DIY Hand Lettered Napkins--Putting Your Talent to Work Series | Ana Baker | Skillshare

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DIY Hand Lettered Napkins--Putting Your Talent to Work Series

teacher avatar Ana Baker, Lettering & Calligraphy Techniques

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Put Your Talent To Work--Handlettered Fabric Napkins


    • 2.

      Supplies & Tools


    • 3.

      Preparing Your Fabric


    • 4.

      Getting Ready to Sew


    • 5.

      Sewing Your Napkins


    • 6.

      Lettering Your Napkins


    • 7.

      Inspiration & Your Project


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About This Class

Have you ever wondered how you can apply your hand lettering skills to the real world? Do you want to make products for your own use and to sell using your hard-earned lettering skills? Then this is the class for you!

This class is one in a series of classes that helps students put their lettering skills to practical use to make every day products for their own personal use, to give as gifts, or even sell in their own businesses.

In this particular class, Ana will walk students step by step through the process of creating lettering designs on fabric. The project for this class will specifically be fabric napkins that can be washed and reused time and time again with a beautifully lettered design that does not fade. The techniques shown in this class can be applied to many different fabric products.

Bonus Materials included are a Descriptive Word List to help get those creative juices flowing.

Materials Needed:

  • Fabric Marker or Paint (permanent)
  • Fabric
  • Sewing materials (sewing machine or needle & thread)
  • Iron
  • Scissors

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Ana Baker

Lettering & Calligraphy Techniques


Hi, I'm Ana Baker! I'm a self-taught hand lettering and calligraphy artist with a background in education. I've always loved words and letters and dabbled in calligraphy ever since high school, but really fell in love with the art of lettering in 2016.

My classes focus on practical tips and skills that help your lettering skills grow quickly and organically. Because I am a self-taught artist, I love sharing all of the little things I wished I had known when I first began my lettering journey with you right from the get-go so you can grow even more quickly. 

I also love to create classes that focus on practical application of lettering skills so you can get right to creating things that you love.


I have a passion... See full profile

Related Skills

Crafts & DIY Upcycling & DIY
Level: Beginner

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1. Put Your Talent To Work--Handlettered Fabric Napkins: Hi and welcome to my channel. My name is Anna Baker, and I love hand lettering and calligraphy. This class is the first in a series called Put Your Talent to Work if you love lettering and want to find ways to create products that you can give his gifts, decorate your home or even fell in your own shop. This is the Siris for you. If you're new to lettering, check out some of my other classes on the actual techniques you need to know to improve and grow your lettering skills. In this particular class, I will be walking you step by step through the process of creating a product that utilizes your hard earned lettering skills in a unique way. Fabric napkins. I'll show you how easy it is to sew fabric napkins and customize them with your very own lettering. Be sure to follow me for future classes on items that you can create for your home to give us gifts or even to sell 2. Supplies & Tools: The fantastic thing about this project is that it requires only a minimal amount of materials, and it comes together in less than two hours. You'll need a fabric, a sewing machine or needle and thread, permanent fabric markers or paint and iron and something that will easily wash out of fabric to marker guidelines. How much fabric is entirely up to you, depending on how many napkins you plan to make and how large you intend for them to be? Because I don't have any disappearing ink pens for sewing, I'm digging a watercolor pencil out of my stash of arts play, so lightly sketch out my design and a ruler to give myself a baseline for my letters for my fabric. I'm using pre cut fat quarters because they make things so much easier. But you could easily cut your fabric out of a larger piece you may have. For the purposes of this class, I am actually making two napkins from each fact quarter. We could definitely make one napkin out of each fact quarter to get a generously sized napkin and get rid of any cutting. They can even double s kitchen towels. Fat quarters come in a predetermined cut size of 18 inches by 21 inches. I like fat quarters for this project because they are already conveniently pre cut their relatively inexpensive become in a variety of colors and prints. And they are easily accessible from places like Walmart to craft stores to specialty quote shops. And that's all the supplies you need. Super easy. Right now we're ready to iron and prep for selling. 3. Preparing Your Fabric: my mother, a wonderful seamstress taught me that one of the most important techniques and you're stowing arsenal is ironing. Before we do any cutting or lettering on our fabric, it's important toe iron it to get out as many wrinkles as possible. This allows us to be more accurate and are cutting and sewing and keeps our lettering as smooth as possible. Later on, I'm setting my iron on the appropriate setting for cotton because I am using 100% cotton for this project. I'm also using a bit of steam to help get the wrinkles out. Be sure to iron both the right side and bike side of the fabric. Once we've ironed out the wrinkles, it's time to cut. If you are going to use the entire fat quarter for one napkin, just make sure that your fabric is actually even in straight. If you are planning on making multiple napkins out of one fabric quarter like I am, follow along with me. I try to cut as little as possible, so I'm layering my too fat quarters together so I only have to cut once taking a clear quilting ruler, I'm measuring my fabric to find the midpoint. Make a small mark where you want to cut and place your ruler along that mark. Be sure to cut carefully and slowly. If you're using a rotary cutter like I am, make sure that you protect your workspace. If you're using scissors, just be sure that you don't have anything underneath your fabric. Take the time to be strategic and think ahead when you're looking at what to cut and what to. So I like to work in batches as much as possible, doing all of my ironing at the same time. All of my cutting at the same time, etcetera. Lastly, because my fabric was not evenly to begin with, I am cutting off the salvage or rough edge of the fabric and trimming the napkins to the same length. Now we have nice straight edges and even napkins. After minimal cuts, 4. Getting Ready to Sew: once again heat up your iron and bring your freshly cut fabric to the irony table, moving in a clockwise direction. Pick aside and begin folding down the edge of your fabric 1/4 of an inch ones and then again, press with your iron between each fold. Feel free to use pins to help things stay in place, but I find that ironing does a pretty good job again. Keep in mind that you're folding down each side 1/4 of an inch twice. Be sure to take your time with this step. It makes your sewing so much easier. Once you've folded down all four sides, your napkins should look something like this. You can go straight to sewing from here. Or you can continue watching to learn how to create miter corners, which just gives your napkin. That different Look. I did both styles after you have folded down all of your sides, open up the corners and trim the corner off. There's some flexibility here, but what I did was cut right where my lines cross. In other words, I'm cutting through the center of that X. Go ahead and trim down all four corners next full down your edge and press again, complete on all four corners. This method is a little bit more complicated, so take your time. Now you're going to repeat your quarter inch fold. Be mindful of both corners as you full down your sides. As you fold down your second edge, you'll see that you're creating those murdered corners on one of the corners. You'll repeat this all the way around your napkin until you have all four dead. Don't forget to iron as you go along. This makes everything a lot easier. Now we can see how well our napkins air coming along. Aren't they pretty? After you've completed all four corners, you're ready to start sewing. 5. Sewing Your Napkins: Now that we've put all that hard work into our ironing, the sewing goes so quickly. Take your time to make sure that your corners air all lined up nicely, especially if you're using square corners like thes again. You could always use pins to keep them in place, going to your sewing machine, lift up the foot and line up your fabric where you want it. I am sewing 1/4 inch straight. Seem along the edge of my hems. Slowly lower your needle down until it goes through all of the layers of your fabric. Lower your foot and start sewing. Don't feel pressured to so fast. Take your time to make sure you keep your seems as neat and straight as possible. Once you get to your corners, it's a good idea to back stitch to reinforce those corners, since they have more layers and get a lot of wear and tear. I like to really slow down whenever I reach my corners so I dont overshoot my stopping point before you so off the edge of your fabric, stop sewing and lower your needle back down into the fabric. Then lift your presser foot and rotate your fabric. This is a nice trick because you use less thread. Your project is thrown much quicker, and it gives you a nice, sharp corner. All of these techniques are applicable. Whether you are doing wider corners or square corners, you'll see me demonstrating both. This is a super easy project to do with a needle and thread if you don't have a sewing machine, just so a straight seem all the way down each side. One technique I have learned is to hold your fabric steadily as it's being fed through your needle. Make sure you're not pulling or pushing your fabric through thistles. The best way to ensure that you'll get straight Seems as your fabric will get out of control. Once you have sown all four sides. Iron, your seems down. Now you're done. Both look great, and I really love how they turned out. Now that we have are finished napkins, we're ready to move on to lettering 6. Lettering Your Napkins: now that we've completed, our napkins were ready to let her our designs, as I always recommend with lettering on an actual product or final piece. Take the time to sketch your ideas out on paper ahead of time and provide yourself with some guidelines, so you minimize any possible mistakes. I am using a watercolor pencil and a ruler to give myself a baseline on which my letters will rest and sketching in the skeleton of my word. I'm pressing very lightly. I only want to faintly see where I'm going without worrying about trying to get undesired lines out of my napkins. Later on, I recommend using a disappearing ink pen or chalk meant pursuing if you have it. Once I've lightly drawn in, my guidelines and skeleton are taking a permanent fabric marker and tracing over my sketch , I'm using a fine tip marker and trying to use just the tip in an attempt to get crisp lines . You will see some bleeding with this product due to the nature of the fabric fibers, so it's a good idea to test your marker on a scrap. He's the fabric to get a feel for how your pen works. You'll also notice that it can be difficult to draw smooth lines and curves. Do the texture of the fabric holding your fabric taught and going slowly can really help with this. Also, you may need to draw your letters a little differently than normal to get around the skipping of the pen. Now that I've sketched my skeleton, it's time to add weight to my down stroke, so it looks more like it did this with a brush pen. If you are unfamiliar with this method, it's called faux calligraphy. You can learn more in my class on lettering for encouragement and inspiration. I love this technique because it allows you to create really pretty lettered looks on any surface. As you can see, this marker did bleed through, so I put some cardboard that came with my fabric quarter behind to absorb any excess ink. In case you are unfamiliar with the calligraphy. Basically, you just go back and draw thicker lines in the areas that your pen naturally moves downward . This gives the illusion that used a calligraphy or brush pen. I've sped up portions of this video because believe it or not, this part is the most time consuming of the entire project. Once you get more comfortable, you'll be able to move more quickly. Once you've drawn your designs, you're done. Keep in mind that the directions on the package of the fabric marker tell you to allow your design to dry for 24 hours before use. I would also recommend washing your napkins before using them. I created designs on both a print fabric and a solid fabric to show you how well these markers show up on either kind. I love how these napkins turned out, and I can't wait to create more complex designs in the future. 7. Inspiration & Your Project: congratulations. You now have the knowledge to go out and create your own hand lettered fabric napkins. If you're not sure where to start, check out places like Pinterest for inspiration. You can create monograms wreaths customized with individual names or even just create doodles and illustrations. This technique is flexible and lends itself to an abundance of variations. Don't forget that I've included a fund descriptive, wordless related to food for you to download and get those creative juices flowing. For your own project, create your own letter design on fabric. Take a picture and post it under the your project section of the class. Click on your project to get started. Scroll down until you see Create your project and click on it. You should see a page that allows you to upload photos and write a description of your work . Click on upload image and select your photos from wherever you have saved them. Right. Any information you would like to share with everyone and include other photos you'd like for us to see. Feel free to add any skill tags so that others could see your work finally hit. Publish. Congratulations. Your work is now visible for other students to interact with and be inspired by. I can't wait to see what you come up with.