Napkin Skirt Tutorial

Thursday, June 2, 2011

You asked for it! Here it is! I promised this would be up on Thursday. It may be 11:59 p.m.when I post it, but it will be up today :)

For more information on the skirt and where the napkins were purchased, you can check this post HERE.

Napkin Skirt

Materials needed:
  • 2-4 floral napkins. (The napkins I used were 20x20. I only needed two. Depending on your size you may need an additional one or two napkins.)
  • 1-3 solid color napkins. (These were also 20 x 20. I only needed one. Again, adjust according to size.)
  • Needle and thread or safety pin- to attach the bow.
  • The normal necessities- thread and sewing machine,
  • *Optional- zipper, interfacing, elastic *I’ll explain these options later on in the tutorial.


1. First, Sew your floral napkins together. One of the things that makes this skirt so easy is that it is already hemmed for  you! All you have to do is lay the two floral napkins together with the print facing inward. Pin them together. Sew up the sides. And now you are almost done ;) DSC05334

*Optional- if you want to add a zipper, I would recommend only sewing up one side of the skirt at this point. (I didn’t use a zipper. I was able to just slip the skirt on without it. I have an awkward straight body. I don’t know if a zipper less skirt would work for all body types. You may just have to experiment.) 2. I tried the skirt on to see if it would fit or if I needed to take in any extra. I needed to take it in a little. I added two pleats to the front.


3. Next you will cut the solid color napkin. The height of my solid band around the skirt was 4 1/2 inches once sewn. You will want to cut two 5 x 20 inch pieces from the ends of the of your solid napkin. Cut one 5 x 20 inch piece across the top of your napkin and then cut another 5 x 20 inch piece across the entire bottom of your napkin! You want to cut from both ends because then you have the top of your skirt hemmed for you. Leaving you with less work.


* If you have an additional solid color napkin, you could double the thickness of your waistband and put some interfacing in the middle. This will help keep the band on the skirt up. Once you put on the bow, it will be so heavy that it will pull the band down. I did not do this. I just made the band so tight that the bow couldn’t pull it down. If you don’t want the band super tight, then I would add some interfacing to make the band thicker and stiffer.  3. Sew the two pieces together vertically. Just sew one end together at this point.


*You will want to leave the other side open in case you want to add a zipper.

4. Fold the cut edge of the piece you have sewn together about 1/2 an inch. Iron it down. Pin the hem. DSC05358

5. Next pin the sewn together pieces to your skirt. Then sew them to the skirt. You may have some excess. I did. Cut off any excess and then sew up the seam vertically. DSC05361

*Or this is the point when you would add your zipper and sew up the other side of your skirt.

6. Now all that is left is the bow. You should have a 10 x 20 inch piece left from the middle of your solid napkin. First cut two inches from one end of this piece. Making it now a 10 x18 inch piece. Save this for later.


7. Next fold your now 10 x 18 inch piece of fabric in half. Sew up the seam on the open end. Then turn right side out so you can’t see the thread. DSC05363

8. Next fold in the frayed edges. Sew a seam along the outside. You will be able to see this thread, but it still looks cute.


9. Next take your two inch piece from earlier and fold it in half. One end should already be hemmed. The other end should be frayed. Just fold in the frayed edge under a bit. Then sew a seam along the top. DSC05373

10. Then roll up the two ends and sew them together.


11. Next pull the bow half way through the circle that you just made. Now you have a bow! DSC05324

12. You have two options for attaching your bow. You can sew it to the skirt with a needle and thread. Or you can just use a safety pin to attach it. If you use the safety pin, you can take the bow off and use it for another outfit as well.  I just used a needle and thread. I thought of the safety pin idea afterwards. DSC05413

13. You are almost done. Once you have the bow attached, try the skirt on. If you didn't add the interfacing, check to make sure that the band on the skirt is tight enough on your waist and that the bow isn’t pulling the band down. If it is pulling it down, you will need to tighten your band. I had to do this. I just added a few pleats to the back of the skirt. Then I was done! DSC05410 - Copy

There you have it. Now you have a new and fun skirt to enjoy!  DSC05421

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email or comment. I am happy to help!

*Update: Here are some ideas for adding elastic instead of a zipper:

-If you can find a 4 1/2 inch piece of elastic, you could add that to just the back of the band on the skirt. I have never seen elastic that wide. I have seen 2 inch elastic though. Maybe you could sew two pieces together to create a 4 inch elastic?

-You could add a 3/4 inch to 1 inch piece of elastic- which is what I typically work with. To just the top of the band, again in just the back of the skirt.

-You could also add a 3/4 inch to 1 inch piece of elastic to the bottom of the band, again in just the back and not the front. That might make the top of the band ruffle a little instead of lay flat. That could look cute too.

-My last idea was to add a little piece of elastic just under where you put the bow in the front. Then the bow could hide the elastic.

Those were my thoughts. I would love to see any napkins skirts that you create :)


  1. WOW! That is fabulous! How creative are you? I am going to post this to my facebook page.

  2. This is amazing! I really love it! Thanks for the tutorial.

  3. cute

    God bless,
    d from homehaven

  4. Where did you find the cute napkins that big?

  5. I got the napkins at Cost Plus World Market. I had originally just posted pictures of the skirt in a previous post...

    I had so many requests for a tutorial that I created this post. The info on where I got the napkins was in that first post. Sorry I should have added that link to this post. I'll go ahead and do that now.


  6. I'm completely in Awe ! Stunning.

  7. Love how quick this is, and the floral napkins you used are very pretty!

  8. Adorable and I love the colors napkins come it!

    What a genius idea and a great way to upcycle!

    If you don't mind I would love it if you linked up to my weekly upcycled/stashbusting linky pary (Upcycled Awesome) at or use this link:

  9. This is so pretty! Love the bow detail

  10. So cute! I also adore the bow detail. Thanks for the tutorial and inspiration!

  11. LIGHT BULBS GOING OFF!!!What a great tutorial!I'm visiting from 101 summer sewing tutorials roundup. Have a great day!

  12. This is so great! I love your blog and am a new follower. I would be honored if you'd follow back!



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