Aside Posted on Updated on
With the holidays coming up and I being a huge fan of them I decided that I was determined to have a pretty table…mind you it’s just my husband and I lol! Anyhow, what’s the first thing that rattled in this ole head of mine? What do I do with all those fabric scraps? I know I can use them but how?
Hey Megs ❤
Well, let me tell you after thinking about it and my new found hobby… which is tea – I’ll get into that later! I remembered how essential each item is in the ceremony, with that I thought why not make some pretty silverware holders out of my fabric scraps? I have plenty and besides we all have those buttons that come with new shirts or coats and ribbons on bobbins that are almost finished… well I do anyway.
Now first things first one must think of is what the landscape of the table will eventually look like? Being that I have a large amount of fabric to sift through I began to dream! Oh, where my thoughts were taking me… Vienna inspired table, lovely spices and colors of India or the beauty of the good ole American farm table. Needless to say I became some what overwhelmed… well rather underwhelmed if that’s at all possible when thinking about all these lovely places. However, it was a great start to thinking about color, texture, ambiance and overall the general thought of re-usability of the work. It would be a shame to make something then only bring it out once a year; so being practical…riiiiight… I decided on many, many designs. Once I started I just couldn’t stop! Putting fabrics and trimmings together oh how FUN!!!!
Uhmmmmmm…. then realization hit – like a sledge hammer! How am I going to do all this? One step at a time! I suggest for those attempting this fun project to really have fun with it but make sure that you have a mental picture of the final vision of your table as this will likely help you to focus…something I do realize some of us tend to lack when we get all excited! Okay so, how many people will be seated at the table? Would you like to have the silverware holders be washable? And of course if there will be the little ones in attendance (making mini silverware holders are also a thought worth considering) but if you are making them small pieces like buttons I would advise against!
For this project you will need the following:
- Sewing machine
- Rotary or Fabric Scissors
- Ruler or tape measure
- Blunt stick or item to poke out corners (there is a name for this tool but it escapes me at the moment!)
- Self healing mat or something to protect surface area (not essential however if using a rotary cutter I would recommend)
- Ironing board
- Starch (not a must have but it sure does make things look really crisp and neat)
- Embellishments (buttons, yarn, ribbon, fabric, lace, etc)
- Sample of your silverware (as the length of the fabric will much depend on this)
If you do not plan on machine washing your silverware holders you can also use:
- Glue gun
- Glue sticks
- Glue Mat (not essential but I’ve gotten some nasty burns with my little glue gun!)
Step 1 PREP:
Decide on which fabrics you will use; you will need both a front and back piece that will be sewn together. You can use coordinating colors, a theme like Fourth of July or Christmas, or it can be two pieces of the same fabric.Choose appropriate thread for the fabric as you will be sewing the 2 pieces together. Silverware, ruler, rotary cutter, mat, marker, iron, starch… check check check check !
Step 2 Cutting to Size:
Measure the length of your longest piece of silverware. Next add about 2-4 inches as this will how we make the pocket for the silverware to fit in. Depending on the type of silverware and the look you are going for the 2-4 inch pocket in most cases is sufficient – if not adjust accordingly. Add 1/2 inch to the final length as we will be taking a quarter of both ends.
Next the width – I have found through much errrr experimentation that 4.5 inches works perfect but again you can adjust accordingly.
Make sure you iron and starch your fabric before cutting!!! If you have fabric quarters you can find the grain and fold over and iron the fabric before cutting.
Now once you are sure of the length and width place fabric on the cutting surface/self healing mat. Measure out 4.5 inches and use a marker to mark where you will be cutting on the ruler (this has saved me more times that my wondering mind can count!)
Cut your fabric! If you are using two coordinating fabric you will need to repeat this process or for those brave enough you can stack your fabric. I however am not this fancy nor am I that brave… yet – there is still hope!
Step 3 ABOUT FACE!:
Now that you have cut each of the two fabrics and I hope you re-measured to make sure the pieces are squared up; you will need to start that sewing machine up! I use Gutermann thread, 100% polyester. Take each of the two pieces and put the right sides together, make sure to line up the fabric so that each piece is matches. I used a straight stitch 3mm and 2mm with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
The way that seems best and fastest is to sew one side of each of the number of holders you are making, essentially chain sewing each side. Once one side is done on all the holders do the same to the next side. Clip the thread between each of the holders and do the same on the bottom of the holders, chain sew them – believe me it saves on time and thread!
All three sides of each of the holders are now sewn; be sure to cut the threads and clip the corners and trim any excess fabric so that when ironing the holders lie flat.
Turn each of the holders inside out or to be more appropriate right side out lol! Take that blunt pokey stick thing and gently push out each of the corners.
Take a minute to admire your handy work and beautiful choice in up-cycling those scraps!
Step 4 Pancake Time…well not really!:
Make sure your iron is HOT HOT HOT… and set to the appropriate setting; for me that would be cotton. Oh and don’t forget that ironing board and starch. Okay iron each piece both side and spritz spritz spritz that starch.
All holders ironed and starched we need to head over to the cutting mat once again. Measure each piece and the shortest piece will be the holder that all the holders will be measured by. So if you have 11 inches and 10.5 inches – 10.5 would be where you would start squaring off the bottoms (open ends NOT THE ONES you JUST SEWED).
With everything prim and proper and looking mighty fine we are on to our next step!
Step 5 Decorate!:
Okay for those craftier folks you can sew the open ends in by folding over the fabric, ironing it and going to the sewing machine and stitch up that 1/4 inch. However for those of us who are more the, well shall we say not as patient lol you can go over to your working surface – you know the one with the glue mat already laid out. At this point make sure you have all of your coordinating embellishments, glue sticks, glue gun etc. ready – this is the fun part!
Decide which side will be the back and which side will be the front. The side that you choose to be the back is where you will glue your ribbon or lace to (or sew). Make sure that you measure the ribbon so that it wraps about 1mm to 2 mm on the other side. Put a very thin line on your fabric and with your already cut ribbon place it as close the the open edge as possible. Glue each ribbon, lace etc onto each holder; if you are not sewing the end then once the ribbon is in place flip the holder over and glue that open end shut.
All you need is a little glue – now since we are pressing down on the fabric with hot glue I would HIGHLY suggest that you protect those little piggy’s! With my glue mat came silicone thimbles and tools… after a couple of blisters I remembered to use them. Glue the ends of the ribbon sides so that the ribbon is cover each side.
Okay, now for figuring out how many inches you would like that pocket to be BEFORE gluing or sewing each side shut. Place your silverware on the side of the fabric which you chose would be the front, fold over the bottom (where the ribbon is on the opposite side and measure.Again, through many painstakingly hilarious attempts to do this without silverware I must recommend this part – as essential! All that hard work to then figure out that you have made it the wrong size is a bit heart breaking IF you are gluing the sides.
Place Silverware and measure how far up you would like to have the fabric pocket to cover. Remember that old adage; measure twice glue once!
It’s best to use a couple of different utensils, knife, spoon and fork… and whatever else you will have in the holders just to be sure that it looks just right. I did make a couple that the silverware looked a bit lost in all that fabric however thankfully I’ve made those mistakes and lived to tell about them. So, in sharing my wisdom and saving you from sounding like a sailor 😉 make double sure you like the look. If sewing mark off where you will be sewing and be sure to measure each holder not only individually but against one another to make sure they all look the same. Sometimes due to errruhmm not being able to stitch the top exactly straight adjustments may be needed.
Now for those of you who thought ‘Hey I’ll glue the ribbon and sew the sides’… NOPE NOPE NOPE! Thankfully I too learned this valuable lesson and for the first time in a looooong time am thankful that I wear glasses. The first side went great! It sadly, was the second side that hit the glue in the ribbon and broke my needle – which went flying right into my glasses – that I realized my mistake. Now, mind you my sewing machine had told me something was up… but I in all my hubris though I new better and kept forcing it to do what it clearly was warning me not to do and broke my second to last needle on hand at 11 o’clock at night. So for all those stubborn crafters out there please take note, have a chuckle but head the warning… unless, well, you know you are like me and think you know better – well then at least I tried to warn you !!! 🙂
Below are a couple of examples of some of the holders that were made; boy this was a fun project and a bit addicting!
Examples of some of the Silverware Holders
You can use other items to embellish and go nuts! And once done it’s time to make your pocket for your silverware. Measure out your pocket (again lol) and be sure that you have the size you like BEFORE you fold over the sides and glue/sew them together.
Whether you are making these as gifts or for your holiday table I’m sure you will happily surprised by how easy this project is… and FUN! I’ve now decided to rummage my closet and find some more scraps to use – which will mean that I will have spent nothing but time and love for gift giving this year. I of course, plan on gifting some of these to my foodie friends, whom I know will just LOVE that I was able to up-cycle and make something useful!
This is also something that you can do with the older kids – they can coordinate and measure and you can do the grown up stuff. I bet they’ll be proud to see there creations on the holiday table 🙂 Just be sure to send some pics of your wonderful creations! I’d love to see what you all have come up with!!
Oh, And for those of you that do not have the time I do have plenty more available; leave a note below if you are interested.