Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Independence Day Party Week - Nautical Napkin Rings

Make Nautical Napkin Rings:

These really put me in the mood to invite friends over for a summertime shrimp boil or bbq. The only problem is I only have a table for four, so, I only made four napkin rings. I suppose I could fill the remainder of my summer inviting people over in sets of two to enjoy the table settings or just share them with all of you to enjoy in your own homes. 

You will need: 
  • Textured woven fabric 
  • Navy thread or cross-stitch yarn 
  • Thin rope or thick yarn 
  • Scissors 
  • Paper towel or toilet paper rolls 
  • Glue 
You will use such small amounts of fabric that I suggest using fabric scraps. I have several interior fabric swatches for decision making on past projects such as drapes or recovering pieces. I am not insinuating That you go to the fabric shop and ask for free swatches to do this project. That is borderline rude, but if you have some already or are in the fabric store buying something it is not a bad idea to use swatches. You may also cut apart an old canvas bag or other fabrics items around the house that you are no longer using for this project.

Consider using a woven fabric that has some texture for a couple reasons. A basket weave, which is what I used, will give you a better guide on stitching the “x” design onto your fabric. You can clearly see the under, over pattern which will allow you to count down and across making your design symmetrical. Also, a dark, solid color thread design will pop better against a textured background. I am assuming that you are going to repeat the “nautical” look. Make sure you are using the right color choices of navies, whites, and tans with the occasional reds. As long as you stay in your designated color palate you can reverse the color placement. Make the napkin ring from a navy fabric and use white thread. Whatever works for you; just have a color palate and a game plan. 

After you decide your outside fabric and inside liner cut your fabric into strips. I cut my paper roll into 1.5” long pieces. I actually used something like a paper towel roll, but it was thinner in diameter and thicker in paper. You will choose the widths of your fabric depending on what you use for your base. Since I cut my paper roll in 1.5” tubes I cut the liner fabric to 1.5” wide and the outside fabric to 2.5” wide. The length will depend on the diameter of the tube. Make sure you are leaving adequate room the to turn under the seam for that finished look. Adjust accordingly. 

It is easier if you sew the “x” design on before attaching the fabric to the tube, but you will need to measure the placement on the tube before sewing your “x”. I sewed two designs on either side of the seam. This way you would only see one design at a time and the seam would be less noticeable on the side. 

Insert your yarn or rope into the seam with a dab of glue. You will want to add a bit of glue beneath the rope as it circles the napkin ring to secure it. When you have reached the beginning point tuck the rope end in the seam just as you began. Repeat at the bottom. Glue the remainder of the seam when you are finished adding rope. 

Turn under the flaps of outside fabric and glue them down to the inside wall of the napkin ring. 

I like to use alligator hair clips on projects such as this one. They hold the seams nice and flat while the glue has a chance to dry. 

Roll your inside liner into a tube. Insert it into your napkin ring and allow it to unroll against the sides. When you have it smooth against the inside wall fold in the edges, add your glue and press the inside fabric back into place. 

Voila! A nautical napkin ring for a Fourth of July party. If you will not be celebrating our holiday this is still very adaptable to a wide variety of summer get togethers and holidays, such as Canada Day, July 1st. 

I wanted to give you an example of how to put this weeks tips together to create a pretty, summertime, nautical-themed place setting.

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