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Picnic Basket Part 1: Napkin Flatware Rolls

It’s Picnic Week at Make it Do.  I’ve got some fun projects and recipes I can’t wait to share.

Our family loves going on a picnic.  So this year, I decided it was time to invest in a set of Melamine plates, instead of continuing to use wasteful disposable plates.  At only $2 per plate from Target, I’ll recoup my cost fairly quickly this Summer and save money and resources in the long run.

One of the things I love about melamine is how well it lasts.  My mom received melamine plates from Target several years ago, and despite frequent use, they still look wonderful.  And unlike some plastics, melamine is considered safe as long as it’s not heated.  It’s best to hand wash, and never put it in the microwave.

To go along with my new plates, I decided to sew napkins for “on the go”.

To give the napkins more function, I created a napkin roll, perfect for carrying an individual set of flatware.

Here’s what you need to make 6 napkin rolls:

  • 1 1/2 yards of top fabric
  • 1 1/2 yards of back fabric
  • 12′ of grosgrain ribbon of choice
  • disappearing fabric marking pen

Start by cutting your top and backing fabrics into 18″ x 16″ rectangles.  I got 6 rectangles of each fabric from 1 1/2 yards of fabric.

Cut two lengths of ribbon 12″.   Take the two cut ribbon and lay one on top of the other, then center them on the back fabric (right side up) along the left long (18″) edge of fabric.  Though it’s hard to tell from the picture, there are 2 pieces of ribbon above.  Pin into place.

Lay the top fabric into place on top, right sides together, and pin into place.

Using a 1/4″ seam, stitch all the way around, leaving a small opening to turn.

Clip the corners.

And turn right side out.

I love using a chopstick to give it nice, crisp seams.

Once turned, press well.

Stitch all the way around the napkin, using a scant 1/4″ seam.  This gives it a finished look and closes the opening.

With backing fabric facing up and the ribbon on the left side.  Fold the bottom of the fabric up about half way.  If you have your flatware handy, test to make sure it’s a good fit.  Pin into place.  Stitching on top of previous the seam, stitch into place.  Be sure to back stitch at the top.

1 1/2″ from the seam, mark a line for the first flatware pocket with your fabric marking pen.  Measuring from that line, mark again 1 1/2″ over.  And 1 1/2″ over again.  You should have three lines.

Stitch down the marked lines.  Be sure to back stitch each time at the top.

A little spray and press, and the Mark B Gone is gone.

Cut the ends of your ribbon at a diagonal.  Seal the ends of your ribbon with a flame or use Fray Check.

And you are done.  Just add your flatware.

Fold the top down over the flatware.

And roll ‘em on up.

This project can be easily made out of an existing napkin or even a dishcloth, simply add the ribbon and the fold with pockets.

Now if the sun would cooperate and shine… we’re almost ready for a picnic.

Be sure to check back this week for more picnic fun… without the ants.



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24 Responses to “Picnic Basket Part 1: Napkin Flatware Rolls”

  • Kim:

    *squeal!* I need some of these!!

  • Jan:

    What a wonderful idea! I agree on the Melamine plates as well. In the long run, you end up saving some $$ as well. Thanks for the idea!

  • Shaun:

    Great idea! This would make a great wedding gift in a cute picnic basket!

  • I am in love with these, especially your choice of fabrics, so much so that I posted about them on my blog :) Excellent work!

  • LOVE this idea! I can’t wait to get home to my sewing machine and make some.

  • Anne:

    Great idea!!! Space is often at a premium in a picnic basket! I linked to your tutorial over at Craft Gossip Sewing:
    http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-picnic-napkin-flatware-rolls/2010/06/15/

    –Anne

  • What a fun, cute idea. You are one very talented lady! The function of this being a double for a napkin and silverwear holder is totally genius. I am looking forward to more of your ideas.

  • Lisa:

    Man, I wish we were neighbors! I never learned to sew and always wanted to. When we left the States my friends gave me a sewing machine as a going away gift. I have no idea how to use it. Your posts inspire me, however. You make the cutest things! :)

  • Priscila:

    Oh! I just loved your blog its so cute and well made. The pictures are great and it’s really easy to follow the tutorials! Thank you and congratulatios for your work!

  • I have been on a cloth napkin obtaining kick for a little while now, building up my stash.
    I am IN LOVE with the cuteness and simplicity of this tutorial!!!!
    I’m going to make a few of these for me to take with my packed lunches each day to make them a bit more special.

    P.S. I came via tasty kitchen from the bread sticks post. They also look like a new love affair.

  • Simplesmente adorei a ideia!
    Irei fazer o meu e publicarei!
    Me visite também!
    obrigada!
    Carol

  • Marcia:

    Enjoyed sewing this great pattern.
    I actually took the liberty to call them Placemat/flatware holders and I made 4 different ones so my autistic grandson knows which one belongs to who and he can “set” the table.
    His mom said she loves, loves, loves them!

    Also made several for myself and friends to take to our yearly club picnic where we have to bring our own flatware and now we don’t have to bring tablecloths because we have our own placemats!
    They are a huge hit…Thanks!!

  • Rebekah:

    I am so excited to make these and use it as a wedding gift! Thanks for posting the how-to steps!

  • Evelyn:

    I really like these and they’d make great gifts! But … how can you have an 18″ x 16″ square? Is it an !8″ square or a 16″ square?

    • Ellen:

      Evelyn, the measurement is for an 18″x16″ rectangle

    • Calli:

      Hi Evelyn, Thank you for bringing the mistake in the tutorial to my attention. I’ve changed the word square to rectangle. I like to think I know the difference between the two… I must have written my tutorial late at night : ).

  • These are sweet…I have a dozen napkins that I didn’t know what to do with and now I Do…thanks for the inspiration. I’m going to make up six of these napkin rolls to keep in our travel bag.

  • Teri:

    These are wonderful. Made them in several colors. Super easy, fun gift too. All my friends loved them! Thanks so much!!

  • I really like this idea. I think it would lokk good on the inside table as well. Come by and see me.

  • [...] Silverware Rolls by Make It Do with Metro Market by Monaluna [...]

  • Susan:

    Thanks so much for the inspiration for a perfect Christmas gift. I was becoming desperate for a gift for my daughter and son-in-law, and these, combined with a picnic rug and cushions are absolutely perfect! Thanks so much!!

  • Becky:

    This was so easy that I made a set of four today and I made matching napkins to go in them. If you used fat quarters how much would a set of four cost with napkins. I didn’t use fat quarters I used material I already had at my home.

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