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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Largely due to my dh, we have not bought paper napkins in a long time. We tend to just use our dish towels. However, I would like to use cloth napkins b/c of the largeness factor of the towels, plus we never seem to have clean dish towels. Any suggestions for where to purchase some at a reasonable cost? Unfortunately I do not sew, or it seem like it would be an easy project to make at home!
 

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I got mine at thrift stores. I have a very large collection (around 20) because my DS is only 4 and can use them all within 3 days.
 

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IMO, sewing is an essential skill if you SAH and want to be thrifty. Do you have a sewing machine? You don't even need an expensive one. I taught myself to sew little by little. I started out with making easy projects for my home. Maybe this is a good excuse for you to learn how to sew since it's an easy beginning project. You just cut the fabric to size, iron the edges down and sew a straight stitch all the way around. No one will care if they're not even or straight. I actually prefer that homemade look.
 

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Actually you don't even need a sewing machine to make something like cloth napkins. You can do a 'no-sew hem'. They sell this fusible binding that you just iron to seal. It comes in a roll already the width you need it. They sell a few different sizes. just get the fabric, cut it, and place that binding in the hem, pin it and iron over it to seal.
 

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Or, you could zig zag around just inside the edge and let the edges get all fringy.<br><br>
Or the thrift store. People will often have cloth napkins made for weddings or other big occasions and then have no use for then after. I've never know a thrift store that didn't have lot's of napkins.<br><br>
Whatever you do, get cotten or other natural fiber. Sinthetic fibers don't absorbe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks, I'll have to check out some thrift stores. And maybe the iron on binding stuff. I don't own a sewing machine. I'm not a SAHM; my dh is a SAHD but not into sewing!
 

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I bought mine from ebay. There's a vendor there where you can pick the color you want. He sells them 20 for $10. I bought 40 of them, and he combined the shipping for me. They're restaurant quality, and I'm not sure if that's good or bad. They're absorbent, but still have that kind of tightly woven stiffness to them even after washing.
 

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Yay! Welcome to the wonderful world of thrift store napkins! I am in love with my colorful random collection of napkins! It's one of my greatest silly pleasures to choose which set I'm in the mood for each meal, and sitting down with a warm laundry basket folding fresh and clean napkins is another, I can give them all love and affection and stack them neatly....its the little things right?<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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I like to use bandana hankies - you know, they are usually red or blue and have a paisley pattern on them. They are a breeze to wash, and then I fold them in half twice (creating a long narrow shape), then fold that in half from short end to short end. Voila! They are way softer than regular napkins, and the pattern hides stains beautifully.
 

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I got most of mine at rummage sales. If you go at the end of the sale, they usually have a bag sale where you can get everything you can stuff into a bag for a set price. So, I get a whole bunch of other stuff with my napkins for next to no money!
 

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i got mine on ebay too, and sometimes you can find 100% cotton ones clearanced after the holidays <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I got my first bunch dirt cheap on clearance at Target. The colors were part of a seasonal line that was being moved out.<br><br>
I rounded out my collection by asking for napkins for gifts last Christmas. My family always wants to know what I want for gifts. It was nice to be able to tell them something I could really use.
 

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We got rid of paper towels and napkins all at once, sometime early last spring. I went to Target and invested in 6 4-packs of the cheapest white cotton napkins, three big bundles of those cheap white washcloths, a small trash can to use JUST for laundry in the kitchen, and two wire baskets to hold my new stash. I don't remember the grand total, but it really wasn't very much, especially as compared to the price of a case of paper towels. Now we have plenty of rags and napkins on hand and I have an easy way to corral the laundry. For me it was worth it to just buy the stash and make the switch and not have to think about it anymore.
 

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yep, like someone said, make sure they are cotton w/ no synthetics or they won't absorb
 

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Yeah, thrift them. We made about 100 for our wedding several years ago, and although many guests took theirs home with them, we still had a couple dozen left. We've been using them daily since.<br><br>
I like the idea of a dedicated kitchen mini-hamper. Between the napkins, the towels, the dishcloths (I just made 15 or so knitted ones), and the kid, we generate kind of a lot of kitchen laundry every day.
 

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One consideration for me was how many I'd have to own to keep us in clean napkins or how much wash I'd have to do.<br><br>
So I got 4 different napkin rings, one for each of us. Each person had his own napkin in his ring and would reuse it until it was actually dirty. Then he'd get a clean one from the pile and put the old one in the wash. With 4 of us, we had 8 napkins. And when everyone got older, I made some new ones and only had six since they got less messy.<br><br>
I did the same thing with towels and washcloths - each person has his own color and only 2 towels and 2 cloths. That way no one could just keep taking towel after towel and leave them hanging in the bathroom like a laundry line! It also kept the amount of laundry down since I only washed clothes once a week.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>rabbithorns</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9118951"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">One consideration for me was how many I'd have to own to keep us in clean napkins or how much wash I'd have to do.<br><br>
So I got 4 different napkin rings, one for each of us. Each person had his own napkin in his ring and would reuse it until it was actually dirty. Then he'd get a clean one from the pile and put the old one in the wash. With 4 of us, we had 8 napkins. And when everyone got older, I made some new ones and only had six since they got less messy.<br><br>
I did the same thing with towels and washcloths - each person has his own color and only 2 towels and 2 cloths. That way no one could just keep taking towel after towel and leave them hanging in the bathroom like a laundry line! It also kept the amount of laundry down since I only washed clothes once a week.</div>
</td>
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great idea!
 
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