Thursday, August 30, 2012

Embroidered Lunch Box Napkin Tutorial

What better way to send a little love to your child at school than with a little message tucked into their lunch box? I decided to make Olivia a set of cloth napkins for her lunch box and, on a whim, added a message to each napkin in embroidery.

So, how about a little tutorial on how to make them?

a. Two different colors 1/4 yard cuts of solid fabric (amount may vary if you decide on a different finished size - see Step 1)
b. Coordinating embroidery floss and embroidery needle
c. Masking tape
d. Fabric pen
e. Embroidery hoop

Of course, you will also need the usual materials for a sewing project - machine, thread, rotary cutter, iron, etc. :)

1. Decide on desired finished napkin size. Then add 1/2" each direction for a quarter-inch seam allowance on both sides. For instance, my finished size was 8" x 8". So, my cutting size was 8-1/2" x 8-1/2".

2. Cut 4 pieces of each color fabric. You should have 4 pieces of Fabric A and 4 pieces of Fabric B, for a total of 8 squares.

3. Take 2 of each Fabric A and Fabric B colors and fold them into quarters. (Set aside the remaining squares for now.) Finger press along folded edges.

4. Open to reveal lines marking 4 quadrants.

5. Using a ruler, measure 1" from the side and bottom of the lower right quadrant. Make a small mark. Then draw a line about 2" from the mark to about 1" from the fold on the left. This makes a guide so your embroidery will be straight. (Using this method, you could place the embroidery any where you'd like on the fabric as long as you make sure to stay outside the seam allowance.)

6. Print the embroidery PDF on a regular 8-1/2" x 11" sheet of paper.

7. Tape the embroidery PDF print out with masking tape to a window. Then tape the fabric over the embroidery PDF print out, lining up the line you drew to the text you will trace.

8. Trace the words from the embroidery PDF print out to the solid fabric using a fabric marker.

9. Thread your embroidery needle and follow the text you traced with the fabric in an embroidery hoop. You can do any stitch you'd like - I chose a back stitch.

10. Complete the steps above for each of the remaining 3 messages.

11. Now it's time to sew! Take one of the pieces of fabric you set aside in Step 3 and place one of the embroidered pieces on top of it, right sides together. Using a quarter inch seam allowance, stitch around the parameter of the napkin, leaving approximately 3" opening for turning.

12. Turn the napkin right side out. Press seams out. Then, press the opening fabric 1/4 under. You will close the opening in the next step.

13. Edge stitch approximately 1/8" around the whole napkin. Trim threads.

14. Repeat the previous steps for the other 3 napkins.

And that's all there is to it! A cute set of napkins to last all school year long. Now, if only I can get Olivia to use the napkins... So far they've come home folded as neatly as I placed them in her lunch box when I packed it. :)

1 comment:

  1. What a cute idea! How fun to have a special napkin from Mom everyday! The girls are adorable. Happy Birthday Isabelle! Olivia looks so cute in her uniform. She'll have a great year!