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Turn bandanas into festive 4th table linens

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Updated: July 28, 2012 6:12AM



Thanks to Martha Washington, a humble, cotton square of fabric known as the bandana has become a piece of Americana.

In an effort to rally the troops in 1775, she commissioned a Philadelphia printer to make a kerchief with patriotic images of flags, cannons and her husband, George, on his horse. Since then, cowboys have worn it around their necks and bad guys have used it to hide their faces. Bikers, hippies and fashion designers also have adopted a variety of familiar designs in red, white and blue. Explore the possibilities with new or vintage bandana designs that will showcase their endless adaptability.

Table runner

Choose your favorite colors and the correct number of bandana squares to make a holiday runner for your table.

1. Place front sides of two bandana squares together: (If there is any printing on the front edges of bandanas that you don’t want seen when it’s finished, fold it over to create the seam.) Pin the edges and get ready to sew them together. Allow at least 1/4-inch for each seam.

2. Draw a white line: Follow it when sewing. Pin one side of each bandana together.

3. Use a machine: Sew a simple straight stitch with a sewing machine. Knot ends and snip threads.

4. No machine? Sew the seam of the bandanas together by hand. It takes a bit longer, but that shouldn’t stop you from doing this project.

5. Finished? Split and fold seams flat. Iron them flat. Iron finished runner on the backside.

Napkins

Purchase extra bandanas as they make inexpensive napkins, too.

1. Before use: Wash and iron bandanas. Use a fabric softener to make a softer napkin.

2. Roll: Roll fabric and tie with a ribbon. You’re ready to celebrate with red, white and blue!

3. Tip: Add stars to the ribbon with (color-safe) ink stampers or sew on sequins to add some sparkle.

MATERIALS NEEDED

Bandanas: I used four bandana squares to make a table runner: two reds for middle and two blues for the ends. Choose the number that fits your table. Four bandanas in a square work perfectly on a round table.

Sewing machine: To sew the seams of the bandanas together to create a table runner or a tablecloth.

Needle, thread: Or, sew by hand. Choose thread colors that match the fabrics.

Iron: To iron the seams flat and iron the finished table runner on the back to finish.

Pins: To hold the seams of the bandanas before sewing.

Ruler or tape measure: To measure and draw white line before pinning.

Napkins, ribbon (optional): Use blue or red bandanas as napkins and tie with a festive, grosgrain ribbon.

Bucket of fun

This firecracker-red bucket can serve a multitude of purposes. Fill it with your favorite bottled beverages along with mountains of ice and you’re ready for a party.

Or, use it as a flowerpot by adding a combination of red, white and blue flowers for your Fourth festivities.

Cost: $69.95. For more information, visit Pier One or www.pier1.com.

BE CREATIVE. Get your neighbors together and line the front sidewalks with small flags.



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