silverwear 2

 Through the years, my husband and I always preferred taking silverware, not plasticware, on our camping trips. However, the silverware often became lost in the bottom of a paper bag or in a box, making it a challenge to set the table for meals. My solution for keeping all the silverware in one place was to make a silverware holder out of fabric. Not only does the silverware holder I came up with make it easier to set the table, it also takes up very little space and is very portable — important factors when camping!

silverware holder

Project Steps

Gather Silverware & Utensils

Gather together all the silverware and utensils you want to include in your holder. This particular holder has paring knives with covers, which is important. You do not want knives slicing into the fabric! If you cannot score such a find, you can make sheaths for your knives using cardboard and tape.

Create Pattern

Use newspaper to make a pattern. Map out the size needed for each pocket. Your holder will have three sections — an upper flap, a lower flap (that will become the pockets), and a center section. This pattern shows each set of knives, spoons, forks, and serving spoons set up to go in their own pocket. As you design your pattern, remember to add 1/2″ for sewing a seam along the top, left, and bottom edges. Add an additional 1/2″ for each pocket at far left and far right for sewing the pocket flap into place. The right edge of pattern is to be placed on fold of fabric.

Expand the Pattern

Tape sections of newspaper, as needed, to top and bottom to make the pattern large enough for the lower pockets flap and the upper flap (upper flap folds over the top of all pieces).

Checking Pattern Size

With silverware and utensils in place, check sizing by folding flaps over all pieces.

Pin Pattern to Fabric

Double over fabric, folding to fit size of pattern. Pin finished pattern to fabric, placing right edge along fold. Cut out.

Start Sewing

With right sides of fabric together, pin edges. Mark a 6″ section along seam to leave open for turning right side out. Sew 1/2″ seam on all edges except along the 6″ opening.

Turn and Press

Turn in seam allowance on opening and press. Press remaining edges.

Top Stitch

Top stitch 1/4″ from edge (including the opening) around entire outside of holder.

Determine Velcro Placement

Place tallest utensil in center section for positioning. Fold lower pockets flap up and upper flap down to determine placement of Velcro.

Pin Velcro in Place

Pin Velcro into place. Double check folds and placement. Make adjustments as needed. Sew Velcro in place.

Set Up Pocket Sections

Refer to newspaper pattern to mark where pocket sections will be. A pencil works well if fabric is light enough for it to show. Use a straight edge (a triangle works best if you have one) to draw lines nice and straight.

If your fabric is too dark for pencil lines, use tailor tacks.

Make Labels (Optional)

Make labels to sew onto the pockets for the serving spoons, spoons, forks, and knives. The ones shown here are made from curtain liner fabric, which does not fray. An indelible pen was used to write the names. Labels can be created for other pockets, if desired.

Sew pocket flap into place making a 1/2″ seam along left and right edges.

Sew over pocket lines as drawn with the pencil. When sewing the lines for the pockets, sew from bottom to top to minimize fabric buckling.

Setting Up Pocket Depths

Place all silverware and utensils in pockets in best position for retrieval. Since some items will be shorter than others, mark a line with pencil (or tailor tacks) at lower part of pocket wherever pieces do not reach all the way to the bottom. (Arrows show marked lines.)

Sew Across Lower Portion of Pockets

Sew across the lower portion of pockets on lines as marked.

Add Pockets For Utensils

In the design of this silverware holder, the bottle opener and the wine opener are placed in pockets above the can opener and the three-in-one utensil. To add extra pockets, measure the space needed for the pockets. Cut a piece of fabric adding a half inch all around so the edges can be folded over for sewing down. Use a zig zag stitch to finish the edges.

Hemming Utensil Pocket(s)

Fold over 1/2″ on all edges, press and sew in place.

Pin and Sew Utensil Pocket(s)

Pin fabric square into position and sew close to edges on three sides. Leave the top open. Insert utensils to mark width of each pocket and how deep each pocket needs to be. Mark with pencil (or tailor tacks).

Sew on top of lines as marked.

Everything In Place

Silverware holder with everything in place. Next step: The ties!

Make the Ties

Make 2 ties by cutting 2 strips of fabric: 2 1/2″ wide by 36″ long. Fold in half lengthwise, sew one end and the long edges of each tie using a 1/2″ seam. Trim seams. Cut corners.

Turn Ties and Top Stitch

Using a knitting needle, turn ties right side out. Fold in seam allowance on open end of each tie and press. Press both ties entirely. Top stitch 1/8″ from edges on all sides, sewing opened ends together same as previously done for the 6″ opening for the holder.

Place and Sew Ties In Place

Fold each completed tie in half. Measure about 3″ from bottom of silverware holder and about 3″ down from top fold to position each tie. Place on outside (backside) of holder and sew in place by stitching a rectangle shape.

Completed Silverware Holder

Silverware holder completed and almost ready to go.

Roll Up Silverware Holder

Fold top flap down using Velcro to hold in place. Roll from left side.

Rolled Silverware Holder

Roll to end. Tie. Now you are ready to go camping!