Stitch up some Tailgate Napkins (free tutorial)

Are you ready for some tailgating? It is football season, and the crisp air and smell of the brats on the grill are here. A little party with friends and good food is in order before the game, so make it easy and fill these cute DIY napkin pockets with silverware, and set them out for your guests. The napkins are super easy to stitch up. Then you just fold ‘em, stuff ‘em and arrange ‘em in a pretty basket or container. Clean up is a snap — just toss them in the washing machine and they are ready to go for the next game.  Below are directions on how to make the hem and how to fold the napkins to hold that silverware.

Materials required:


  • 2 yds of a football themed cotton or a mix of your teams colors
  • Coordinating thread

Finished size: 16″ x 16″, 8″ x 8″ folded.  Makes 8 napkins.



  1. Cut 8 – 17 1/2″ x 17 1/2″ squares.
  2. Stitch a 1/4 inch double fold hem all around the fabric to form napkins.  Here is how to make a double fold hem.basics hem 3
  3. Fold the material over 1/4″ with wrong sides together.  Fold it over 1/4″ again to encase the raw edge inside of the hem; pin in place.basics hem 4
  4. Sew the hem about 1/8 inch from the folded edge of the fabric. Backstitch one or two stitches at each end to secure the threads. Pull out  pins as you go, so you don’t sew over them.basics hem 7
  5. Trim your threads.basics hem 8
  6. Iron the hem flat to finish.

 Here is another way that you can sew the corners on your napkins:


Fold the corner up 1/4 inch twice.


Then when you fold the sides, it will form a tiny miter that you can sew through.


Here is the finish of the corner.


I stitched the top side with red thread for a nice accent.

Here are directions on how to fold your napkins for the tailgate party.


Iron the napkin flat, wrong side up.


Fold the napkin in half, with the fold on the bottom.


Bringing the left edge to the right edge, fold the napkin in half again with a fold on the left.


The top right of the napkin will have all the corners.


Taking the top right layer, fold down in half and iron a crease.


Open back up and fold the corner to the crease.


Take the folded top edge and fold down to the crease again.


Fold the whole thing down again.


Now, take the next top right layer and fold down the corner about an inch or so.




Fold again two more times until it meets the first folded corner.  Iron it all flat.


Flip over and fold over each side in thirds to form the pocket on the front side. Iron the napkin flat.


Flip it back over and you can see the little pocket on the bottom half your napkin.


Just tuck your silverware  into the bottom pocket. Make sure you get them in the right place or the silverware will slip out.  Pretty nifty, huh?  You can stack them in a basket or bucket for the tailgating party so everyone can grab them as they go!

Happy Tailgating!

One thought on “Stitch up some Tailgate Napkins (free tutorial)

  1. Pingback: Things to Sew for Tailgating – Sewing With Scraps

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