Monday, July 24, 2017

I’m with The Band By Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

“I’m with the band!” It was 1965, and oh, how I wanted to be able to say those words…

A guy would come up to a girl and ask her to dance. She’d look up at him with eye liner-laden lids, brushing away her teased bouffant hairdo, and say, “No, thank you, I can’t…I’m with the band.” Those were the dates of the drummer, singer and guitarist. Alas, I was never one of those girls. I just got to have crushes on Otis and Ricky and Richie and Irv from afar.

Why am I taking a public trip down memory lane? Well, it seemed like it might be more eye catching than just saying, “Today we’re going to make napkin rings.” Plus, it’s a shared memory for those of us of a certain age, and some ancient history for the youngest among us. Yes. We did wear our hair like that. And yes, we did have mad crushes on musicians, something that exists to this very day. (Bruno Mars, if only I were twenty!)

Oh well. Here goes:

Today we’re going to make napkin rings – fabric bands embellished with ribbons, fibers, and tassels.

It’s an easy project, a lot of fun, and there are endless options. For example:

You can vary the dimensions for both the fabric and the interfacing to suit your taste. Napkin rings can be much more delicate. They can also be much wider and larger in diameter to accommodate kitchen towels for picnics and lobster fests. They can also be adjustable, tied at the front like a belt, rather than permanently sized.

1. For each napkin ring, cut a strip of fabric measuring 4 or 5 inches wide and 9 inches long and a piece of stiff interfacing measuring 2 or 3 inches wide and 8 inches long.

2. Back the fabric with fusible interfacing or use fabric glue to adhere it to the interfacing or hand-stitch. 3. Turn under all raw edges, completely covering the interfacing on both the outside of the ring and on the back. (It should look as tidy and finished on the inside as on the exterior.) Overlap the ends and sew or glue into a ring.

4. Flatten the ring, or allow it to remain rounded.

5. Embellish the ring with ribbon in varying widths and assorted fibers. Knot at the front, or overlap and stitch or glue at the back. If adding a tassel, turn the hanging loop at the top into a two-loop bow before sewing or gluing the tassel to the napkin ring.

Think outside the box: Instead of a tassel, scour the yard sales and add a sparkly brooch, find or make a polymer or air dry clay medallion, tie on a jumbo bead or some charms. Pin on a removable element like a political button or a photo in a mini frame.

Stamp or stencil the fabric!

Make napkin rings for holidays and special occasions. They’re also fun for everyday dining, taking humble paper napkins to a new level. (I don’t know why, but kids seem to behave better when they’ve started a meal by taking a napkin out of a ring…)

Buy fabric to match or in coordinating patterns and colors; hem square napkins to go the rings.

A set of napkin rings makes an excellent bridal shower, baby shower, or anniversary gift, especially if you tuck in a coupon redeemable for a home-cooked meal!

Rings can be one-of-a-kind rather than a matching set.

Napkin rings make great party favors – send one home with each guest.

  • Fabric
  • Stiff interfacing
  • Ribbon
  • Assorted fibers
  • Tassels or other embellishments
  • Fabric glue
  • Sewing thread

1 comment:

  1. I don't do napkin rings, but I can still make some for gifts and expand into book bands for journals and such. In 1965, I WAS with the band, but I danced with guys anyway. You can only do so much watching the guys play. hmmm. I could REALLY expand this idea and make a guitar strap. Great idea, Judi - a switch from paper crafts.