Placemats. Those fancy textiles hidden somewhere between table cloths, stemware, and dinner plates. But as far entertaining goes, placemats really help set the venue and mood for a great meal time experience!
Here is a simple tutorial on how to make your own placemats without the need for a sewing machine! Simple, fast and with a great pay off, if you've ever folded an envelope closed, you'll breeze through this fun DIY!
Step 1: Gather Supplies
For this project you will need
- Fusible bonding web. I used 5/8 inch thick, but any width under an inch will do. Make sure its machine washable.
- an Iron (+ ironing board)
- Scissors or rotary cutter
- fabric. I suggest 100% cotton for easy cleaning. For 4 placemats, 1.5 yards should be plenty.
Step 2: Prewash & Dry
If you'll be using 100% cotton, or know how your fabric will respond to being in the washing machine, toss it in there for a full cycle. I did this so the fabric would preshrink and my final product would be the exact size I needed it to be.
If you skip this step, your fabric may shrink after you wash it for the first time (and wash it, you will! placemats are prone to spills and messes. Goes with the territory!)
I also put it in the dryer after, to make sure all that shrinkage is handled.
Step 3: Measure and Cut
After the fabric is done with the dryer, iron out all wrinkles and creases. This will make measuring and cutting a breeze!
From there, I decided I wanted my final placemat dimensions to be 18 inches X 24 inches. This is a standard placemat size. I gave myself a one inch margin all the way around which will be folded in and ironed. So I cut my fabric 20 inches X 26 inches
Step 4: Fold Over and Iron
Now turn the fabric over so you're looking at the back side. Fold over that 1" margin and iron down the crease. Do this for all 4 sides. You will want a very obvious crease, so you may need to go over it with your iron a few times.
Step 5: Fold Over Again and Iron in Bonding Web
Now we will fold our margin again. Since my fusible bonding web has a width of 5/8, I folded over 3/8 of my already folded margin. This gets a little tricky, because of how small that second fold gets, but since this fold won't show on the front of your placemat, you can afford to get a little messy.
Insert your bonding web in between the two folds of the margin. Fold over and iron down. Its best not to have your iron roam around, you would rather place it over the bonding web area for 5 seconds or so, then move it to the next section. This ensures that enough heat is getting to the bonding web, so it can do its thing.
Your completed side should show no raw ends of fabric.
Step 6: Finishing Corners
After you've completed the 4 sides of your rectangle, make sure you do NOT iron down the web bonding within an inch of the corners. We'll need this extra area to fold our neat 45' angles.
Fold over the two sides where it meets in the corner. Carefully cut away a small snippet of fabric as shown. Fold that end into where a 45' angle would be (just eyeballing this should suffice)
Cut out a small triangular piece of bonding, and put into that most recent fold. Iron down. Complete the 3 other corners in the same way.
ta da!! You're done!
Step 7: Bonus! No-sew Napkin
That pretty contrasting yellow napkin was made the EXACT same way as the placemat! The only difference is the dimensions. Final Napkin dimensions are 12inches X 22inches. I recommend pre-washing and drying the fabric for the napkins also
You're ready for some fancy (and stylish) dining!