How to Iron and Store Cloth Napkins

It was an upcoming garage sale that inspired me to do something different with my napkins. I was ready for a new system.

And it was a friend leaving town, who sold me a really fun piece of furniture ($60 bargain) that inspired me to think about what I wanted to put into the drawers. :)

Perfect for entertaining and real “handiness,” I decided to put all my cloth napkins into the drawers. I now call it my napkin hutch!

I entertained this last weekend and I was giddy over the fact that my tablecloths were ironed, and my napkins were so accessible!

By the way, it was a year ago that my friend came from Portland and helped me ambush my hall closet (which holds all of my tablecloths). I can say it’s still very organized! :)

It’s also fun to open my napkin hutch’s drawers and see so many beautiful colors.

Now the fun part is this. My son was home one week between college and heading back to summer school in Eugene, so guess who was looking for odd jobs to earn money?

What made me laugh, and I’m still cracking up, is that he ironed a huge basket-load of napkins (yes, I was way behind on my ironing, plus I have a LOT of napkins) out in his Dad’s office, but he came inside and asked, Mom, do you want these napkins ironed hamburger or hot dog? That’s a boy, speaking in the language of food. :)

As you can see, “hot dog” was the way I wanted them ironed.

1. Iron the whole piece of material.
2. Fold in half; iron again.
3. Fold in half; iron again.
4. Fold in half length-wise; iron the last time.

Oh and by the way, I really want to do something with the back of my new hutch (the way it was decorated when I bought it).

It’s not really decorated now in my home the way I want, but for now I quickly added baskets, etc. to fill it up.

I’ve yet to really make it “me,” but for now … the back of the hutch? Paint, paper, or what should I do to liven it up?

12 comments on “How to Iron and Store Cloth Napkins”

  1. Pingback: Repurposing a Yard Sale Bargain to an Entertaining Hutch | Reluctant Entertainer I Sandy Coughlin - Lifestyle, Entertaining, Food, Recipes, Hospitality and Gardening

  2. I’m into the look of old maps pasted on the background….

  3. I love your hutch just the way it is! I love that you are storing your napkins in it. I have lots of napkins, too, and I may have to steal this idea from you to store them in! :-)

  4. Hi San
    I love how your son asked how you wanted your napkins ironed. Sweet! I usually do mine ‘hamburger’ – just incase I decide to get all fancy and place them on the plates with two point showing and two points out…does that have a name? Heehee! The first time I read the post (you’ll remember it posted early) I was inspired to start using my napkins everyday. So I went to my linen dresser, which is actually the dresser I got for my 13th birthday, and started having an extra pretty table every day.
    Also…another tip. Instead of ironing all my napkins, when I launder them, I dry them briefly in the dryer…actually what I do is heat them up, then immediately take them out and hand press them in half, fold them over hangers and hang them to dry. They come out perfectly. Some of the thinner ones get more wrinkly and this doesn’t work. But, it saves me time and looks great.
    Hope your day is Extraordinary!!

  5. I iron my napkins as well! OCD is what my family says 8)…..I believe you should use the new faux metal tiles for the hutch. Maybe in Tuscon gold!

  6. My eye keeps going to your beautiful flowers next to the hutch….and your basket on the hutch. What about a beautiful burgandy or deep cranberry color on the back only? It could be paint, paper OR fabric…whichever suits your fancy. If you use paper or fabric you could change it out for seasons/holidays even. :) Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  7. I
    to Iron
    There is nothing so satisfying as that small accomplishment – a neatly stacked pile of colorful squares (I go for Hamburger).

    When I was pregnant, as part of my nesting process, I ironed every last stitch of table linen I own, (and it was a lot.) I would get up in the night and iron when I couldn’t sleep! Haven’t quite done that again since, but I still love to take the time to get ready for a dinner party…

  8. Hi Sandy,

    I loved this post on cloth napkins!

    I have a few questions about your napkins: Do you buy them by 4’s or 8’s? And what do you do if you don’t have enough of one color? I’ve seen your beautiful pictures of a l-o-n-g table set for many guests so do you just pick colors that go together? Thanks.


  9. I actually love the distressed white look – I think for the bottom shelf just find a big vintage frame and maybe a stack of cool books to set beside it with a funky bowl on top of the books. At least, that’s what I would do. :)

  10. That hutch is so pretty! A cabinet full of ironed, organized napkins…ready to go for a spontaneous dinner party…is truly a joy. I need to follow your lead, Sandy.

  11. I’ve been taking off the back of my bookshelves and painting them a solid color. It gives a splash of color and makes it pop more.

  12. I’ve always used fabric. So easy to remove when I change my mind (which is often)

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