What a fun alternative to place cards. At the end of the meal, everyone can detach their beads and use them as bookmarks, bracelets or hang them from a keychain. The napkin ties themselves are quick to make and accent the red band in our Lemon-Zest Tablecloth beautifully.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome Jem Gold 3)
Fabric and Other Supplies
- Fabric for ties: 1/2 yard (you need exactly 18 inches) of 45" wide red fabric. This will yield TEN ties: we made six for our table.
- One skein of embroidery floss in red
- One 5/8" white button PER TIE
- Letter beads: Make a list of names and count the number of each letter that you need. Count them again, just to be sure. You can also find bags of letter beads containing several full alphabets... still, one bag may not be enough, so count.
- All purpose thread in red
- Iron and ironing board
- Embroidery needle
- Hand sewing needle
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Straight pins
- Download the Napkin Tie Pattern PDF file and print at 100% (do not allow your PDF reader or printer to scale the image).
- Cut the desired number of ties by pinning your Napkin Tie Pattern onto your folded fabric as shown in the cutting guide. We made 6 ties, but you can make up to 10 with the fabric specified.
- Cut 2 tiny notches on one layer of the fabric where indicated by dots on the seam line (DO NOT cut through seam line) .
- Remove the pattern and open your tie. It will look like this:
Make the Letter Bead Ties
- Thread your embroidery needle with embroidery floss and tie a knot in the floss about 3/4" inch from the end of the floss.
- For each name, string your letter beads onto your floss starting with the last letter of the name and working forward to the first letter. It's easier if you have them all written down to look at.
- Tie another knot above the last letter bead you added to the floss. Before tightening the knot, slip your needle into the knot and gently slide the knot down towards the bead so the beads are contained nicely (not too tight) between the two knots.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Fold your tie in half lengthwise, right sides together. Pin. Stitch using a 1/4-inch seam from dot to dot, leaving the space between the dots open. Be sure to secure your thread at the dots with a back tack or locking stitch.
- Clip corners.
- Turn the tie right side out. Use a knitting needle or chopstick to help you gently push out the corners to a nice point.
- Press tie flat.
- Using a hand sewing needle, slip stitch the small opening closed.
- Fold tie in half to find the exact center where you will sew on a button. Mark with a pin.
- Sew on button.
- Tie the floss around the base of the button and trim off any excess.
Hints and Tips
Now you're ready to wrap your tie around your napkin. Simply tie the napkin tie on the backside of the napkin or wrap it without tying.
Letter beads are available at craft and beading stores. We found our beads at Fusion Beads for 10 cents a bead.