Monday, December 27, 2010

Handmade Christmas Gifts, part 2

Here's my next hand made Christmas gift: cloth napkins!

The idea came from one of my fav craft/DIY blogs, Our Humble A{Bowe}d.  I got an amazing new sewing machine for my birthday from my mother in law, so I really needed to start a new sewing project.

Amanda gives great directions in her tutorial.  This is what I did:

I started out with one yard of this calico fabric from Joann's, on sale for $4.99/yard.  I cut it into four 18 inch squares on my rotary mat.

 I then ironed a small hem all the way around.

I ironed a second hem to conceal the rough edges and pinned it in place.

Using white thread, I straight stitched all the way around, keeping the stitches close to the edge of the hem.  When I got to the corners, I stitched to the end, then reversed back to the edge of the hem, put down the needle, raised the presser foot, and rotated the fabric 90 degrees.  I found that by stitching to the end and reversing kept the corners all laying flat and made me feel better about them not unraveling after multiple washes.

Here is the set of four napkins all completed.

For one set of napkins, I made fancy napkin rings as well.  I made the leaves at school using left over clay from my class' snowflake clay ornament project that we did for Christmas gifts.  I bisque fired the little leaves in the kiln at school, glazed them green, and fired them again.  I had poked a small hole in the top of each one before bisque firing them.  I had originally thought about making beaded bookmarks out of them.    I can still do that, as I have 3 left after making the napkin rings.  We'll see if I have time! :)

I used wire rings that are intended for wine charms.  I wound wire through the hole in the leaves, so they would hang correctly and used glass beads and pearly beads to decorate the charms.  I'm really happy with how they turned out and now can't wait to go back to school next week to try to make more clay beads out of my left-over clay scraps that would usually just be thrown away!

This whole project, with the napkins and rings, only cost me the $4.99 for the yard of fabric.  Everything else I already owned.  Ironing down the hems was time consuming and so was sewing around all four napkins, so this isn't a quick project, but it was fairly easy and really useful.  I will definitely be making these again!

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