Easy Mitered Corner Napkins, a Tutorial

It’s no surprise that my daughters know the difference between good fabric and the not-so good stuff. When my daughter Molly was ordering linens for her upcoming wedding, the choices she had for napkins were not up to her high standards. She thought it might be better to make rather than rent them. Makes sense, right? This way they will be hers to keepall 120 of them, I can’t argue with that one.

photo 1

We were both inspired by some beautiful linens at Pottery Barn and felt they looked best with mitered corners. So, off we went to the store. We were lucky enough to find a bolt of 54″ wide linen. I cut 18″ squares, making six napkins per yard.

Here’s how I made the napkins:

1.  Start at the center point of one side and press the raw edge 1/4″ to the backside (if there is one).  The corners will fold and miter more easily if you work and press in a counter clockwise direction. Note that the top right hand edge is left unpressed at this time. It will be turned and pressed after working completely around the napkin.


2. Turn and press again. I turned these 1″ as I prefer a wide hem. You can adjust to your liking.


3. Rotate the napkin and repeat the process, turning and pressing first 1/4″ and then 1″ to form the hem.



4. Take the napkins to the sewing machine and starting on one side, stitch close to the folded edge. Before reaching the corner, stop and turn the top fold under itself to form a miter.  A pin, tip end of small scissors, stiletto or seam ripper is helpful for this step.


5. Continue stitching to the inside corner. With the needle in the down position, raise the presser foot and pivot the fabric. Continue stitching, repeating the mitering treatment at each corner.

That is it.  It doesn’t get much easier. Now to decide how to fold them. Check out these fun options here. I made a few demonstration napkins using some Kaffe Fassett shot cottons. They work up beautifully and I especially like that the fabric is the same on both sides. Think I’ll be making some of these for myself. I’m sure you will agree that I deserve them!

I hope to show you the bridesmaids robes next month. It’s been pretty fun and creative here–hoping the same is true for you.



9 thoughts on “Easy Mitered Corner Napkins, a Tutorial

  1. i’m enjoying this wedding; i don’t feel exhausted at all with all the preparations. i have always used cloth napkins for years. the last time i needed to updated my napkin
    supply i bought a complete line of fun fabric (you know in one of the manufacturer’s bundles) and made a napkin of each fabric. i now have a lot of napkins that all go together and make up a pretty table. looking forward to your next installment of the wedding. enjoy!


  2. What a beautiful wedding this will be with your attention to detail, Laura. With 120 napkins to make, along with all the other items on your list, I think that if it was me I would be serging the edges! Yours will be so much nicer and bring back memories of a very special day for a long time.


    1. Hi Donna, So nice to hear from you! Yes, I had considered using my serger but I really love the look of the mitered corners. Hoping all is well with you.


      1. Oh yes, the mitered corners make them so much more elegant as opposed to the “everyday” look of serged edges. Wish I still lived nearby and could help! A friend here has a home in the Monterey area and pasted pictures of you and Diana during your visit to the guild there – you both look great!


    1. I just left them loose. They are tucked under so tight that I’m sure they will not come loose . . . at lease hoping not : )


  3. Laura,
    I love these napkins and I already see some pretty summer ones in my future. Thanks for the great tutorial.


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