I have coveted a set of ticked stripe placemats from One King's Lane for quite some time now. Knowing that I could easily make my own, I could never quite commit to 'placing my order' - even if I am guilty of 'adding to my cart' more than once - $85.00 for a set of six just wasn't going to happen. Finally, I decided to just DO IT yesterday afternoon and make my own! It took me less than an hour to make eight napkins and placemats. My secret? The serger! Since these have a shabby farm feel anyways, I left the edges serged raw, and didn't even touch my machine.
If you have no clue what a serger is, lemme fill you in: it's a magical machine that cuts, sews, and finishes all at once. I found mine at the salvation army for less than $100, and while it did take me about six months before I was brave enough to use it, once I dipped my toe in that water, there was no going back. If you hate sewing because of all of the work you've gotta do before you can actually stitch, then a serger is for you!
- Two different types of your favorite fabric. I used a painters drop cloth for my napkins, and this fabric for the place-mats.
- Serger (or sewing machine or simply use pinking shears)
- 2 Pieces of TAP Paper
- Printable for Napkins (I used this, or use my free printable with numbers instead of animals)
Step One: Measure and cut (use pinking shears if you don't want to sew/serge at all) eight rectangles measuring 18x12 for the place-mats, and eight squares measuring 16x16 for the napkins.
Step Two: Skip this step if you used pinking shears...Use your serger and serge each edge of all 16 pieces about 1/8th inch in.
Step Three: Print your animals or numbers (or whatever else you're using) onto TAP paper.
Step Four: Cut out each napkin's graphic as close to the edge as possible. Then for each napkin, lay the graphic face down wherever you want the graphic to be placed. Make sure your iron is HOT HOT HOT! Then with as much might as you've got, press the iron firmly onto the graphic, move the iron in small circles still pressing very hard for about 30 seconds.
At this point to remove the transfer paper, I use the tip of my iron and really rub a corner spot, generally this spot will release from the fabric, and I will slowly peel off the paper. The paper needs to be hot to be removed. If you find a spot that didn't transfer, use the tip of your iron to rub that spot of the paper again.
Four easy steps and you're finished! I told you that'd be easy! If it's your first time using TAP paper, be sure to read some instruction from around the web. I am working on a 'TAP Paper Tips' post which should help you with any problems that arise. For now, feel free to comment with questions and I will do my best to help!