and iron the left and right edges of the fabric and attach the ends. There’s no measurement necessary here. All you need to do is fold under the fabric on each end, aligning the crease with the edge of the napkin, and iron (sometimes you might have to trim off a little excess fabric so that the crease will line up). You can then cut a length of hem tape that corresponds to the height of the contrasting band (just hold it and cut it like before), slip it under the fabric, and iron to fuse.

It's all tidy edges now, and you've fused the contrasting band to the napkin, so YOU'RE DONE my friends!

Step 5: Fold the napkin into quarters, and pat yourself on the back. You’re finished! I like to go through the whole process for each individual napkin, but you could also go step-by-step with all four napkins at once, if that’s your style. This is a great project that you can do while watching TV or listening to tunes. Have fun with it. It’s a stress-free project!

(Optional) Step 6: Use your sewing machine and a cute decorative stitch to thoroughly tack down top and bottom. You can use the zigzag or another decorative stitch to add a little extra flair to your napkins. It’s not necessary to do this because Stitch Witchery will not wash away, but you may want to do it anyway if you’re the nervous or meticulous type.

Voila! Adorable napkins for you or a friend!!