Drop Cloth Numbered Napkins…

I love painter’s drop cloth.

You can do so many wonderful things with it!

It can be used to cover furniture, for curtains, etc.

It is so soft and durable….and has the look of

wonderful European grain sack fabric.

I used it just lately to make napkins and

a few dish towels…….

all out of one drop cloth.

The drop cloth cost around $15 and I made

12 large 22″ napkins and 3 dish towels.

I had thought about adding these fun items to

the shop….but all of my life sewing has had

this awful effect on me.

It makes me curse.

I can sew….quite well, actually.

When my children were babies I made them

French hand sewn cloths that I also smocked.

When I was a teen I taught French hand sewing classes.

When I was little I made all of my Barbie’s clothes.

All of the curtains, etc. in our home….yep, I made ’em.

If the end of the world is near and my family needed

clothes….I could make them.

The problem:


Just because you can do something…

and are even good at it, doesn’t mean it’s your calling.


Strangest thing…..I’m not sure why sewing has this

cursing effect on me. I always waited until

my little ones were in bed before I would

sew things….just in case. hahaha

And, I bite my tongue a lot.

So, I sew for our home and when I have fun ideas….

but the thought of sewing, like, hundreds of these…..

Ugh. Would. push. me. over. the. edge.

So, I’m going to tell you guys how you can do your own!

It’s super easy…no cursing necessary. 🙂

After making the napkins and towels I used

transfer paper to print numbers on them.

You could print anything that you’d like to.

For our flour sack dish towels in the shop

I use a special art technique…not transfer paper,

but for this project; I used the transfer paper.

Here’s what you need:

1 large drop cloth {can be purchased from any home improvement store}

laser transfer paper {I like to use laser transfer paper on my inkjet printer…it gives it the vintage/worn look; and it doesn’t leave that ugly filmy look behind} I purchase mine from Amazon.


sewing machine

matching thread

Here’s how ya do it:

1. Create your numbers or choose your design on your computer

2. Print it out on the laser transfer paper…make sure to print out a mirror image {the laser transfer paper will tell you to not use it on inkjet printers…..just ignore it. I’ve never been really good at following directions, anyway.}

3. Cut the drop cloth in 12-22″ squares…but instead of cutting the fabric…tear it. Make a small cut and then tear from there. Drop cloth fabric does much better with ripping than cutting. You will get a straighter edge.

4. Use the few odd-sized pieces for dish towels.

5. Hem all four sides of each 22″ square and the odd-sized pieces. Be sure to fold over the edge twice….double-hem. This will make a nicer, more finished edge; and will guard against fraying…for at least 20-30 years. 😉

6. Cut out your design that you have printed on your laser transfer paper.

7. NOW, you can follow the directions….I know there are some of you out there that really need to follow directions. Here’s your chance! Embrace it! Follow the directions on the transfer paper for heat setting your designs with an iron onto your newly made napkins and towels. Voila! You’ve done it! Aren’t they wonderful?

For any of you that would like to use the numbers that I created and used on these napkins and towels…..

Here is the free printable…already in mirror format for you.


Hope you all had a super weekend!


Sharing with:  Skip to My LouTip JunkieToday’s Creative BlogNot JUST a Housewife,  Blue Cricket DesignThe Shabby Creek CottageWhipperberryThe Idea Room,  Between Naps on the PorchFrench Country CottageThe Lettered CottageThrifty Decor ChickFunky Junk InteriorsAt the Picket FenceMy Uncommon Slice of SuburbiaCommon Ground,  DIY ShowoffHome Stories A to Z a.k.a. DesignSomeday CraftsOrganize and Decorate Everything,  Making the World CuterThe Girl CreativeCraftomaniacCarolyns HomeworkFingerprints on the FridgeTatertots & JelloSerenity NowNo Minimalist HereSavvy Southern Style, Coastal CharmMy Romantic HomeRedouxWe Are That FamilyThe Charm of HomeDelightsome LifeAnything GoesRooted in ThymePositively SplendidCedar Hill Ranch, Freckled Laundry, House in Roses, Rook No. 17, Elizabeth & Co., Domestically Speaking, The Power of Paint, The Trendy Treehouse, Faded Charm Cottage, Michele Raven Designs, Junk in Their Trunk, Gingersnap Crafts, Night Owl Crafting, The Vintage Farmhouse, My Repurposed Life, The Rooster & the Hen, Shabby Nest, Finding Fabulous, Thrifty Handmade Days, Homemaker on a Dime


66 thoughts on “Drop Cloth Numbered Napkins…

  1. Those are awesome! I love using drop cloth for all kinds of things too… right now 3 of our rooms have drop cloth curtains and the couches have drop cloth pillows! Thanks for the great tutorial! t.xoxo

  2. Love this idea, last year I used a drop cloth to provide shade in the backyard. This year I already making plans to make a ruffled table cloth for the outdoor table. Now you’ve given me even more ideas. I totally get what you mean by the sewing. I just bought a new machine and my frustration level just went up by 100%….I’ve signed up to take a class on learning my machine in hope that it will help

  3. I was just in the paint department yesterday and looked at the drop cloths. Cool use of one. I am going to try this!

  4. Could you please give me a link to the paper on Amazon? I looked on there and there are too many to choose from. Thanks for your help.

    • Rita~ Hmmmmm, I’ve always purchased my drop cloths from Lowe’s or Home Depot and they are usually pretty soft. They are a bit heavier than regular material…just like grain sacks; but not too heavy. I don’t think I’ve ever run into a stiff one before. Try using fabric softener in the wash and see if that helps. 🙂 You may have purchased a painters tarp instead of drop cloth….they are very stiff and heavy.

  5. Guess what? I already have some of those napkins, not sure they are specifically dropcloth however. The place settings of my twig silverware came wrapped in them. I never use them, just a bit to plain. I have stamps. I have ink. I’m copying you.


  6. Daune, these are beautiful! I’ve used the citra solv transfer method for pillows. Does this give the same effect or does it print darker black? Can you wash this and the image still stays on? I tried doing the citra solv on a tea towel and then washed it and it faded.

    • Danielle…yes, you can wash it and it still stays on. It should still stay on with the citra sold transfer method, as well. I have learned a secret…..you have to make sure you use a really cheap toner copier…like the one at the public library. If you use a nice one….the transfer will wash out or even completely disappear with that method. 🙂 Hope that helps.

  7. Well you have cracked me up….I am feeling your pain and truly understand about this
    crazy relationship between you and that darn machine. I love it. Thanks for the great instructions. I can only wish and dream of doing them but I now realize I would never finish them. I am dropping by from White Wed. and so happy I did. I love your napkins. Kathy

  8. Brilliant idea!! I can’t wait to make some for myself. You are so funny…”hate to sew” but I totally can relate. I too can sew and have made everything from curtains, slicovers to prom dresses and everything in between. It kills my back to sew so now I have to sew standing up! I also bite my tongue when I sew..hahaha must be a creative thing to do. Hahah

    Love your blog. Stop by and say Hi sometime.


  9. I love drop cloths too! I’ve slipcovered a couch and several chairs and ottomans with them. Not all for myself! It’s really quite easy but I LOVE to sew. Send your sewing my way 🙂 I love your idea of making napkins out of dropcloths! I may just have to do that myself – Do you mind??

  10. Can you surge the edges or does it need to be a rolled hem? As far as wear is concerned? I was thinking a colored thread surged around the edges just to add color. By the way, I love the idea! I was thinking of shade panels for my porch for the summer and may have to use a drop cloth.

    • Esther~ I’m sure you could surge them if you’d like…..I don’t think they would hold up to as much wear and tear, though. Oh…drop cloth will be wonderful shade panels for your porch! 🙂

  11. Love the drop cloth idea and using it to make napkins and towels. They look awesome! You should sale them…Thanks for sharing on Simple & Sweet Fridays!


  12. Popped over from Hometalk and LOVE your napkins AND website! Did you wash the drop cloth first, then made the napkins? Or did you cold-water wash them after your printed on the numbers? Thanks!

    • Thanks, Karen! So glad to have you here…Happy New Year!

      Yes, I did wash the drop cloth first..and then I just wash and dry the napkins after each use. I have skipped the prewash step before and they worked out just fine, too.

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