Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Sewing: Place Mat Tutorial

Simple Place Mat Tutorial

These simple place mats are a great way to use up your scraps and they make wonderful handmade gifts for that someone special. You're only limited by your imagination!

::Get Started::

Cut 8 - 2 1/2" x 5" (6.4 cm X 12.7 cm) pieces to create the patchwork piece.

Cut 1 - 17" x 9" (43.2 cm X 22.9 cm) piece for bottom of front.

Cut 1 - 17" x 13 1/2" (43.2 cm X 34.3 cm) interfacing.

Cut 1 - 17" x 13 1/2" (43.2cm X 34.3 cm) piece for the back side.

I recommend using muslin, vintage tablecloths or coordinating quilt fabric. I used a combination of quilt fabric scraps and linen. But you can really let your imagination go wild by recycling clothes that have seen better days!

:: Start Sewing::

First, create the patchwork piece for the top of your place mat. With right sides together and using 1/4" seam allowance sew the scrap pieces together. Iron your seams to the side not open and then iron the seams on the front of the piece.

Second, with right sides together sew the bottom piece to the top patchwork piece using a 1/4" seam allowance. Iron the seam on a hot, hot setting.

Now attach the interfacing to the back of the front, using the manufacturer instructions. Or cut a matching piece of flannel and use it for your interfacing. It will be less stiff and more absorbent.

Finally, with right sides together pin the front of the place mat to the back of the place mat, leaving a 3" - 4" opening so you can turn the place mat right side out. Stitch 1/2" around the place mat, paying special attention not to sew the opening closed. At the opening back stitch several times. This will keep the opening from ripping as you pull the place mat right side out.


Turn your place mat right side out and press. Top stitch 1/4" around the entire place mat and voila, your finished. Feel free to experiment with the top stitching!


:: These place mats were designed to work with vintage dinnerware so they may be a tad bit smaller than what your use to.

::Try this with your vintage tablecloth scraps or use some scraps from your grandmas scrap box for a special touch.

::Don't worry if you or your place mat aren't perfect. See the beauty in the imperfection and move on. Don't know how or why but one of mine seems crooked. I'm not worrying about it.

::For best results, use a rotary cutter instead of scissors. You'll have straighter edges to sew on.

::For a soft feel, use flannel instead of fusable interfacing. For more stability, use the fusable interfacing.

::To make a "pattern" I use muslin to cut out my pieces. I find that's easier than measuring each and every piece.

Please feel free to leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you...


  1. Thank you so much! This is a sewing project that even I can do! Hahah.

  2. I had never thought about it, but sounds easy enough to make some place mats for Christmas gifts this year. Thanks for the tutorial and the idea. Your's came out looking so good.