A Year of Rip and Tear Napkins!

A Year of Rip and Tear Napkins!

I bought this cabinet over ten years ago to hold my ever expanding collection of music cds. Designed for that purpose, it served me well. Then, in the past few years, I started buying my music online and was going to the cabinet less and less. Finally, I moved the collection downstairs and began using the cabinet for napkins. It was in my dining room and the shelves were the perfect size for napkins. I had a few stacks of homespun napkins and stored votive candles in there as well.

Then, last summer, I decided I wanted napkins for each month of the year. I made my own using the easy Rip and Tear Napkins that I wrote about last August. So here I am, 1 year later, and I did it! I now have 24 napkins for each month of the year. (Actually, I have 48 for December since we have a large Christmas dinner.) Before you start taxing your brain, that is 312 napkins. Crazy, right? Given the fact that you can get 4 napkins from a yard of material (let’s see… 312 divided by 4)  that’s, gulp, 78 yards of fabric!

Me: Ah, Tim… we have 312 napkins.

Tim: I love you.

Me: You must.

But, in my defense, the children LOVE them! They are excited each month to get out the new napkins. Some months, like March and August, all the napkins are the same. Some months have 2 prints, some 3 and April and December have 4. Each day the wee ones try to be the first to get out napkins so they are sure to get their favorite pattern. (BTW… Gammy is very tolerant of napkin exchanges so everyone gets a favorite!) I have to admit, even though I bought all of the fabrics on sale or with coupons, it was an expense, BUT, they will last for years and years. 

I’m not suggesting any one else should get so carried away… BUT if you do… it’s tons of fun, and I love leaving the cabinet door open and just staring at them! 
















  1. Oh my…you gave me a good giggle!

    Do you think we might have to hold a napkin hoarder intervention?

    1. There are those that would probably say Yes!

      1. I cherish the memories of differently patterned, cloth napkins from my own childhood and have started a collection for my family too. I am not anywhere near your numbers … but WHAT FUN!!!

  2. Those are super fun; I need to make some one of these days! Along those lines, I couldn’t get my kids to keep their pillow cases on until I made them fun seasonal ones that change throughout the year. We don’t quite have one for every month, but we do have one for each season, plus Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and their Birthdays.
    Thanks for all the wonderful inspiration!

  3. Oh, I love your napkins! I’m getting ready to make some more for us and you’ve definately got me thinking possibilities. 😉

  4. i love seeing that organized cabinet with all those stacks of color! that sun sign fabric is my fave, i think. 😉

    1. I think it is my favorite, too. The oranges and yellows are hot like the summer sun, and the blues and greens are cool like a dip in a lake. Perfect summer 🙂

  5. Your napkin collection is so amazing Kimara! I bow down to your royal craftiness. That cabinet is so beautiful too!! Did you paint it yourself?

    1. I wish I could paint like that! It is on my list of things I’d really like to try in earnest some day, in the meantime, I stick to sketching designs and "painting" with fabric. I have had this cabinet for 10 years now, look at it throughout the day, and never tire of it. It reminds me of this painting: Wild Rose Berries, c.1987 by Pauline Eble Campanelli. I wonder if she is the artist.

  6. I can see why you are always opening the cabinet. They look beautiful organized in there. What a wonderful collection.

  7. Kimara, you’re just great! Every detail is wonderful! If I’d have it I’d be fascinated by the vision…

  8. I am in love with your cabinet of napkins! We are in the middle of a very long drawn out move and I’ve found that my cloth napkins are at the top of my most missed items! I think maybe I’ll start making some of these too so I have new ones for the new house! Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Thanks for the link, Nina. I’ve added you to my RRS feed so I can stop by from time to time 🙂

  9. oh I had a good giggle at your amazing fettish? for napkins. I especially liked the april fabric.

    It made me think about getting rid of my ikea coloured paper ones and start tearing a few for the summer.

    Would stick to seasons I think, as I do not have such a beautiful cupboard for storing monthly mountains of fabric.

    Thank you for sharing your indivual and unusual idea. Sara

  10. Oh Wow… you are amazing. and I love that cabinet. I have the fabric for someone your October napkins.. wish they still made it (witch hat, cat, stars.. love the fabric).

  11. You are funny. I think you must have a lot of energy, or a lot of time on your hands. But they are pretty, and wow, I love that cabinet!

    1. LOL… sadly I possess neither of those attributes… I’m just stubborn and refuse to accept the premise that there are only 24 hours in a day and that a human requires 8 hours of sleep at night! I also love the cabinet. Actually, my SIL Jennifer bought one before me. I never "copy" the decorating of friends, but I asked her permission to purchase this. Fortunately, she had no problem with it, so now both of our homes are adorned by this lovely cabinet. Thank you, Jennifer!

  12. You so inspired me to make some! We used to use clothe but as the family grew (I have 8 sons!!), so did the laundry pile and the napkins were one thing that went by the wayside. Now that most of the boys are bigger and can help with folding the laundry, I want to get back to using them! Of course, I’ll need at least 40 to last 3-4 days so I need to make lots! But I love it! Thanks for the great blog!

    1. Be forewarned… it will take a while to fringe 40 napkins, so plan to take them along with you everywhere you go. People will look at you like you are crazy sitting there in a doctor’s office shredded a fabric square, so just smile and wave! It really is a soothing, no brainer, zen kind of thing, tho 🙂 And make sure you buy a good, heavier cotton print. The flimsy materials will wrinkle lots more. Have fun!

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