Friday, April 10, 2020

Ten on the 10th - Self Quarantine Tasks for under $10....

A few years ago, while in Guadeloupe, I was amazed at the COLORS.  The markets, traditional clothing, the baskets and tablecloths were so bright and cheery.  The spices were abundant and the people were happy.

They speak French Creole, which is a true mix of African, French and Carib languages.  I was on the hunt for fabric napkins and, for some reason,  I thought I would be able to communicate with my limited high school french!

So I went into town searching for napkins:  I started with "serviettes?"  And got strange looks and big smiles.

Then I thought of tablecloths and asked for "fabrique pour la table?", NO LUCK and more smiles.

In the third store I just asked for "fabrique?" and I was directed to a fabric store - BINGO!

So I purchased 1/2 yard of two cheery madras plaid prints and decided to make the napkins myself!  The fabric was very inexpensive, about $5 yd.

When I came home I cut out squares to make cocktail napkins for Happy Hour.  I sewed two, got distracted and put the fabric away.  

During the recent Covid Quarantine I was cleaning out closets and found the fabric.  

It brought back memories of a great vacation and I finished sewing the napkins:

Remember swizzle sticks?  I have quite a collection - but I digress...

My napkins are ready for Happy Hour!

So, what to do with the rest of the fabric? 

Well, I hopped on the face mask bandwagon and made each of us a mask.....I guess we should be prepared!

And then I found these directions online:


Materials needed (with elastic)
  • Tight-weave cotton fabric (i.e. quilting cotton)
    • Fabric must be newly purchased within approximately the past year and never used.
    • Wash and dry fabric without fragrance or dyes prior to sewing.
  • Rope Elastic, beading cord elastic will work (you may also use 1/8” flat elastic if ¼” is unavailable. Some have used wider flat elastic and cut it in half with some success).
One adult mask requires two (2) 9”x6” pieces tight-weave cotton and two 7” pieces of 1/4 inch elastic. Therefore, one yard of 44” wide fabric yields 12-15 masks. You need 7.5 yards of elastic for 25 masks (14 inches per mask).
You can make two sizes: Adult or Child. Adult-sized masks will be the greatest need.
  1. Put right sides of cotton fabric together (Be sure any fabric design is placed horizontally.)
    1. Cut 9x6 (Adult) or 7.5 x 5 (Child)
  2. Starting at the center of the bottom edge, sew to the first corner, stop. Sew the elastic with the edge out into the corner. A few stitches forward and back will hold this.
  3. Sew to the next corner, stop, and bring the other end of the same elastic to the corner and sew a few stitches forward and back.
  4. Now sew across that top of the mask to the next corner. Again, put an elastic with the edge out.
  5. Sew to the next corner and sew in the other end of the same elastic.
  6. Sew across the bottom leaving about 1.5” to 2” open. Stop, cut the thread. Turn inside out.
  7. Pin 3 tucks on each side of the mask. Make sure the tucks are the same direction
  8. Sew around the edge of the mask twice.

...and I began to make the second one, when I realized i had no elastic, so I got this far:

So, 6 cocktail napkins, 2 masks and leftover fabric - all of this for under $5!

and then I made this mask for under $2 - directions HERE:


And earlier I mentioned cleaning out closets.  These fabric boxes cost only $1 each and are great for keeping organization:  

A $7 investment helps me find my cocktail napkins in a snap!

I also found 4 plastic boxes while cleaning out another closet and that led me to organizing all my back-up flatware - it also made me wonder if I really need all of these...haha...but we use them!  I keep them in a bottom cupboard that has a pull-out drawer.
These boxes are only 2/$1 at the dollar store!

My house is getting very organized and I am saving money by "sheltering in place".
I hope you are staying safe and taking advantage of this time to finish up some unfinished projects and getting your home organized!!

Join my clever blogging friends to see what they have been doing while 'sheltering at home':


10 on the 10th would love to have some new bloggers join us. We have monthly themes for you to create or share something that costs $10 or less. This includes: crafts, DIY home decor, tablescapes, gardening, gifts, recipes, party ideas, beauty, and fashion. If you are interested, please leave a message in the comments and someone will contact you.

Patti @ Pandoras Box
Patti @ Pandoras Box

I live in central NY and I am a retired family and consumer science teacher. I enjoy all types of crafting, decorating and cooking


  1. You've been busy cleaning and organizing - I'm so impressed! I haven't done any of that, but I have been busy making masks, although I like your fabric better. Stay safe, my friend!

  2. This is a great way to stay busy. The tutorial on the mask is great. I have made a couple for my family. Thanks for sharing your tutorial.

  3. I love making cloth napkins, especially when the fabric is inexpensive and very cute. I love your madres. So many great colors for tables and happy hour. I think we are all getting some organization tasks for. Firing this time.

  4. So creative and positive. Such a great idea to create an upbeat Happy Hour at home.
    You have inspired me to get cracking on some sewing projects.

  5. That is such fun fabric. I love that this time allows us to finish what we have started before. I love Madras fabric. I made a mask but it is so uncomfortable. I need to try again.

  6. Madras fabric has always been a favorite. For years we had a Ralph Lauren madras comforter on our bed. Then Courtly Check took over! 😂😂😂 Your organization is similiar to what I've been doing. Linens!!!
    Your happy hour napkins are cheerful! Happy Friday!

  7. Love it all, Patti! The fabric is really cute. These masks make me feel like I can't breathe - can't imagine being a healthcare or plant worker!

  8. Patti, great ideas for organizing the linen closets. Pretty fabric for your napkins. Madras was always a favorite for me, I even found my madras suspenders from HS, yikes!!! I'm certainly dating myself:) You are very stylish with your Courtly Check face mask. Stay well.........