DIY: a homemade place mat with utensil holder

laura and i met in college. we were a part of the same greek Bible study. now, we both live in the same city and go to church together. to say i love laura's creativity is quite the understatement. 

you can often find her blogging here.  

happy crafting. and here's laura!
hello everyone! thanks to rachel for allowing me to share this project with you all. i came up with a homemade placemat with a pocket to hold a rolled napkin and/or a set of silverware. it's fairly simple and something i thought would be fun for summer. 

i originally thought of this project to be used for outdoor dining, to keep your napkin and silverware safely tucked away from the occasional wind gust, but then decided it could be used indoors to keep things neat and tidy on the table! any which way you decide to use these placemats is fine, 

so let's get to the how-to!

materials needed:

-1/2 yard of fabric. i used two different fabrics to have the contrasting pocket, but go wild and choose whatever your heart desires!
-matching thread
-timtex or any type of interfacing*
-sewing machine (though this project could be done with liquid stitches if you don't want to get near a sewing machine)

* timtex is a type of interfacing, which is a soft, but flexible material that holds a crisp shape. interfacing is used to make purses more sturdy and to help hats hold their shape. i used it here on the placemat, to make it a thicker final product and something that would have a bit of structure to it. 

1.) i used fabric from my scrap pile and started out by cutting the placemat fabric to the size that i wanted with a 1" overhang on each side. my finished placemat is 14" x 17" so i cut my fabric to 16" x 19". i used this measurement based upon a placemat i had as a reference point.

2.) after cutting out your placemat fabric, it's a good idea to iron it. then it's time to cut out the fabric for the pocket. i measured my silverware and made my pocket to fit what i use most often for dining. my finished size of the pocket was 4" x 6" so i cut a piece that was 5" x 6.5". i only used a 1/2" hem on the pocket on the three sides. for the top, i did the tiniest hem i could by still finishing the edge. i did that part before sewing the pocket onto the placemat.

3.)  once you have your fabric pieces cut out, it's time to cut the interface to the desired size of the finished placemat. mine is 14" x 17". then i took my fabric right side down on the table and placed my interfacing on top of it in the center. i then proceeded to pin the two long sides of the placemat, pulling it somewhat taught so the placemat would be smooth once i turned it over.

4.) once you get two opposite sides completed, you'll be ready to finish the remaining two sides. be sure to pull the fabric tight when pinning and i folded in my corners for a nice, finished looking edge.

5.) next you're ready to put on the pocket. i ironed the edges of my pocket before sewing it so it would lay flat while i sewed. and this allowed me to make sure my pocket was the right size for my silverware. (see the third photo above for reference). i got too excited to finish the project at this point, that i forgot to take photos of this next step, but all you have to do is place your folded pocket onto the front of your placemat and put in exactly where you want it. once you figure out where to place the pocket, go ahead and pin the three sides, but not the top! that's where the silverware will slide in, so don't sew it shut!

6.) next you can see i sort of rolled my placemat up a bit, so it would fit under the foot of my sewing machine. i started on one side of my pocket and worked in a "U" shape so i didn't have to stop sewing. just sew three sides of the pocket onto the placemat and you're just about finished!

7.) the last thing to do is to trim all the hanging threads and then tuck your utensils into the placemat!

i hope you enjoyed the project. if you have any questions, please feel free to email me at lauraplinebarger@yahoo.com. and again, thanks rachel, for letting me share this little project!


kristin fulghum said...

oh that laura and her craftiness! i need her to come show me how to use my sewing machine. love the placemats.

The Frenchs said...

This is so fun! I am not (yet) a seamstress but can even think of things to do with this craft in my classroom! Pencils...dry erase markers...oh the possibilities!

Anonymous said...

Love love love Laura and her craftiness. Super cute place-mat.

{cuppakim} said...

SO fun. love this project. if i were more ambitious/skilled with a sewing machine/gifted like you i would attempt this. :)

LOVE it though.

Jami Nato said...

the cutest. if only i could sew.

laura said...

for those who cringe at the thought of using a sewing machine, this project can also be completed using liquid stitch, which is a simple glue that replaces the need to stitch. :)

The Bonjour Four said...

what a fabulous idea!! too cute!!

- Sarah :-) said...

Sorry I've been MIA - but I ABSOLUTELY looooove these placemats! Can't wait to find the time to make some of my own. :-D Thanks for the tutorial!

Anonymous said...

darling placemats! I havae a ?? about using the timtex -- how well do these wash?

rachel porter said...

hey anonymous...i think gentle wash and laying flat to dry would do the trick for these! thanks.

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