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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