Saturday, July 3, 2010

Making the switch to cloth napkins

Earlier this year, we visited some dear friends in Dallas and we were inspired. This couple had made the switch from paper napkins to cloth napkins and they made it look so easy. So when we got home, we decided to try it. And what do you know – it was super easy. We have been paper napkin free for over a month now and I don’t see us going back. Here are the lessons they taught us:

1. Make sure you have enough to get you through the week. This way you can just throw them into your weekly laundry and it’s not a big deal. For us, this meant having twelve cloth napkins ready to go. Luckily I have been an avid shopper at Ross, TJ Maxx, HomeGoods for years so I have amassed a pretty impressive collection of cloth napkins.

2. Put them where you had your paper napkins before. For us this meant in a pape napkin holder on top of a cake plate in the middle of the kitchen table.

Exhibit A:

Now, this is functional, but not too aesthetically pleasing. So I need your help. What suggestions do you have for how to store our cloth napkins. It has to be open so napkins can be easily grabbed and it has to be able to sit in the middle of the kitchen table. I look forward to your ideas!


  1. First, you and Glenn need to pick your "colors." Leo always likes orange and Julia likes purple napkins. I like green so that makes Rob a "leftover color" guy. You could always google some origami site and do some cool folding or you could just use the same napkin for a few days (insert GASP now from Karen Lusk) until you eat a really messy meal. But really? Do you replace your bath towels EVERY day? Maybe you do if you don't have kids but we regular "crazy-in-other-ways" people do not. :) Go to a store and pick your favorite napkin ring and then pick out one for Glenn. Set your table and claim your "spot." Try and use the same napkin for 2-3 days and then pick a new one. Just leave the extra napkins folded neatly in the basket and if it is bbq night then dig in for an extra. Good luck! Oh, and for the record, I may use the same napkin for a couple of days (assuming no pending sickness) but I do consider ironing napkins a pleasure...

  2. I fully and completely agree with all the points made by your friend in the above post!:) I love the napkin ring always have your table set than. One of the tricks my mother-in-law taught me was that even if dinner is not even STARTED, to set the table so that whenever your husband comes home, he at least realizes that there IS something coming at SOME point. I guess it wouldn't work for those of you that work from home...hmmm. We have always used cloth napkins...we actually keep ours in a drawer of a little desk that is right behind our table, easily accessible. I know that doesn't help much...don't have any other creative ideas for now.