Saturday, October 29, 2011

Nifty Numbered Napkins

We are headed to a friend's house tonight for a little Halloween fun.  A few weeks ago our hostess had mentioned on her Facebook page that she was considering changing over to cloth napkins instead of paper.  I thought instead of bringing our usual offering of alcohol or food that I would whip up a set up napkins for her.  Here's what I came up with...

...a set of 12 napkins each numbered 1 through 12, then stacked, and wrapped with a piece of jute.  I think they are so cute I should have made a set for myself.

Like us, our hosts have 3 kids so I wanted the napkins to be somewhat practical and be able to compliment a variety of tablecloths.  I decided a natural colored osnaburg fabric would be the best choice.  I bought 2 yards at Joann's on sale for about $4 yard.  

The fabric has a beautiful linen look to it, but leaving it plain would not be any fun.  They needed some kind of embellishment.  The fabric reminded me of the pillows over at Dear Lillie .  I love the way they use black lettering on the natural background.  So a million thoughts later I decided that I would number each napkin using a black sharpie.  I looked around the Joann's for fabric markers, and they didn't seem any better suited than a sharpie, and since I already had a sharpie at home the decision was made.

I know I have seen the numbered napkin idea elsewhere so this is my version.  One of the pros of the numbers is that if you are using the napkins for your family and you want to avoid a ton of washing you assign each family member a number and let them use their same napkin for a few days.  

I made these using my sewing machine.  I thought about just using an iron-on tape, but I was worried that the tape wouldn't hold at the corners.  I also wanted the look that the top stitching adds.  This has to be one of the easiest sewing projects ever.  It would be a great project for a beginning sewer since it is all straight lines.  

Here are the How To Steps:

1.  Decide on the size of your napkins.  I made mine 13" square.  I know it seems a funny number but my fabric was 44" wide so it was the best size without wasting a lot of fabric.  I did google it, and it seems that most stores sell napkins anywhere from 11" to 22".  The 13" is a good size but if I wanted something fancier I might go with an 18" or 20" size.

2.  Add 1" to the size you have decided upon for making your finished edge.  So in my case I cut out squares that were actually 14" to get a finished size of 13". 

3.  Using a faint pencil line mark out your squares on the fabric and then cut them out (prior to cutting make sure that you wash and dry your fabric to account for any shrinking).

4.  Using your iron press each edge over 1 inch.  This will make it easier for you to sew the finished edge.

5.  Now fold the raw edge to the crease made by the iron ending up with  1/2 inch wide edge and pin to keep it in place.  I used 8 pins per napkin.  One pin at each corner and one pin on each side.  This just helps you keep it tucked under while you put it through the sewing machine.  Now some people would have just ironed under both folds so that it is all perfect but my attention span for any one project is only so long.  I was okay with the fact that my edges would probably not be perfectly straight.

6.  Sew around the outside edge of the square to secure the finished edge.   I started sewing in the middle of a side not at the corner.  When you get to the corner leave the needle in the fabric, lift the presser foot and turn the fabric 90 degrees.  Put down the presser foot and continue sewing.  This gives you the nice sewing line all around the napkin.  Do this for all your squares.

7.  Then I made a set of numbers on the computer to use as a guide.  In Word I found a font I liked called Century Modern TT and enlarged the font size to 150.  Then I printed off a set of numbers onto card stock.

8.  Then I simply slipped the card stock behind my fabric and outlined the number using my sharpie in the corner of each napkin.  This worked well because my fabric was light-colored.

9.  After I had colored in all 12 napkins I used my iron to remove the wrinkles and set the marker.  I had previously tested my fabric and sharpie method on a piece of scrap so I knew that the marker would not bleed with washing.

That's it.  From start to finish it probably took me 3 hours to complete this project and I only spent $8 for the fabric.  I think our hostess will love them.

Here are few more beauty shots.

~ Gold Shoe Girl ~

I'm linking up...

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

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