I've been meaning to do this for a long time, but sometimes the days just go by too fast and there are so many other things going on. I finally did it though. One night I finally pulled out my sewing machine and whipped up some cloth napkins. (Which was good because I've been avoiding buying napkins ever since we ran out the last time, and we've just been going without or using paper towels.)
I had read in a magazine how you could use old button down cotton shirts for making napkins. A very frugal thing to do. I didn't happen to have any old, worn out shirts laying around though, so I got a few at our local Goodwill Outlet where they sell clothes by the pound. A couple of shirts was probably less than $2.
I cut them up into 8-inch squares. I got quite a lot of napkins this way, but they are also a little bit on the small side. I will definitely be making some bigger ones with the two shirts I have left. At least 10-inches but 12-inches would be better.
Now, you could sew a nice little hem and make them look nicer and most likely last longer, but I wanted a more rustic look and was sort of in a hurry, so I just sewed a 1/4-inch border around each square to keep them from unraveling. And they have a cute little fringe around the edge after a few washings.
I didn't really keep track of the time when I was making these, but I know it didn't take too terribly long. I managed to do it in the time after I put the girls to bed and before my bedtime, so I would guess a couple hours and I think it made around 16 napkins.
As for washing them, it's not really any extra work. I just throw them in when I wash the towels, which happens a couple times a week. And if they don't get too messy we save them for the next meal.
A couple hours and a couple dollars and we now have napkins for a long time. I am starting to look at what other items we can switch to cloth. I would like to stop buying paper towels, but I'm not sure if that will happen...hubby has a slight addiction to using them. ;)