Sixth Day of Christmas

December 19th

cloth napkins, folded: Sixth day of Christmas

I wish for “green” gifts.
Cloth napkins anyone? How easy are these to put together! Just grab any heavy-weight fabric, such as decor, and cut rectangles of the size of your liking. Double fold the hem and stitch away, or single fold the hem and zigzag/serge stitch along the edge. Bundle with a pretty ribbon and voila — and end to the purchasing of paper napkins.

napkin fabric: Sixth day of Christmas
stack of napkins ready to be hemmed: Sixth day of Christmas
napkin tags: Sixth day of Christmas
six more gifts, sewn and ready to be delivered: Sixth day of Christmas

When I received a set of fabulous cloth napkins from Meg this year, I knew what I was going to do with that stack of toile fabric that had been gathering dust in my studio. Three hours later, I’ve got six more gifts wrapped and under the tree.
{Technically, my tree is fake and 2 feet tall, also a nod to the green movement. So, they are on the mantel.}

How are you being green this holiday season?
~K

P.S. Anyone in Phoenix know where I can buy fresh cranberries? I’d even take frozen over the canned/jelled variety. They are the last remaining ingredient on my Christmas dinner menu and I am kicking myself for not picking up a couple bags two weeks ago when I saw them at the market. You find them and I’ll trade you baked goods of your choice!
*UPDATE* I found them! Thank you Tambra and Erin!

Posted in
Journal, June Cleaver, Recycle, Reduce, Reuse, Tutorial
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26 Responses

  1. Very nice – I need to make some of those. I have a fake tree too… and am giving my Pops some nice grocery totes (yes, in my family, Pops does the grocery shopping). Oh, and my sisters are getting some knit dishcloths.

  2. Fake tree here too! And we always use cotton napkin on the table, every day, so it seems strange to me that this is a green thing to do.

  3. those cutting things? they scare me. the one time i used one, i cut into my finger pretty deep within 5 minutes. it sucked!

    but otherwise, this is such a great idea!

  4. I don’t think *not* having a tree counts as environmental, but if it does, count me in.

    I also always save ribbon from gifts in a big bag in my gift wrapping box for future use and I decorate (ie. cover the store name) and reuse every handled bag we get while shopping if I actually end up getting a bag.

    We’re reusing a lot of the pretty gift wrap, too. (Thank you for the purple wrap, it is a perfect reuse)

  5. I was at Whole Foods Chandler day before yesterday and they had bags of cranberries in the produce department.
    Good luck! Love the green gifts!

  6. We have been on the cloth napkin train for a while now – we each have our own special napkin ring and we re-use the napkins for a couple of meals before washing them. Unless we have sloppy joes. Then we pick the dark red napkins and just toss them in the wash immediately. 🙂

    And I always felt a little guilty for having a real tree – which is one of those Christmas traditions I just can’t quite live without. But when you think how much oxygen the Christmas trees put into the atmosphere while they are growing, and the fact that my real tree is “recycled” into mulch that benefits our local parks, I don’t feel quite so bad.

    Here’s to greening up the holidays!

  7. they have fresh cranberries at safeway, in the cooler next to with the tofu and other fake food.

  8. I started using cloth napkins when my kids were young and my sil used to tease me. But we have stuck with it and I feel so much better all these years latter just thinking about all the trees we have saved. We also don’t use paper towels we use kitchen cloths or special ‘under the sink cloths’ for the really dirty messes to clean up. The ‘under the sink cloths’ are just the kitchen cloths that are now stained or bleached and are just generally not nice enough to keep out on the sink any more. All our old bath towels get put in the garage for drying cars, dogs or cleaning up outside stuff. And we are using a fake tree this year too.
    GO GREEN! Blessings to you for the new year, Kathie

  9. Love the napkins! I’m always on the look out for good fabric to make more.

    We’re heading over to AZ this weekend to visit my folks. I can’t say if they have them for sure, so I don’t want to send you on a wild goose chase, but I know my mom would try Sprouts for fresh cranberries.

  10. I found a great fabric shower curtain on sale, majorly discounted and the material was great! I made a gazillion cloth napkins from the curtain, a great savings plus an opportunity to live green 🙂

  11. My goal for this Christmas was to not use any wrapping paper. I had lots of leftover gift bags and various cardboard boxes (a small upside to being a SAVER) and made them pretty with ribbon and sparkly pinecones-and-whatnot-on-wires (slightly damaged) I got for 25 cents apiece at the flea market. I figure the bags, boxes, ribbons and embellishments are all totally reusable.

    I finally crumpled last night when my final present wouldn’t fit in a pre-existing bag, but I wrapped it using the single roll of Harry Potter wrapping paper I’ve been working my way through since Christmas 2002.

  12. Very cute napkins!

    We have a fake tree, too. I don’t know if this is exactly green, but I really try to get gifts for people that they can eat, drink , or use — not just more clutter that they’ll throw away or sell in a garage sale, KWIM?

  13. Loving the black/white napkins.

    One way I go green whenever I give gifts it that I NEVER wrap a gift in wrapping paper. As often as possible, I try to make the wrapping part of the gift, e.g., wrap pajamas in a bathrobe; wrap potholders in a dishtowel; make a carrier for my grandchildren’s portable video games, etc. Or I will even wrap a gift in a brown paper bag and rubberstamp it.

  14. I found cranberries at Bashas 🙂

  15. Green Christmas: Only one trip to the mall-for Ikea, you understand. I wrapped some presents in gift bags made from bridesmaids dresses. Others got wrapped in magazine pages. Made tote bags for the kiddies-no plastics from China for me. Thrifted and regifted “gag” gifts. Sent smaller packages in general.

    Have a wonderful weekend of last minute prep and enjoy your Christmas company!

  16. Those napkins are really cool; you’ve inspired me to make some! Thank you!! Go green!

  17. Technically I’m doing the absolute worse thing for the environment — I’m flying home for the holidays. In my defense, there is no other way to get from Sri Lanka to South Carolina. But I’ve bought carbon credits (still not completely convinced this actually does anything) so I feel somewhat vindicated.

    Cloth napkin thing is an oldy but goody. So much nicer to use and so much cheaper! Just wash once soiled. I even air dry mine and then they are ready for use! Excellent. Don’t tell her, but I got my cousin cloth napkins for her wedding present. With napkin rings made out of tamarind wood. It is very pretty and I’m told sustainable, but I haven’t yet checked to make sure that is true (sometimes people tell you what you want to hear, I like to double check).

  18. I have long been a user of cloth napkins – we always used them growing up, and I never really realized that most people don’t. I’ve had people express surprise at this, thinking that cloth napkins are too fancy for everyday use. Naw. Not if you can just throw ’em in the wash. If I’m trying to be fancy, I iron them after laundering. Needless to say, that almost never happens.

    I was excited to see the post – I had wondered about the difficulty of making napkins. You cleared up a little of the mystery.

    Your fabric selections are gorgeous – I know the recipients will be thrilled…

  19. You are seriously one of the coolest chicks I know (well, ‘know’ via the internet). I wish we lived near each other.

    Love your napkins.

    XOXOOX

  20. The napkins are lovely and I applaud using cloth napkins year-round. Your effort to be as green as possible is to be lauded. We have an artificial tree and the only live greenery we’ve “taken” is from those bits fallen to the ground on the mountain–I hope that’s okay. I’ve been making small gift boxes from the old Christmas cards I’ve saved over the years. This idea was learned in an origami class I took.

    My email isn’t working right now and I have limited access to another computer to make my posts. So, if you’ve emailed me and I’ve not responded, it’s not because I’m being rude. I hope to have my laptop back up and running in a day or two.

  21. hi there sweetie. i just finished my exams yesterday (YAY!) so i am behind, but wanted to check in and say hello and *thank you* so much for the beautiful card 🙂 a very very happy holiday to you and yours!!
    (p.s. LOVE the cloth napkins. they are so wonderful and make any sandwich lunch feel fancy 🙂 ) xox

  22. Cloth napkins?!
    *Brilliant* My friends just got a little treat added to their gifts. Thanks for sharing!

  23. De-lurking to share information that I gathered about the real vs. fake Christmas tree debate. I have heard from a few reliable sources that live Christmas trees are actually preferable from an environmental perspective. As far as I can tell, the tree farms that grow live trees plant far more trees than they harvest, and towns and cities usually recycle the trees into mulch. The manufacturing of artificial trees, on the other hand, creates harmful chemical by-products and they are not biodegradable when disposed. I suppose, however, that if you already have an artificial tree you might as well continue to use it. I live in an apartment, but if I had a yard, I’d go with buying a potted tree and then planting it when the holiday season is over.

  24. Your cloth napkins are beautiful! It’s funny how putting out a cloth napkin can even make a sandwich on a plate look special. One thing that I like to do is buy good ribbon from the fabric store and reuse it over and over again. It’s so much nicer than that shiny plastic like stuff they sell with wrapping paper which is disposable ribbon anyway. In my family, we always say that if you make green choices, you have more green in your wallet. When you buy less and reuse, you spend less. 🙂

  25. Hi again.

    I don’t know if you’ll read this since I’m posting so late but I just had to share one more ‘green’ idea I always do.

    ALL magazines I buy or receive throughout the year I save and donate to my closest hospital. I have never been turned down as hospitals are always short on reading material. Some even take used books. Happy Holidays! Kathie

  26. Yes! I am all for saving mama earth and being green! thank you for reminding everyone!

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