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Make your own Napkins & Detergents!

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I have a sweet friend at Church, Bobbie,  that was teaching a class on organizing and saving money. In her class Bobbie talked about how she had made napkins for her family when her children were growing up. It saved a lot of money since the napkins could be washed over and over. I thought it was a brilliant idea and during my next trip to CA I went to the fabric store and bought 8 fat quarters. I came home, cut them into quarters and my Mom helped me sew a double line around the edges. They were pretty small but perfect for our little boys.

We love them! We have been using them for at least 3 years now and they are still in great shape. Not only do we save money by washing them and reusing them, I love that they bring a sense of class to our family dinnertime. Bonus they are helping us teach our boys manners. Let me rephrase – helping us TRY to teach them manners!

(Note to self – meatloaf in pictures does not make dinner look appetizing)

The meatloaf was actually really good. I had some hamburger I needed to use today and I had about 10 minutes to make dinner. I used this recipe and it was pretty yummy….for meatloaf đź™‚

In another happy little homemaking note – I tried making my own laundry soap again. I made liquid laundry soap a couple of years ago and I didn’t love it. This time I found a dry recipe  here and I am much happier.


Ive been using it for over 2 years now and I still love it.


What you need:

3 bars Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar Soap  (found in the detergent aisle) grated – I used the grater attachment in my food processor.
4 lbs. Borax (found in the detergent aisle)
4 lbs. Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (found in the detergent aisle)
4 lbs. Arm & Hammer Baking Soda

I grabbed one of my grandmothers old measuring cups and I use that as my scoop.


My clothes feel so clean and fresh. Ive also been adding a few drops of lemon essential oil to a yarn ball and and then throwing that in the dryer with our clothes. Our clothes have never felt fresher!



Previous author of Over the Big Moon. I shared my passion for home and family life! I love graphic design, DIY projects, cooking, and working in my garden! My favorite role is taking care of my husband and our 3 amazing and busy boys!

Comments (15)

  • This is the recipe for laundry detergent I used before…I think I got it from one of the Relief Society ladies.:) I’m going to give it another go. I’ve never tried the DW detergent, so that looks like a fun project. Added bonus…I totally have that same jar sitting empty in my pantry. I think I just found it a new home.:) Thanks Lisa! Love the blog!

  • Those napkins are so cute! I love your photography! And I’ll have to try out the meat loaf recipe. I can never find a good one i love! Thanks for sharing at oopsey daisy!

  • What great ideas! Thanks for linking up to our “Strut Your Stuff Saturday.” We would love to have you back!! -The Sisters

  • I’ve been wanting to make some napkins, but I’ve been putting it off because so many fabrics “push” what you’re trying to wipe up (or off). Do you have any material preferences? I know you said you use fat quarters, but I’ve found that quilting fabric is often the worst culprit. I was considering flannel?

    • I have a front loader machine and I use the detergent in it. My machine has a drawer that pulls out that has compartments for detergent, softener, and bleach. I add my detergent to that side and then the vinegar to the softener section and then just let my machine go.

  • I love the idea of making napkins…. so easy. Def. on my to-do list.
    Also I have been using the homemade laundry detergent(which I love) and the dishwasher detergent for awhile. I don’t love the dishwasher soap as much but to help so it doesn’t get hard was to put one of those ‘silica’ packets (that you find with new shoes-purses etc) in with it. I have noticed it def. helps a bit.

  • I made the laundry detergent awhile back but we need scent free here so I am looking for an alternative for the fels naptha. The dish detergent is a success for us too… I have been using it for over a year and love it. You can also add vinegar to the bottom of your dishwasher too. 🙂

    I want a yarn ball!!!!

    Love all this stuff!!!

  • Thought you might like to know: Martha Stewart has instructions for making perfectly mitred corners on napkins in her book “Good Things”. I believe you can also find them on her site, for free. It’s so easy, and you don’t wind up with the lump of fabric in the corners!

    Thanks so much for your detergent recipes. I can’t wait to try them!

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