Christmas Tree Napkins

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Introduction: Christmas Tree Napkins

About: Enthusiastic hiker, quilter and creator with a passion for making the most of every situation and finding the best and easiest way to do anything!

I made these easy Christmas Tree Napkins for everyone at our extended family dinner last year. Each guest had their own unique napkin to take home. The napkins were so popular that I decided to share the technique for making them in this instructable.

Step 1: Supplies

You will need:

  • 1/2 yard each of two coordinating cotton or cotton/polyester prints
  • scissors
  • a pencil
  • a large piece of paper for the half circle pattern
  • access to a sewing machine and iron

This amount of fabric will make four napkins.

Step 2: Make the Paper Pattern - a Half Circle

I found a great technique to make a circle or half circle at this instructable, using two pencils and strip of cardboard to create a compass. Put the pencil which is the fixed point eraser side down and draw the arc of the circle with the other pencil. The two pencils go through holes you have made in the cardboard, 9" apart.

Using this technique, draw a half circle with a 9" radius on a piece of paper as shown in the photo.

Cut out the half circle.

This will be your pattern.

Step 3: Cut Out Half Circles on Both Pieces of Fabric

  1. Place the two pieces of fabric right sides together so you can cut both at the same time.
  2. Place the paper pattern at one long end - it should just fit - the half circle is 18" wide, which is exactly 1/2 yard.
  3. Pin the pattern to the fabric and cut out the half circle on both pieces of fabric.
  4. Remove pins, and use the pins to hold the two pieces of fabric together.
  5. On the long straight edge, pin to mark an opening, approximately 3" wide, which you will use to turn the napkin right side out after sewing.

Step 4: Sew the Two Pieces of Fabric Together

  1. Using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew the two pieces of fabric together, right sides together, leaving an opening of about 3" between the two pins.
  2. Backstitch at the beginning and end of your stitching to secure the stitches.
  3. Trim the two corners diagonally, to reduce bulk. (The corners will turn better if you sew one diagonal stitch at the corner.)

Step 5: Turn Napkin Right Side Out

  1. Using the 3" opening, turn the napkin right side out.
  2. Use a chopstick, knitting needle, crochet hook or other pointy stick to push out the corners neatly.
  3. Press, being careful to push out all the fabric from the inside at the edges.
  4. As you press, press down the 1/4" seam allowance on the 3" opening. This will be sewn down by the topstitching.

Step 6: Draw Fold Lines

This is where the magic happens! It's the off-centre folds that transform the half circle into a tiered Christmas tree.

  1. Draw a line 1 1/2" away from the centre radius line using chalk or an erasable marker, perpendicular to the horizontal edge of the napkin. (This is the red vertical line in photo - I've marked it on the paper pattern in the photo for ease of viewing)
  2. Fold each side in to meet this off-centre line - see red lines in the photo - and press these folds.
  3. Mark these two fold lines with chalk or an erasable marker. Or you can simply use the pressed lines as your marking if you are confident that these will be clear enough to guide your sewing.

Step 7: Fold Along Lines to Create Tree

Fold using an accordion technique along each of the three marked lines, to create the tree shape, and confirm that your lines or folds are in the right place before topstitching.

Step 8: Topstitch Napkin

Topstitch close to edge to secure napkin edges (including the 3" opening you left for turning), and also stitch along the fold lines. This will prevent the two layers of the napkin from shifting when you wash it and will also remind you how to fold the napkin.

Start and end with a few short stitches to secure the stitching line. The photo shows a path for topstitching in one continuous line.

Step 9: Fold and Press

Fold along the stitched lines, and press the napkin.

Folding in one direction reveals more of one fabric - you can fold it the opposite way to reveal the other fabric. One napkin is the reverse of the other.

You have finished your Christmas tree napkin!

Step 10: Creative Variations

Even though you have marked and topstitched lines for 3 folds, you can still fold your napkin in different ways.
For example, you can fold in slightly less fabric, and make 4 folds rather than 3, for a skinnier, more tiered tree.

You can also add a trunk to your half circle pattern, as in the red napkin above. If you add a trunk, you will have to stick to the 3 marked folds, as folding it differently will make the trunk off-centre.

You could also sew trim to the outer curved edge on one side, to create the effect of a garland hanging off the tree.

Enjoy and share!

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    9 Comments

    0
    ClareBS
    ClareBS

    11 months ago

    They are gorgeous, your lucky guests would have been delighted to take one home.

    0
    YukonJulie
    YukonJulie

    Reply 11 months ago

    Thank you! It is fun to make them in different fabrics and let guests choose! And each fabric combination makes 2 different variations which makes it interesting.

    0
    sock8bunny222
    sock8bunny222

    11 months ago

    Great job of showing the technique. I have made a lot of these napkins over the years and it isn't always easy to explain to others how to do it. Excellent job.

    0
    YukonJulie
    YukonJulie

    Reply 11 months ago

    Thank you! I'm glad you found the instructions easy to follow. I love writing instructables and often use them as a reference myself when I know I will want to make something again, like these napkins, which are becoming a Christmas tradition!

    0
    MaraCreates
    MaraCreates

    11 months ago

    Really cute idea!

    0
    YukonJulie
    YukonJulie

    Reply 11 months ago

    Thanks. These are super easy to make! I hope you try it!

    0
    DIANA299
    DIANA299

    11 months ago on Step 10

    I love these! I have a bunch of fabric - maybe I'll have to drag it out and try.

    0
    YukonJulie
    YukonJulie

    Reply 11 months ago

    You should definitely make some! It's super easy and fast - the hardest part, frankly, is drawing the half circle pattern!