How We Ditched Paper Napkins and Went to Only Cloth with No Sewing

I have learned so many things from my dear friend Tana. She got me back on the cloth diaper train, encouraged me to try elimination communication (if you’ve heard of this, then you are a true natural parent!), introduced me to homemade green cleaning products by showing me her “Clean House Clean Life” book, and when she came over to my house the other week, gave me a great idea for ditching paper napkins all together and switching to cloth without having to buy or sew anything!

The secret? Use an old bedsheet. Yep, that’s it. Cut it up in squares with pinking shears and you’re done. I was a little skeptical because I didn’t think bed sheets would be as absorbant as paper napkins. But they work just fine!

I’ve been buying the most expensive paper napkins for a few years now, because the cheap ones just crumble with the slightest moisture. But ever since jumping on the green train last year, it pains me to buy any paper products that I know I could eliminate with cloth. So making my own is really saves money, space in my grocery cart, and the annoying effort to buy paper. Not to mention all the good it does for the environment – saving trees and packaging that comes with paper napkins. Plus, using a bed sheet makes so many dang napkins we had enough to last a week with my in-laws visiting! We use them like paper napkins – use once and then throw them in a container in the kitchen that I empty every few days in the wash. Easy as pie and cheap as dirt, folks!

Here’s how I did it.

Supplies
Pinking Shears
Wide sewing ruler (or just a ruler is fine)
Pinking shears
A worn out bed sheet

If it’s a fitted sheet, then cut off the corners first – it makes it much easier to cut up the rest.
After that, decide how big you want them to be and mark it off with your fabric marker and ruler. I wanted mine to be bigger than my no-sew cloth toilet paper and baby wipes (only 6 inches square), so I made these 8 inches square. Truthfully, I wouldn’t mind if they were even bigger, but this size does work just fine.

I cut the sheets in long 8-inch strips at first, then, cut across two strips at a time in 8 inch segments. It took about 15 minutes to cut up the whole sheet – not bad, eh? It would take more time and money to go to the store to buy a pack that would last a few weeks, and these will last for years!

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Tiny Tip Tuesday at Nature’s Nurture

About Sara McFall

Sara is the owner and founder of My Merry Messy Life, which started in 2011 as a way to chronicle her journey to a natural, chemical-free lifestyle and to share her passions of mothering, real food, homeschooling and crochet. She is a mama to three precious and energetic little boys and wife to a university professor who loves to sing, dance ballet and ballroom, and live simply and naturally.