Thursday, January 12, 2012

Crafty Tutorial - Simple Placemats

With pending birthdays this month I decided to spiff stuff up a bit for the festivities.
In my house no matter what room I try to herd people into they always come and hang out in the kitchen. Fortunately for us we have a space for a kitchen table in our kitchen so I can sit folks down when they hang out.

Simple Placemat Tutorial - The Grey Area Mom

Frankly, I just feel fancy having placemats that aren't covered with Hello Kitty. Also it being post holidays cash is tight so I dug around my fabric scrap pile to see what I could sew up to add to the party flair.
*Tip* - If you don't currently have any fabrics to use for this project check out your local fabric store's clearance bin or local thrift store. Most fabric stores will discount off cuts or smaller cuts left on the bolt. 

What you'll need:
Iron & ironing board
A sewing machine
Sewing pins
Scrap fabric - I used a decorator fabric, which is a heavier fabric - great for this project! The amount of fabric will depend on how many placemats you plan to make. The fabric doesn't even need to match!

Prep your fabric by ironing it to make it easier to cut.

You'll want to cut each placemat's fabric into 14" x 18" pieces.

I actually had some pre cut pieces that were a little shorter than this but having two pieces cut into this dimensions worked the best.

With your iron along the longest sides you'll want create a 1/2 inch fold over edge.  All you do is have the wrong side of the fabric facing up and create that 1/2 inch fold with your hands then run your iron over it. Do this step to both of the long sides of the fabric.

Next at the corner create a triangle (see second picture above) press it with you iron. Then at the top piece of the triangle you'll want to fold it over creating a sharp corner.

The piece I was working with was a pre cut size that was a bit shorter than my recommended measurement .
Go ahead and secure the corners down with sewing pins.
Do this for all of your placemats.
After all of your placemats are ready have a seat at your sewing machine.
All you need to do is do a basic straight stitch down each side.

At the corners you'll want to pivot your placemat at a 90 degree angle to create a sharp corner stitch to match your sharp corner.

You do this by keeping your needle down (still in the fabric) lift your presser foot up and rotating the fabric. Continue to sew a straight line down and pivot at each corner. At the final corner I recommend doing a back stitch (hit reverse for a couple stitches) to secure your work.

Trim off any excess fabric and loose threads. (I used pinking shears.) You could also add fray stop liquid if you like. But I didn't because with many kids and kid friends I don't plan on entertaining the queen so I don't mind a few loose threads hanging loose after washing. I'll just snip them off.

Admire your work and then put them to use.

As we like to say at my favorite craft store - Craft On!


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