DIY Outdoor Utensil Wraps For Patio Parties

Morgan Michener shares step-by-step instructions on how to turn tea towels into patio-ready flatware bundles.

DesignEd_Stock_2014_Morgan_0916-crop2_HH_AU14_11There’s nothing better than a picnic on a balmy summer night, but hauling plates, glasses and handfuls of flatware outside can be a juggle. This year, I decided to streamline the process by making flatware bundles out of tea towels. Each bundle is an instant place setting, and the towels can even be used as napkins in a pinch. Here’s how I did it:

Materials

You’ll need: Tea towels, straight pins, measuring tape, lengths of ribbon, a needle 
and thread or sewing machine.

DIY-Flatware-Bundles-DiagramAB-AUG14

Step 1: Fold And Pin Towel

Note: Thin cotton tea towels are easiest to fold and sew. Pick one print for all the bundles — I love the cheery, cottagey feel of this blue polka dot — or use a different pattern for each family member.

Fold the tea towel in half along its long side, with the printed side facing out, as in figure A. (I started with a 24″ x 18″ tea towel, so this gave me a folded rectangle measuring 12″ by 18″.) Pin the corners together to keep the fold neat. Then, fold nearly in half again along the other side to create a pocket for the flatware, as in figure B, and pin in place. 
(I folded the bottom up until it was about 3″ from the top, giving me a pocket about 8″ high.

Step 2: Tuck In Ribbon

Sandwich one end of the ribbon in the layers of tea towel on one side and pin in place.

DIY-Flatware-Bundles-DiagramC-AUG14

Step 3: Sew Up And Add Pockets For Flatware

Stitch a seam parallel to the folded edge, about 1″ up from the fold. This will be the bottom of the pocket. Then, sew six seams perpendicular to the fold, creating five pockets — one for each piece of flatware. Place the outermost seams about 1⁄2″ from the edges of the towel, and space the others out evenly in between, as in figure C. One of the outermost seams should pass over the ribbon, securing it to the towel. Remove all pins and put your flatware in the pockets. Roll up, head outside and enjoy.

Tip: Pile the finished bundles in a basket for easy access during a barbecue.

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Author:
Morgan Michener
Photographer:
Felix Wedgwood
Designer:
Morgan Michener
Source:
House & Home August 2014
Products:
Tea towels, Pehr Designs; flatware, Oneida; basket, cutting board, Angus & Company; platter, plates, glass, salt bowl, La Merceria.
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