It’s that time… last-minute shopping. Gifts for the neighbor. Gifts for the best of friends. Gifts for the forgotten. Gifts for the office. Duhn duhn duhnnnnn!
Since joining up in the Salt Lake office, I’ve tried to get our crew to go green as much as possible. Finagling approval for a recycle service, bringing in my own silverware, using Tupperware for my sack lunch or playful scoldings when the folks don’t recycle… yeah, I do what I can… ha!
Well, it’s become very influential… my green. Their envy. Get it? Green. Envy. Ha. I’m on a roll. Most of them try to reuse their plastic utensils and we each have our own water bottle. Anyway, that is where I got my office gift idea – silverware kits for each of the office folk.
I needed to move fast though. It was slim pickin’s online for silverware kits. I wanted actual silverware, not the (I know, I know… greener) bamboo utensils such as the To-Go Ware kits.
The bamboo utensils are just clunky, not as easy to use… There were a few on Etsy — Blackberry Prairie, Stitchmates, FashionRemixTeam and TheStraightStitch to name a few. But time and frugality led me away from buying online.
Rather, I came upon Simple Savvy’s tutorial to make my own utensil set! It seemed easy enough. Right? I hope it seemed easy enough…
The weekend before I needed to get these presents done, I stopped by Joann‘s to pick up some fabric — 1.5 yards (more than enough) of white 100% cotton, bottomweight fabric and 3 fabric quarters in patterns I thought suited each of my office mates. The white fabric would be shown from outside and the fabric quarters from inside. I also wanted to personalize the outside (hence, the white) of each kit. From Ikea, I bought a set of silverware — Fornuft, a 20-piece flatware set. The whole idea of reusing my own silverware just struck me… odd.
To start, I read through Simple Savvy’s instructions and loosely based my direction on her blog. I changed it up a bit. I wanted ties to cinch it together rather than a large “belt.” And I wanted more design to the roll. So, here’s how it went…
First, I measured out the silverware onto the fabric and guesstimated the amount needed for a roll-up. Ideally, you may want to cut the fabric quarter and the (in my case) white fabric together so they are at the same lengths. If you measure a little more than 3x the length of the longest utensil, it should come out about right. If you are scared (like I was at my first attempt), add more room to play than not.
After that’s done, cut off a strip from the side to create the ties to cinch the kit together. Fold it in half for later — crease it with an iron, or fingernail.
From the larger piece of fabric, I folded it up 1/3 of the way and cut it with the white fabric to match lengths.
Take the 1/3 fabric pieces and flip the fabrics so that the underside of the fabrics are facing outwards. Then sew the top and bottom edges as straight as you can.
Pull the “sleeve” you just created inside out so the seams disappear. I creased it at the mid-point of the fabric to showcase half the pattern and half the white fabric — just to spice it up a bit, give it more pizazz. Feel free to go with your own creative juices. This will form the “pockets” for the utensils.
Lay the utensils out to get an idea of how big each “pocket” should measure out. Tack the 1/3 “pocket” fabric you just sewed to the larger piece of fabric from the fabric quarter. Tack it as flush as possible to the bottom with a couple of needles then lay out the utensils.
Use a colored pencil or chalk to mark where you want to create each pocket. I think I had them at about 2.5″ apart?
Sew as straight as possible where you drew your tick marks. Remember, there is no need to sew the edges of the fabric together yet. You will do this when you attach the back fabric.
Go ahead and also sew the ties that were cut earlier — remember that thinner piece of fabric creased in half? Use a pattern that sews it together to keep the edges from fraying. You could also choose to buy string or cord to use as ties rather than sticking with the fabric. Using the fabric just kept the design in sync.
Now, attached the back of the wrap — this is the white fabric. Lay the fabric on top of the pockets you have just sewn. Yes, directly on top, not on the back. You’ll be pulling this inside out again so, in the end, it’ll be all good. Yeah~
Add the tabs in-between the fabrics at the end of the roll (most likely, it will be the right side since the pockets started at the left and the utensils will get rolled from left to right when cinching the roll up). Tack it together with needles to keep it from budging too much.
Then sew! Sew together the three sides — bottom, left and right. Leave the top open for now.
Turn the fabric inside out and voila! Okay, almost there…
Crease the top by folding the fabric into the inside. Use an iron to keep the crease. Hand sew the top edge with a blind hem — something like this… How-To: Hand-Sew a Blind Hem.
Now, voila! You have created an oh-so crafty green gift. The large pocket on the right can be used for a linen napkin! Whoa, so cool.
I made some stencils out of transparencies and “screen-printed” each of the office folks’ names onto the back of his/her individually patterned kit. It was fairly easy with Yudu screen-printing ink and a small touch-up paint roller from Home Depot.
Yep, that was probably only the third time I’ve really sewn… Not bad, eh?