Cold & Flu Season is Here: Let’s Talk Hankies!

sewing a handkerchief

How to Sew a Handkerchief

The Napkin Method

Probably the most straight-forward way to sew your own hankie is to sew it just like a cloth napkin. This is an easy method, so even if you’re very new to sewing, you shouldn’t have any problems.

For this method, you’ll need:

  • 10 x 10″ square of fabric – linen or very soft, uncoated organic cotton are best
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread
  • Iron
  • Straight pins

For the details on how to sew your hankies this way, click here for our full tutorial!

The Rolled Hem Method

A rolled hem is a little bit more advanced, but once you get the swing of it, it’s really not very difficult and this method is a lot faster than the napkin method.

You will need:

  • 10 x 10″ square of fabric – linen or very soft, uncoated organic cotton are best
  • Sewing machine with a rolled hem foot
  • Iron

This video does a great job of walking you through how to sew a rolled hem:

Do any of you guys sew your own hankies? What method do you use to make them? I’m sure there are other ways you can create your own – these are just two simple ones to get you started!

Written by Becky Striepe

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .

4 Comments

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  1. I love to use hankies. My kids request them now 🙂 I find beautiful vintage print ones at estate sales. Usually very inexpensive.

  2. Thank you for bringing up a subject that most cringe from. Your tips were right-on. I think that cloth on your nose seems to be less irritating but when you do have a poor pitiful sore nose, I have learned is to put chap-stick on it.

  3. I have found used flannel to be very gentle on a sore nose. I hem them using conventional hem-stitch. Otherwise I sew rolled hems on old, white cotton sheets or leftover muslin pieces from my sewing. I inherited my great-grandmother’s hand sewn linen pillowcases (with embroidered hem) that had some holes and stains. I was able to salvage some portions of the linen and embroidery and turned those pieces into handkerchiefs. Thanks Grandma Ruby!

  4. How much yardage of fabric was made into how many handkerchiefs?
    I planning on making and embroidering memorial handkerchiefs for family and loved ones of a deceased.

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