I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!
We sure did at here at Sweetwater!
Lots of family, food, fun…..and of course “Way too much of everything”!

 Once the holiday passes….
I begin thinking of new stuff to do…
And old stuff that still needs doing!

That got me to thinking….
I decided to start a series of posts with the theme-

“What I Used Up This Week!”

The object will be to challenge myself to make something out of something that I already have at least once every week….
Come along for the first installment….
Dinner napkins from the old drapes!  (really it is not as odd as it might sound)

Some people (Mr. S for sure) think I have too much stuff!
I prefer to think of it as having a lot of RESOURCES!
BUT….even I have to admit that the shelves, closets and cupboards are a bit crowded right now!
Maybe I have been gathering a little too much!

Even so….sometimes I don’t have something that I need!
That happened yesterday when I went to set the Christmas Brunch table and realized that I didn’t have a full set of unstained white dinner napkins that matched.
(I made do with mismatched green, red and white and it looked fine)

I suppose I could have gone to Williams Sonoma to buy these ….$42 a dozen
Or to Home Goods to buy some…..less expensive….a dozen for 15 dollars or so

But why?

I knew I had 2 big chunks of white duck fabric that used to be the curtains on the lower level walk-out door….
It was just waiting to be turned into napkins.

This isn’t really a tutorial….but I do have a couple of hints to make the job easier!

White Duck Fabric (reused from curtains)
Carpenter Square
Sewing Machine

Step 1: measure 22 x 22 squares of fabric
Step 2: fold narrow double hem and press flat
Step 3: stitch around all four sides
Step 4: Press again
Repeat 12 times (which means that I will probably do this over the course of a week or so)

If you don’t have this handy dandy tool….go get one!

Well worth the $10….

Great anytime you need to cut something perfectly straight!

My sewing machine has a couple of nice decorative stitches that make great looking hems….

I decided to  use one to make the napkins a little “fancier” than store bought!

2 Down….10 to go….

And…I have lots of time because after all the entertaining we have done in the last weeks….
I am NOT inviting any one over for a while 🙂

Could you still make these you don’t have all the “stuff” that I have sitting around?
Could you do this project on a budget?

  • If you browse the remnant table at any fabric store you will find lots of inexpensive things that would make great napkins!
  • The linen/fabric aisle at Goodwill always has old tablecloths that might have a small stain….buy them and cut around the stain.

The sewing skills needed for this  are soooo basic that it makes a great project for a beginner!

Hmmmmm……$42 dollars for napkins…
Free….and more room on the shelf too!

0 comments on “Use What I’ve Got 2012 Challenge!

  1. Anonymous

    Stopping by from Skip to My Lou. I also make my own napkins – instead of the carpenter's square I just use a Priority Mail Envelope (talk about repurpose ….

    Your decorative stitch at hem is a nice touch.

    I should make myself so the same challenge – have so many UFO's.

  2. Heaven's Walk

    GREAT idea, Mary! That decorative stitching makes all the difference in the world! 🙂

    xoxo laurie

  3. Shasta @ intheoldroad

    Hi, I'm visiting from the Terrific Under Ten linky party. My New Year's Resolution is to declutter and organize my house so your ideas are such an inspiration! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. Nann from At Nann's Table

    How clever is this. Love it. So frugal yet so nice. I'm visiting from BNOTP – Monday and saw your photo and it beckoned me here. So glad I came. You have a great blog!


  5. Mandy

    Love the napkins and the decorative stitch! So glad I stopped by. I'm right there with you in the "de cluttering" goal! Can't wait to check back and see what you do next to de-clutter.

  6. Anonymous

    Awesome idea – love your napkins and their fancy stitches. 🙂

  7. A Few Pennies

    Your napkins turned out beautiful–love the stitching. Great way to save money–and they look very expensive!

  8. Tammy at Tammy Loves Dishes

    I love the idea of challenging yourself to use what you have. I think this is a great challenge for the new year and I will be tuned in to see your posts.

    Love the 'make your own napkins' idea. Using the T-square is another great tip. I know we have one somewhere so that's on my list of stuff to find. My husband may have it at the office; my job is to convince him I need it at home! LOL!

    Happy New Year!

  9. Jill

    Great work on those napkins! I'm going to do some of the same using what I've got in 2012! I want to try to use some of my stash instead of just adding to it! Good luck with your challenge and keep on linking up what you make!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Best wishes for a fabulous New Year 2012!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  10. Katherines Corner

    I love upcycling things. This is a perfect and beautiful example of re- purposing. We use cloth napkins ( paper napkins are rarely seen at our house). I love the added touch too. Wish my sewing machine had fancy stitch. :-)Thank you for linking up at Thursday Favorite things at Katherines Corner xo

  11. The Cottage Market {Andrea} ♥

    Fabulous idea! upcycling is the best ever!!!! a wonderful way to be eco-friendly! thanks for sharing : ) wishing you and yours a blessed New Year! so glad i found you through Katherines Corner : ) if you have a chance — come over to visit at thecottagemarket.com

  12. Grammy Goodwill

    I like your new series of using what you have. I read the newer post first about the porch furniture – looked great, by the way. I'm a new follower so I can keep up with all you get done.

  13. Joyce - Quilted Nest

    That's my kinda gal. If something's still got great usable fabric – use it!

  14. Anonymous

    I just love the decorative stitching on the hem. They look so much better than the pack of napkins you could have purchased!

  15. Betsy @ Anna Nimmity

    I love everything about this post! I found your link on Sweet Peas & Bumblebees and added you to my Bloglovin' feed so I can keep up with your next projects.

  16. The Answer Is Chocolate

    Great idea! I just cringe when I'm in WS and see the price of those napkins! Happy New Year to you 🙂

  17. Julie- The Great Lakes Girl

    I came over from Sew Woodsy. I had to click your link because the caption was "napkins from drapes" and I get all nostalgic thinking about the Sound of Music whenever drapes are repurposed. Great idea, thanks for sharing.

  18. Sarah

    This is AMAZING! I love what you did! So creative!

    I'm stopping over from Nifty Thrifty Things linky party. I just became your newest follower and would love to have you come check out my blog and follow me too!

    -Sarah @Adventures of Our Fami-Ly

  19. Becolorful

    What a great idea for a series. Can't wait to see all the repurposing ideas. Thanks for sharing this on Motivated Monday at BeColorful

  20. Claire

    Following you from thrifty decor chick-stop over for a visit!

  21. Six Sisters

    What a difference the stitch makes! Thanks for linking up to "Strut Your Stuff Saturday." We would love to have you come back next Saturday with more of your great ideas. -The Sisters

  22. Kelly @ Blue Bird Sews

    Thanks for linking up with Eat, Grow, Sew again! I love this idea! Both the napkins and using what you have instead of buying. I am challenging myself to the same thing this year…only buying to replace or buying used – nothing new. And I'm reinstating my no more fabric ban after I indulged in some Christmas purchases! Good luck!

  23. OhioMomPatriot

    Fancy stitches are so fun! Thanks for sharing!