Throw an elegant fall party with these 10 lovely linen projects from Matthew Mead that don't require a stitch of work.
A felt oak leaf, layered on linen under glass, strikes a natural note for your tabletop. Attach iron-on backing to the linen and felt you'll be using (designer Matthew Mead uses Pellon #809 Decor Bond to give the fabric more body and prevent glue seepage). Trace the inner circumference of your plain glass plate. Transfer the circle to the back of the linen; cut out. Sketch or trace a leaf shape onto the back of the felt; cut out. Use tacky glue to adhere the leaf to the circle. Layer under the plate. If desired, attach the fabric to the plate with spray adhesive.
Personalize your next party with a monogram wine bottle cuff. Cut one 10x3-inch strip of fabric and one 10x2-inch piece of complementary fabric. Apply iron-on backing to each. Measure your bottle's circumference, and cut both strips to that length, plus ½ inch. Use acrylic paint to stencil a monogram on the strip that will be on top. Use tacky glue to adhere the wide strip to the bottle. Let dry, then center the narrow strip over the wide strip so ½ inch of the background fabric shows at the top and bottom; glue. Glue a ribbon over the seam between the two fabrics.
Whip up these linen napkin rings in less than an hour without going near a sewing machine. From complementary colors, cut two strips: one 4x1½ inches and one 4x1 inch. Use tacky glue to attach the narrower strip to the wider one, then glue the short ends to close your loop. Glue an oversize button to the top. If you wish, use a stencil or rub-on decal to decorate your button.
These no-sew miniature wreaths are the perfect seasonal accent for chair backs or doorknobs. Stock up on buttons in assorted sizes. Matthew used Dritz Half Ball Cover Buttons in 1-1/2-inch, 1-1/8-inch, and 7/8-inch sizes. Purchase a small wood wreath form from the crafts store. The one pictured here is six inches. Cover the buttons with fabric per package instructions. Hot-glue the buttons to the wreath form to secure. Glue a length of ribbon to the back to create a loop to hang your wreath.
Place mats made from plain linen in autumnal hues set the scene for a serene dinner party. Cut a piece of brown linen to 16x20 inches. Cut a piece of orange linen to 14x18 inches. Apply iron-on backing to the backs of both pieces. Using scissors, cut ½-inch fringe around the perimeter of the brown fabric. With an iron, press under 1 inch of the brown fabric on all edges. Tuck the orange fabric inside the pressed and fringed edges of the brown fabric. Glue along edges. Cover two buttons with additional brown fabric and glue to the place mat as a utensil guide.
Craft a simple yet stunning centerpiece for less than $5 with fabric scraps. Start with an inexpensive glass vase. Measure the vase's circumference, and decide your desired height for the vase cuff. Cut a strip of fabric to these dimensions, plus ½ -inch length for overlap. Apply iron-on backing to the back of fabric. Use tacky glue to affix the cuff of the vase. Want to embellish it? Cover two buttons in fabric of a complementary color. Glue both buttons to the vase.
Dress up a plain candle with a braided linen holder. Begin with a plain glass pillar candleholder. Measure the circumference of the candleholder and add a few inches. Cut three strips of this length from linen of three different colors. Strips should be 2 inches wide. Stack the strips atop one another and use fabric glue to glue the three ends together. When the glue dries, tack the strips to a corkboard and braid. Glue strips at the end of the braid. Wrap around the candleholder and use crafts glue to keep it in place.
Begin with a plain store-bought table runner, or make your own from a length of linen cut to drape your dining room table. To create the leaf appliqués, select linen in pretty fall colors. You'll need less than ¼ yard of each color. Apply iron-on backing to the back of the linen pieces. Trace leaf and stem shapes onto the iron-on backing. (Sketch the leaves freehand or search "leaf template" online.) Cut out the shapes. Arrange on the runner, then secure with tacky glue.
A glass-top table gets a quilt-inspired makeover. Measure your tabletop, then cut one piece of plain linen to the same size. Apply iron-on backing to the linen. (This will be your background fabric.) Set aside. Cut enough patchwork squares and rectangles from linen to fit the dimensions. Tip: Lay the pieces on the floor to create your pattern. Apply iron-on backing to each of the linen pieces. One-by-one, use tacky glue to secure the linen patchwork rectangles and squares to the background fabric. When dry, place the piece under the glass top on the table. Use spray adhesive to keep it in place.
Linen cocktail napkins up the sophistication factor at your party. No one has to know you crafted them for pennies apiece! Cut pieces of linen to 5x5 inches. Create fringe by pulling threads from each side until the fringe is ¼ to ½ inch long. Or use scissors to cut fringe. Use as is, or tack and glue several pieces together for added weight.