Handmade Thanks

November 04, 2010 Julie

Somebody is getting a present!  Here’s a clue – their name begins with. . .

“L” could also stand for how lucky I am to have so many friends and family around to help Home Made become a reality.   With so many helpers and a long list of things yet to be done, I really have to be on my toes with thanking them for their generosity. I like to make a little something to express my gratitude when possible.  This week, I’m mailing off a set of embroidered cloth napkins to one special helper.

Making cloth napkins can be a really easy project that makes a great gift.  These napkins–made of re-purposed men’s dress shirts– not only helps cut down on the use of paper napkins but can make dining at home feel a little more special.

For these napkins, I scoured my stash of men’s dress shirts that I’ve gathered from thrift shops and yard sales.  Depending on the size of the shirt, you can make a square somewhere between 19 – 21 inches.  Just finish the edges by folding each side over twice (about ¼ inch) and run a straight stitch over the folded edge.  You can even jazz them up with embroidery!  [insert jazz hands]

Now, I am no embroidery expert so I got a few tips from my Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts . . . that I won at September’s Maker Faire NYC (my excitement for this big win continues).  This book is a really great resource.  Just remind yourself as you peruse that handmade projects are not about creating perfection!  After gathering a few tips, I drew the letters with a disappearing ink marker and then stitched over my lines with a running stitch.  To add even more pizzazz, I experimented with the surprisingly easy lazy-daisy and fishbone stitches in a coordinating color.

I hope the recipient loves these napkins as much as I do!


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