Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sewing: Four Last Minute Things for the Fourth of July

While I was ahead of the game a bit with the girls' dresses for the Fourth, I didn't manage to finish a few decorating items until last night! Always something! I'll fill the time if I have it I guess. In fact I was going to do a couple other things but ran out of time... But here they are, my Four Last Minute Things for the Fourth of July:
  1. Red and White Striped Tablecloth
    (These red lanterns were purchased at IKEA last year before Christmas and I thought they'd do great double-duty for patriotic and other summer celebrations.  I bought the little red metal pails (for $1 a piece!!) at Target and dropped in some candles.) 
  3. Star Garland/Runner  
  4. I love hanging (tossing really) this in our apple tree above our back patio but it would look even better over a doorway or serving table.  
    And I like it running down the center of my striped tablecloth. 
  5. Star Napkin Holders 
  6. I just tied these around folded napkins, but they'd work well around silverware bundles too. I love how they turned out so I think I'll make a bunch more for next year. I should do it this week so it's not another last minute thing next year!
  7. Red, White and Blue Hot Dog Trays
Hot dogs are a pretty basic main course for a big celebration, but what's more American? And, it leaves more room for all the yummy side dishes!  I thought it would be fun to dress them up a bit for the event with these red, white and blue hot dog trays made from scrap booking card stock.

Don't know why I've been so excited about the Fourth of July this year, but it's been fun! Happy Independence Day!

View the tutorials and access the templates after the jump (by clicking on "Read More" below)...

1. Red and White Striped Tablecloth 

OK, no tutorial needed for this one! I bought three yards of this fabulous fabric at IKEA. It is the perfect width for a tablecloth and the selvages are neat enough that I didn't even hem them--I just hemmed the ends by turning under 1/4" twice and top stitching in red. I love this cloth and am sure I'll use it many times during the summer. A friend used it for a really great-looking table at her lobster boil last summer... Could be really cute for Christmas too...I'm thinking something with candy canes...

2.  Star Garland and Table Runner

For the Garland/Runner and Napkin Holders you will need:

  • 1/2 yard each of red, white and blue cotton fabric

  • Heat'n Bond Ultra Hold Iron on Adhesive

  • Thread (I used red)
To start, you need to bond two layers of your cotton fabric together. This makes the stars a bit stiffer, so they don't curl up or flop over when you hang the garland, and it keeps the edges from fraying--I wanted a cleaner look.  Lay the Heat'n Bond on one half of the fabric and iron per the instructions.

Peel off the paper backing and fold over the other half of the fabric, sandwiching the adhesive in between like so:

Iron per the instructions.

Download the star template here: Star Runner and Bunting_aestheticnest

Cut out the templates for the large and small stars. Trace the templates on your fabric and cut out 6 large blue stars, 6 large red stars, and 22 small white stars.  This will make a garland about 120" long.

To form the garland you will  use your sewing machine to sew a line of stars together by feeding them under the sewing foot one at a time. To make it easier to sew down the vertical center of the stars, first fold a star in half along the sewing line indicated on the template.    

This will create a temporary crease you can follow as you stitch. 

Before beginning, pull both threads to create some length at the beginning of the garland with which to tie it with.  Start by sewing a large red or blue star and then feed in a small white star next taking care not to overlap them. You can sew several stitches in between stars--I love how this works! 


The pattern for the garland is: large red star, two small white stars, large blue star, two small white stars, large red star, etc..  I started and finished with a large star. 


Before finishing sew a few inches of stitches at the end and pull out your threads before cutting so you have a good margin of thread at the beginning and end of your garland. 


3.  Star Napkin Holders

See the required supplies above in instructions for the Star Garland/Runner...
You will also need some 5/8 inch patriotic ribbon.  I found some great red, white and blue Offray on a 12 yard spool and used two spools. Here it is in a 50 yard spool at (I also tied it around my vase for my rose and flag arrangement in the center of the table. There are countless uses I'm sure.)

Cut out SMALL red and blue stars as described above for Garland/Runner.  I made six red napkin holders and six blue.  Using the template for the small star, mark the placement of the buttonholes.  My machine has a handy button hole maker for which I marked the bottom center of each buttonhole with a small pin hole (which is easier to see given the bonded layers of fabric).

Sew two buttonholes in each of your small stars per the template.

Trim threads from buttonholes.  Thread ribbon through the holes as shown and wrap around a folded napkin or silverware/napkin bundle and tie with a small bow in back.  With a small bow the napkins will still lie flat if folded and stacked. Would look great around rolled silverware bundles standing on end too.

4. Red, White and Blue Hot Dog Trays 

You will need:

  • Hot dog tray template here: Hot Dog Tray_wwwaestheticnestcom

  • Card stock-weight patriotic scrap booking paper (each 12"x12" sheet will make two trays)

  • Double-stick tape
To make, download and cut out template, taking care to cut along all "cut" lines, but not fold lines.

Trace the template on wrong side of your scrap booking paper and cut out, again, careful not to cut the fold lines.  Once you have your tray shape cut out, fold along folding lines indicated on the template (this is pretty easy to do with the tab shapes cut as you can fold in the end and side tabs to the end of the cut lines and crease).

Place a small piece of double-stick tape on the right side of each of the tabs...
...and fold in the tabs so the top edge is flush with the end panel of the tray, as shown below:

And, there you have it: patriotic hot dog trays! These would be really fun in all sorts of color assortments for BBQs and parties all summer long. I think I'll have to make some more. 

Here's to Independence!


Amy @ OurScoop said...

Again I LOVE IT ALL! You kill me! The tutorials...thanks for inspiring us all!

I feel like you, I get a bunch of ideas the night before an event and seem to try to cram it all in. Why is that? It's like the flood gates finally open. Why can't they come a week earlier?

The girls dress are adorable too!

Nancy said... went ALL out for this holiday. I can't imagine what you do for Christmas!
Thanks for your sweet comment about my white/burlap slipcover. If you do make one and need help..feel free to holler!
Your daughters are adorable. You're so lucky to have two.

Anonymous said...

I love all of your ideas! So great, I hope next year I get to host my own Independence Day get together. :-)

Tasha Horsley said...

are you sure these aren't pages from Country Living Magazine!!?? Seriously gorgeous! I LOVE every little detail. I wish I could come to one of your fabulous parties!

Leslie said...

So cute! I love the hot dog trays! You always have the cutest things to show off!

Unknown said...

Your pictures are absolutely gorgeous! Do you use Photoshop to edit them or some other picture editing software? You have amazing class and style!!


Shannon Brennan said...

Love the garland and the napkin rings! So patriotic and fun!

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