December 14, 2017

Holiday Tree Napkins

Over at my other blog (Carriage Corner) - I posted all about my holiday table settings this week.  Several years ago, I stumbled across a blog that showed step-by-step instructions for making these tree napkins.  I can no longer find that link.  At that time, I made several sets of napkins and gave all of them away!  I guess in actual fact - I've given this set away as well, hmmm. . .

Anyway - there's still time before Christmas to make a set or 6 of these trees and give them away to everyone you know.  They'll love them until they have to fold them.  ;o)

To start, you need 2 coordinating fabrics - these can be holiday themed or not.  I like to press my fabrics right sides together and then fold them in half, so you have 4 layers, both right sides together. 

Next - using the string, a pin and pencil - draw the largest circle that will fit on your fabric that is folded in half.  Make sure not to go into the selvedge.  I like to draw my circle on paper, but you can go straight to your fabric if you are a rebel.  The reason I do it on paper (no photos) is so I have a pattern AND to be able to fold my circle in half evenly.  Because these trees are made from a half circle of fabric. 

Lay your pattern on your fabric and cut out as many half  circles that you need.  At the very least you'll need about 2/3 a yard of 2 fabric to make 4 napkins.  I made 12 for the B&B.  I bought at least 2 yards of fabric to get my 12 napkins.  I honestly cannot remember if there are 'scraps' of these fabrics shoved into holes in the fabric shelves. 

Once the fabric is cut - it gets really easy from here.  Your fabrics are already right sides together and ready to sew.  Sew them up with a 1/4" seam allowance - or bigger if you're more comfortable with 3/8" or 1/2".  Just remember to be consistent and leave an opening for turning right sides out. 

I like to baste across the opening.  I find it helps me to get an even edge if I press the opening back using the basting as a guide.  

Once you've sewn all the napkins, trim the seam allowances.  I like to use my pinking shears for this part.  I find if I use the pinking shears the curve clipping is done for me.  Plus, I like the way the pile of pinked edges looks.  

Next, I sample thread colors and decorative stitches.  This time I just went for the triple zig-zag.  It was easier to maneuver around the corners and it looks like garland when the napkins are folded.  

Once you've done all the stitching - the magic happens with the folding.  I find the easiest way to fold these is to fold them in half, then grab the flat edge of the napkin about an inch from the center fold.  Using that mark, re-fold them in an off centered-half, then fold the corner back to meet that fold. 

Here are the napkins on this year's holiday table.  This 5-layered fold takes a bit more trial and error.  Honestly, I have to just keep folding and rearranging them until it's right.  Just keep in mind that the fold at the straight edge will be more angular and less straight like in the 4-fold version.  Feel free to pop over to the Carriage Corner Blog and read about my holiday table settings.  


  1. The finished napkin is adorable. But I can't figure out how you got from the sewing the two half circles together, turning them right side the finished napkin. How is is folded? There seems to be a number of steps missing. I would help me to have some additional photos of the steps. Jean

  2. You made me one of those sets! I love them! You're right; folding is a challenge until you figure it out. But I have also found that if I fold them hot out of the dryer, I don't need to iron them. That's a real plus.

  3. Darling Idea, I see this in my future!


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