Freebie Friday! Avatar Four Nation Trays


Hey everyone! I’m back!


Oh, yes 😀 After about 8 months of semi-hiatus, I’m finally back with more updates to the site! That is, back doing the thing that started me blogging in the first place: using up my scraps! In January of 2013 I realized my stash of fabrics weren’t doing me any favors and I finally needed to start chipping away at them, so I’ve been making little projects here and there and sharing the tutorials with you. I had to take a semi-hiatus for a while there as I wrote some new books, but I’m finally back with new projects to whittle down my stash.

These little trays came about because it was something I discovered I needed in my own home ^w^ I have a little vanity area that was in desperate need of organizing; specifically I needed something to hold my manicuring tools. I looked at what else could use a little help and found that I needed several more trays. I figured since I was doing a set of trays anyway I might as well make them themed. I hadn’t done any Avatar: The Last Airbender fanart as of yet, so I thought this would be a good chance to start. So, behold, a set of all 4 Avatar Nations as handy trays. For those that aren’t familiar with the show, we have the Air Nomads, Water Tribe, Earth Kingdom, and Fire Nation and their respective symbols. You don’t have to decorate them with the symbols of course; they work nicely on their own for sorting odds and ends.


The appliqué and use of heavy interfacing is likely the most difficult part here, everything else is cake.
Makes one 6 1/2” x 6 1/2” x 2” tray

Materials & Tools:
• 1/3 yd. of light to medium weight fabric for the tray (I used quilting cotton)
• 12” x 12” piece of heavyweight fusible interfacing
• 7” x 7” piece of ultra-firm fusible interfacing
• 7” x 7” piece of coordinating appliqué fabric (cotton, felt, etc.)
• 7” x 7” piece of light or heavyweight fusible web
• Matching sewing thread
• Basic sewing tools (sewing machine, scissors, iron, needles, pins, fabric marker, seam ripper)

Before you begin:
1. Print out the project pattern here
2. Assemble the pattern pieces, see the page here for more help
3. Lay out the pattern pieces on your fabric and cut them out (cut out the interfacing later in step 1)
4. Mark the fabric pieces with the markings from the pattern

1. The first step is to prepare your interfacing. From the heavyweight interfacing, cut 1 piece that is the shape of your tray without seam allowances. You can go ahead and use your pattern, but with the seam allowances trimmed off. The ultra-firm interfacing piece should be the center portion of your tray, which can also be cut from your original pattern. Fuse these in place to the wrong side of one of your tray pieces, the heavyweight going first and the ultra-firm going next. Center them on the tray piece as the photos shows. This will be the outside of your tray when we finish.

2. On the other tray piece (the blank one without interfacing) is where we’ll be applying the appliqué. Select one of the appliqué designs from the pattern and trace it to your fusible web. Iron the fusible web to the wrong side of your appliqué fabric, cut out the shapes, and peel away the fusible web paper. Then apply it to your other tray piece as shown, centering it in the middle to get the placement right. Iron it down according to your manufacturer’s directions.

3. If you’ve used heavyweight interfacing, your appliqué pieces should stay on just fine on their own. But if you’ve used lightweight interfacing like me, you’ll need to sew the appliqué pieces in place. Go around the edge of the motifs with a straight stitch or a zigzag stitch as I’ve done here.

4. Your tray front and back are now all ready to sew! Align the pieces together with right sides facing and sew around the entire perimeter of the tray, leaving an opening in one side as the pattern indicates for turning the tray right side out. When you’re finished, clip the corners of the shape and turn it right side out through the opening. I find that ultra-firm interfacing is more malleable if you heat it up with your iron first.

5. When the tray is all turned, poke the corners a bit with a chopstick or another similar tool so all the corners and edges look nice. Tuck under the seam allowances from the opening where you turned it previously, and iron the whole tray flat. Next you’ll want to top stitch around the long edges of the tray both for looks and to close up the opening from the previous step.

6. To finish the tray, fold it diagonally to match up the short sides of the tray. These form the corners. Sew along these edges for all four corners to bring the sides up and finish the tray!

And there you have it! Whether you’ve chosen to go with the Avatar theme or not, I know these trays are going to come in handy for organizing my vanity area 😀
If you do try making the project, I’d love to see it! Send me a photo and I’ll send you exclusive free patterns as a reward!

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