Friday, 18 April 2014

Picnic cutlery roll made from a tea towel...

When we go to the markets in the weekends or even to the local food court occasionally, we always end up with plastic cutlery. Awesome fresh roll with yummy salad, cheese and ham filling, that needs to be cut to eat it - the answer is always a plastic knife. For a while we were bringing it home so we didn't have to throw  it out as it seems like such a waste. I ended up with a whole drawer full of plastic takeaway knives, forks and spoons as we taught the kids and students not to throw it out, but to bring it home and reuse it.

Except no body (including me) does...

Eventually I gave up and took the whole lot to an afterschool care program to use in their craft or home corner and got back a bit of space in our drawers.

When I did the no plastic challenge last year, I was quite good at taking my own cutlery to the markets as for Christmas, I asked Santa for this little pocket knife type thing that has a knife, fork and spoon set inside. Then it finally broke and I'm back to trying to remember my own again.

So I decided that in order to remember and to take our own cutlery, I needed to make it easy. So I made a cutlery roll to pop it all into to make storing and carrying the cutlery easier...

Here's what I did...


 
First I found a tea towel and set the cutlery along it to make sure it will fit.
I used 3/4 of the tea towel to fit the cutlery and the left over 1/4 as the flap that will hold it all in.

 
I put the pins in between the cutlery (tip - use a stripy tea towel, much easier to get straight lines!)

 
Check that it all fits. Put the cutlery in and fold over the flap. I thought Id be lucky to get five sets in but got six easily! I might use the last hole for chopsticks or maybe a wee fruit knife instead though as we only need five sets...

 
Roll it up as well - Just in case.

 
Find a ribbon that will easily go around the roll and tie in a bow (not a knot)

 
Fold it in half and insert the folded side into the side seam and pin it there. I placed mine about level with the bottom of the heads of the forks so I could pull it tight and stop it all from moving when its tied up.

 
Sew the first side seam from the bottom of the fold to the top of the pocket. 

 
Make sure you get the ribbon sewn in the seam securely. I doubled back over it a few times as its going to take a fair bit of pressure.

 
Sew all the pockets - follow the stripes if you are using a stripy tea towel!

 
Pop all the cutlery back in...

 
Roll it up...

 
Tie it up...

 
And take it on a picnic!

This is working really well for us at the moment! There is enough sets in there for every one. It fits into a bag and lives by the front door where we see it on our way out. When we get back it goes on the bench with the rest of the washing up and whoever is on drying, puts it back together, ties it up and puts it back by the door.

When the tea towel part gets a bit grubby, it just goes through the wash with the rest of the washing.

I bet we cant take it on a plane to eat our dinner with but to go to the markets on a Sunday morning and be able to cut up your breakfast in a vaguely civilised way is really cool!

Now, to work on the plastic plate issue...

Score card:
Green-ness: 5/5 for not creating a demand for a single use item
Frugal-ness: Doesn't really save any money -
Time cost: Took me about 1/2 hour from selecting a tea towel to presenting the finished item to the family!
Skill level: Straight line sewing! (My favourite!)
Fun-ness: So nice to use real cutlery rather than plastic ones when we are out and about for meals!

3 comments:

Kristie said...

What a great idea! Very clever!

simply bev said...

I love this idea! This would make a super Christmas present too and there's enough time to actually get some done!

Practical Frog said...

Quite quick and easy too! For presents you could buy tea towels in the right colours and prints to match your recipients personality! Post a link here if you make one, Id love to see it! - K xx

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