DIY Cloth Napkins

Hello Everyone! Hope you’re having a lovely Saturday!

Okay so I love filling my home with meaningful things.

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I also try to be mindful of those things I’ve brought into my home, whether it’s a new shirt or a new-to-me book shelf. I am by no means a minimalist, aesthetically it’s appealing but it’s not for me, I need the 3 different frying pans 😛

So I try to be aware of what I purchase: where it comes from, the materials, or maker. But also how it impacts the environment. I wrote a post on that topic last week, read it here if you missed it.

I was needing some brighter, more summery inspired cloth napkins. I didn’t really want to just buy some, I wanted to sew some myself so they’d have more value and to work on my mediocre sewing skills.

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I found my fabric at MCC, a local thrift store, for $1.50 and I had enough fabric to make 9 12×9″ napkins.

Okay so jumping in…

Materials you need are:

  • Fabric
  • Something to measure with
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Iron
  • Somewhere to iron
  • Thread
  • Sewing Machine
  1. So step one will be to measure and cut your fabric, whatever you chose. Cotton and linen are ideal, but because I bought mine second hand I don’t know the specs.

 

I cut my pieces to 12×9″ but you can adjust yours to whatever size you want.

2. Next would be to cut a little notch into the corners just under 1/2″ like this IMG_1269 (1)

3. Then you’ll want to iron down the short length side like this (for me that would be the 9″ side), remembering to press it down onto the back of the fabric.IMG_1566

4. and then trim the corner edge like this, and then iron the other edge like this

5. Next you’ll start to sew the edges down, to make it easier for yourself when you get to a corner make sure the needle is in the fabric then lift the sewing foot and turn your fabric square so the it’s straight with the hem, put the foot down and resume sewing. Remember to back stitch at the beginning and end of each napkin so it doesn’t unravel.

6. Repeat on all your napkins, and there you have it 🙂

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They’re not flawless because the hem isn’t rolled in but they’re perfectly imperfect. Easy and so simple. IMG_1579

You can fold them like a brochure and they fit nicely under utensils.

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IMG_1583 Now you can have your very own cloth napkins that you’ll hopefully treasure because you made them yourself.

Is there anything you’re sewing this summer? Tell me about it by leaving a comment!

-Dawn

More like this

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Summer Beginnings

Starting the end of August I’ll be on maternity leave, and it’s not going to be easy. My income will be cut in half and so we won’t have a whole lot of disposable income.

Preparing for this baby has me feeling like I’m preparing for the coming long winter like our great great grandparents had done. There’s so much I need to get ready and plan for. I need to stockpile food and make sure I have things for the baby and for ourselves so we stay sane.

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I know we’ll be okay because I have faith that God will provide for us because he really truly has so far.  But I also need to be diligent in my preparation; I believe he provides but he doesn’t just give hand outs to those who just sit around asking for hand outs.

Don’t get me wrong, I am so beyond excited to be able to spend that time with my baby and I will learn so many sufficiency skills but let’s be honest. I am STRESSED. Preparing for this is hard, and I might have a hint of understanding how my great grandparents had felt when preparing for their own winter.

Okay moving on!

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Okay so at the beginning of every season I always sit myself down, and make some goals for myself. It helps me get through a year without going crazy because it gives me a short term goal to focus on so I can actually achieve things that I want to do. It gives me a time frame in which to learn a skill or mark something off my “to-do list”. Sometimes I don’t always attain a goal (like I’ve been trying to cook at home 3 nights a week for seriously, the whole last year) but that’s where I give myself grace and keep it on the list and each season I get better 🙂 See my very first post with my goals HERE.

Looking back at what goals I had set for myself in Spring Beginnings, I can say I managed to do 2 out of my 3 goals. Sorta haha

  • I can honestly say I’ve cooked from scratch way more then I have in our almost two year marriage, can’t promise it was at least 3 times a week consistently.
  • I can also say that I minimized what was in my home, but I’m also still slowly working on that one. No rush on this one but as long as its done before the baby comes I’m happy. I’ve got a big pile of things that need to go to the thrift store and I’ve been slowly adding stuff to that pile.
  • I have not had the energy to really work on developing my waste management. I do try to reuse ziploc bags where I can and obviously continuing to recycle, but I really wanted to work on using less plastic so that’s something I will revisit in the fall, with research during the next couple months.

This summer I’m not really going to give myself any goals other then, take it easy.

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I want to relax this summer. Growing a human is hard so I need to be taking extra self care. I have this tendency to over stress about the future sometimes so my goal is to not do that. Ultimately, trust in God and let him carry us through this year.

Often times when I get stressed like this I’m always go, go, go. I’ve got all this stuff on a list that I need to finish as soon as I possibly can, but this summer I’m going to be more relaxed about that.

Like the baby’s room, I’m the type that needs it set up NOW. We’re taking our guest/storage room and we’ll be making it into the nursery. So before my parents came in March, I swear you couldn’t even get into this room it was just so full, I cleaned it up enough that they could sleep there. And then it took me until this week to finally get it empty enough that I was satisfied and that we could actually start setting up the nursery.

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This is just very unlike me but I’ve been impressed with my relaxed attitude and patience that I hope it carries out for the summer. I still have that list but I’m going to take my time with it and RELAX.

One other thing is that recently I’ve been doing a lot of looking into zero-waste lifestyles and sustainably shopping. I’ve looked into all sorts of things like eco-friendly laundry detergents, where to buy sustainable clothing, and going plastic free. Part of this is because in the coming fall, I might not find as much value in plastic wrap over meat or milk. So I’m learning ways on how can I make my stuff last longer and not feel so awful about throwing away a ziploc bag that I paid for (money going in the garbage). Another part is knowing that we’re doing at least a little damage to our earth, you can’t deny that, by polluting it with garbage that doesn’t break down for hundreds of years. I’m not trying to be a hippie or crunchy, but as a Christian I think we need to be stewards of the earth as well as good neighbors. 

So this Summer I am preparing, and relaxing, and researching. Winter is coming.

(sorry I really really really needed to sneak that in, we’re GOT fans)

 

Do you have any goals or plans for the summer? Let me know, by leaving me a comment!

If you want to read about my garden go HERE

dawn

7 ways to save money on groceries

Starting last year I realized how out of control our spending was when I took a look at our money situation. It made me realize we needed a budget and a better way to make our  monthly payments work. So I created a “payment plan” or a “budget” whatever you want to call it.

A big area of spending was food and obviously something needed to change.

I chose a very specific amount that we were allowed to spend on groceries, it was hard at first but now after doing it for about 9 months, I think I’ve mastered it. That being said, I had to learn some ways to cut costs and I’m going to share some of these ways with you!

  1. Have a Budget, and stick to it. This has been the absolute most important way for me to save money. First of all, I pay in cash so I can’t overspend. And then when I go through the grocery store I use the calculator on my phone and add up every little thing I put in my buggie. If I was just throwing whatever in the cart I know I wouldn’t be able to keep track of what I was spending.pexels-photo-26799
  2. Shopping Sales! This is a bit of a no brainer, but it takes some planning. Either you find sales in store or you can look through the flyer. I prefer to look through a flyer first because then it gives me an idea of what I can buy for certain meals, which leads to my next tip. street-market-fruits-grocery
  3. Take a List with You, again if you’re just mindlessly throwing food in the buggie, there’s no way to track what you’re spending or you could buy something on a whim and then end up throw it out months later because you never ate it. I feel hopeless if I forget my list at home, and then I always forget to buy something that I really needed and will have to go back for on another day. pexels-photo-128402
  4. Meal Plan, some people feel like this doesn’t work for them but the way I meal plan is so simple. I make a list of the meals I want to make, or can make (by knowing what’s on sale). I just write a list and as I cook them though the week I just cross it off the list. Having this plan helps me make sure that when I make my grocery list  I have everything I need for this so I don’t have to run to the grocery store mid week, which goes to my next point. pexels-photo
  5. Shop every other week or even once a month, I do groceries every two weeks, because then it saves me constant trips to the store which can lead to extra unnecessary spending. Also how can you stick to a budget if you’re shopping every couple days? Unless you’re amazing at keeping track of what you spend every time you go, it would be pretty difficult to really understand what you’re spending. I am not good at tracking spending like that so it’s easier for me to stick with my budget all in one shot. pexels-photo-375896
  6. Buy in Bulk, you might not notice savings with this one automatically, but when you’re not having to buy meat every time you shop you save some in the long run. Also goes for staples foods like flour and sugar, obviously you don’t want to buy anything you know you won’t use because you’ll end up throwing it away when it goes bad and that won’t save you money.food-vegetables-beans-green
  7. Have a loyalty card, this really only works if you stick to one brand/store, sure you can have multiple loyalty cards, but its best to accumulate points or benefits if you shop somewhere consistently. Different companies have different systems so you need to see what works best for you. In my area we have superstores that earn you points when you shop certain items and when you reach a threshold you can discount your whole bill by a certain amount. Or there’s Save on Foods (my preferred method) where every dollar you spend you earn a point and then you can redeem points on certain food items to get them discounted.  fruits-grocery-bananas-market

I have really found for myself that being able to save on groceries has really depended on these 7 methods. Oh and bonus tip! Bring your own reusable bags! Most places are charging for bags now and you will most likely end up throwing them away after.

If you have any other tips to add let me know by leaving me a comment!