Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Cloth Napkin Wedding Favors

I’ve been using cloth napkins for years.  I love that they’re beautiful, do a better job than paper, and best of all, don’t create waste (I top off any load of laundry with a few used napkins).

I wanted to share this lifestyle choice with our wedding guests.  I was averse to the idea of creating a mountain of trash from our wedding.  I was also averse to the idea of renting napkins for $1.00 each!  Thus was born the idea of making our own cloth napkins, and giving them to guests as a favor.  I was also pretty excited about how they’d jazz up our tables.

My Mom and I collected a variety of cotton fabrics in my coral color scheme, including some beautiful batiks.  She got about four napkins per yard of fabric, leaving an 11" remnant to play with later.

We used the remnants for pennants or saved them for future quilts.  I'm really excited about repurposing fabric and ribbon from the wedding into quilts, crafts, cards, etc.  Reuseability was a big motivator as I was choosing decor and stuff for the wedding.

Mom cut 17" squares with a square ruler and rotary cutter and sewed a rolled hem with the serger along each side to give them a professional finish. By starting with a neat edge, she didn't have to cut away fabric with the serger and didn't waste any inches.  Using the same thread on all the napkins helped make them cohesive.

I washed the napkins to remove any sizing or residual manufacturing chemicals, and meticulously ironed them.  My fabulous maid of honor painstakingly folded them to fit around our menus.

So that guests would know to keep them as a wedding favor, I wrote a short poem for the top of the menu:

Use this napkin for cake or for tears,
then take it home and reuse it for years.
Over dinner with loved ones, remember this night,
And say a sweet blessing for this husband and wife.

The set-up folks put the menu in upside down (the poem was designed the show at the top, not the menu, but oh well!)
cloth napkins as wedding favors

I truly hope that people took them home and that they do reuse them (and think of us!) for years.  There were several dozen leftovers and extras.  My thoughtful aunt had the brilliant idea of washing them all the day after the wedding.  She definitely saved us from finding a box of moldy and ruined napkins months afterwards.

And hey, these are so pretty that I don't mind having lots of wedding favors hanging around!

1 comment:

  1. Bonnie, I use one or two every day; one in my lunch box (and they always are a topic of conversation at the staff table) and then one on my dinner table. They've been: on picnics, one camping trip, and outside under the lone tree for dinner in the hammock. Thank you!!!


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