Kids’ Cloth Napkins for Lunchbox

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I’ve always sent homemade lunches with all three of my children when they went to school. I like that I know exactly what they’re eating and that I can send mom-approved items that I know they’ll actually eat (and enjoy). I also like to send a little something extra in their lunches to let them know that their lunch was packed with love. These easy kids’ cloth napkins for lunchboxes are a fun way to let your child know you’re thinking of them. Oh, and they’re earth-friendly and doggone cute, too!

stack of colorful cloth napkins in foreground and lunch box with contents on table with title text reading DIY Kids' Cloth Napkins for Lunchboxes

These kids’ cloth napkins are easy to make. Really. Like about 8 minutes of crafting time easy.

I love that I can choose fabric to reflect my child’s interests. There are so many unique designs of fabric that I guarantee that you can find at least one and most likely five different fabrics that will reflect your child’s unique personality and interests. I used flannel fabric so these cloth napkins are extra soft. 

You can even make these kids’ cloth napkins together as a kids’ craft activity, depending on the age of your child. If your child is too young to help sew, you can involve them (and get them excited) by having them help select the fabric. 

Kids’ Cloth Napkins

stack of colorful fabric cloth napkins with lunchbox and food items


  • Flannel Fabric – I purchased an 8 inch cut of fabric and that resulted in a seven inch square napkin. You could purchase 1/4 yard of fabric, but then your napkin will be approximately 5 inches square.
  • Scissors or rotary cutter  
  • Ruler
  • Sewing Machine

Kids’ Cloth Napkins Steps

1.  Cut the fabric to an eight inch square (or the size you choose). Cut two squares.

right image - hand holding fabric and rotary cutter, left image - red fabric on cutting board with piece removed and rotary cutter

2.  Be sure to remove any fabric edges before cutting your napkin square. 3.  Put the right sides of fabric together.

left image - square of fabric with corner folded back to show pink fabric with green frog, right image - fabric square with hand showing opening and arrows pointing to the the opening

4.  Sew a seam 1/4 inch from the edge all the way around the square. Leave an opening of approximately two inches. Clip corners close to stitching (this makes the corners lay flatter).

5.  Turn the napkin right-side out. You can handstitch the opening shut, but I just allow the next step to close the opening. 

6.  Sew a seam 1/4 inch from edge all the way around the napkin so that it will lay flat.

left image - hands pulling the inside out of opening of square, right image, colorful square with arrows pointing to seams on edges

I like to add a hand-stitched heart as a visual reminder of mom’s love.

pink fabric with green frog face and hand pointing to embroidered heart on corner

Look how cute this frog napkin is! (My college-aged daughter was also charmed by it and that says something!).  When my daughter sits down to lunch, she knows that I’ve packed her lunch with items that she likes (and mom approves of) and combined with her personalized cloth napkin, it shows her in a concrete way that I’m thinking of her.

pastel colored lunchbox, food contents and pink cloth napkin with frogs on white table

My son loves music and gaming, so this fabric was the perfect find. (I earned lots of cool mom points. Yea, me!)

blue napkin with headphones, screens and keyboards and lunchbox, water bottle and food items on white table

My family of five has always been a fan of Lance peanut butter crackers (it’s one of my daughter’s absolutely favorite snacks). I like that Lance sandwich crackers are filled with real peanut butter or cheese and contain up to 5 grams of protein and no high fructose corn syrup. 

Pretzels have always been a staple in our snacking choices. Snyder’s of Hanover uses simple ingredients and combines a great crunch with lower fat than other traditional snacks. 

boxes of crackers and snack pretzels stacked with colorful cloth napkins in front

I like that I can depend on the 100 years of experience with both Lance and Snyder’s of Hanover. They both offer a variety of snacks to please everyone in my family. And this busy mom appreciates the convenience for school and work lunches. 

With the start of school right around the corner, now is the to stock up on lunchbox snacks. And take a half an hour this weekend to make a week’s worth of kids’ cloth napkins to surprise your child in their lunchbox. You’ll both get big smiles every day with a lunchbox packed with love and a personalized kids cloth napkin. 

colorful cloth napkins fanned out on table with lunch bag, blue water bottle and food items on table

More Simple Back-to-School Ideas

For more back-to-school ideas, printables and recipes check out the table below. You can scroll though the table and look for ideas or search for specific ideas with the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner (on desktop). Click on the topic and then click through the specific article.

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  1. Those napkins are really neat. You make it seem so easy to make them. I really like the heart you stitched on as an added expression of love. My son has a Ninja Turtle napkin for his lunch, but I’m not so good at sewing, so I bought his napkin on Etsy.

    1. I’m so pleased with how these napkins turned out. They really are easy to make, Brenda. I promise. I’m sure your son is so proud of his Ninja Turtle napkin (very cool!).

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