Home » Happy Holidays at Harper CE » Easy and Fast Handcrafted Gifts – No Sewing Required!

Easy and Fast Handcrafted Gifts – No Sewing Required!

No Sewing Experience? No Problem! 

Guest Post and Project by Fashion Arts Instructor Sharon Czachor

A hand-made gift is always a welcome answer of what to bring the hostess when visiting during the holidays, or for anyone who entertains. Whether you sew or not, no matter what your sewing skill level, this is a gift that’s easy to make and requires no sewing! A table runner, matching or contrasting napkins, and even napkin rings can be quickly put together using a fusible web called Stitch Witchery by Dritz. The trick to making any of these gifts fabulous is to use fun fabrics, accurate and smooth cutting, and an iron.

I purchased my cotton fabric from JoAnn Fabrics and used 3 yards of 45” wide fabric to make the table runner, 6 napkins, and 6 matching napkin rings, with a little left over. The leftover fabric could  be used to make additional napkin rings, or use another fabric to coordinate with another set of napkins. Add some trim to the table runner, think about using a wide grosgrain ribbon for the napkin rings that matches a color in the fabric – the possibilities are endless.

Here’s what you need:

  • Table Runner: 18” wide x 60” long (1”hems)
  • Napkins: 20” x 20” (a nice dinner sized-napkin, ¼” hems)
  • Napkin Rings: 3-1/2” x 6” fabric strips, folded in half (finished size 1-1/4” wide)
  • Stitch Witchery 5/8” wide: Regular for the table runner, Super Weight for the napkin rings, and ¼ wide for the napkins

  • Plastic see-thru Grid Ruler 2” wide x 18” long
  • Sharp Scissors, Pinking Shears, or Rotary Cutter with cutting mat
  • Iron with good steam capability


Step 2 Illustration

  1. Cut out the table runner, using the length of the fabric, then cut the napkins, and last the napkin rings. If the cotton ravels easily, use pinking shears (if you have them), otherwise trim all the loose threads away.
  2. Press under 1” along the long sides of the table runner, using the graph ruler to accurately measure.
  3. Place the fusible web underneath the upper raw edge.
  4. With the iron held just above the fabric, give it a shot of steam, then lower the iron in place. Do not move it back and forth, it will disturb the fusible web and interfere with it adhering. Continue this along the length of the folded hem.
  5. Turn down the shorter edges of the table runner 1” and repeat steps 2-4. Give the table runner a final press. You’re finished! If you want to add additional trim, apply to the front, again using the fusible web.
  6. Fold ¼” hems for the napkins, using the above steps. The napkins have a little bit of body on the edges where the fusible is applied, which makes them look crisp, but not stiff.
  7. Fold the strips for the napkin rings in half and press. Turn under ¼” hems on each long raw edge. Place two strips of the super weight fusible web inside, one against the fold and the other up against the upper folded hem. Carefully re-fold the strip, steam and press.
  8. Place the ends of the strip together, sliding in a piece of the super weight fusible web in Using ONLY the tip of the iron, press. You may have to do this from both sides of the napkin ring. Do not press the rings flat, the creases will not come out!  You’re finished!

For a professional looking finish, keep the edges straight, use good pressing (lifting and lowering the iron) so all the hems are even and flat, and trim away any little fibers that might not have been caught in the fusing. Take a look at step-by-step photos available at sharonczachor.com.  Happy last-minute-gift-making for the holidays!

Inspired? Register for one of Sharon’s spring classes to develop skills and explore your fashion arts creativity!

Sewing Techniques, Part One (LFL 0400), Thursdays, 2/15-3/8, 6:30-9:00 p.m.

Sewing Techniques, Part One (LFL 0401), Thursdays, 3/15-4/26, 6:30-9:00 p.m.

Sewing with Knits and Stretch Fabrics (LFL 0402), Wednesdays, 3/14-5/16, 7:00-9:30 p.m.

Register online or call 847.925.6300.

About the Instructor: Sharon Czachor, a life-long passionate sewer/designer has been teaching for over 15 years in the Fashion Studies Department, Harper College. Her classes include: Industrial Sewing Methods (beginning and advanced), and specialties within her classes include The Little Black Dress and French-style Jacket, which are presented at the annual Harper Jury Show.

Czachor is the author of Sewing with Knits and Stretch Fabrics and co-author of Professional Sewing Techniques for Designers.  A Fashion Group International award-winning designer, she is a member of ITAA, the Haute Couture Group of Chicago and The American Sewing Guild.



Details on this and all our courses are provided in the

January-May 2018 CE Course Schedule or visit our

Personal Enrichment page for additional information.

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