Thursday, June 03, 2010

DIY placemats for two bucks

We have a small kitchen with an even smaller kitchen table, which makes it very hard to find four placemats that will fit on the table at once. I know this, because I've spent the last year looking for placemats. One day, while browsing the Dollar General, I came across these cute kitchen towels for a buck a piece and realized that, cut in half and hemmed, they could become my Perfect Placemats. Of course, it took four months and two days home recovering from my wisdom teeth surgery to actually do the project, but who's counting?

Despite not having used my sewing machine for a solid year, I was pleased to find I still remembered how to thread it - just like riding a bicycle! (Remembering, that is. Not threading. That would be weird.) The towel was already hemmed on each side, so all I had to do was fold over the fabric along the cut line (I hardly ever use pins - I'm a rebel!) and sew a straight line. After the first placemat, I found snipping the corners off the edge I was about to sew made a neater placemat, and so I did just that. Easy peasy!

The finished product - four new placemats that fit my kitchen table perfectly, for just $2.00 and 30 minutes of my time. Let's see them in action, shall we?

(You can see why I don't take photos in my kitchen. Hello, yellow lighting!)

I have to say, it felt good to get behind the old sewing machine again. Maybe this will be the summer that I actually make a skirt and wear it. I hope so!


  1. Very crafterrific! I'm always so impressed by your know how in the sewing arena.

  2. Yay for crafty times! They look terrific. I cute! :)

  3. You've mentioned the lighting before, and I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out a way to get around that (other than just using window light, which you do very often). The only thing I can think of is to get one of these: which is designed to put over an off-camera flash, but you could instead put the tungsten-to-daylight filter over the camera lens and that would fix things. This is an overly complicated solution, of course, but it's all I got for you.

  4. So cute! I sew a lot by hand but have never figured out the sewing machine.
    I hope your mouth is feeling better today! Can you find vegan ice cream there?

  5. Thanks everyone!

    @Michael - Thanks for the suggestion. So far, the window in our office has been working really well, as long as it's not high noon. I even set up a little table there for better photo taking, because I'm SERIOUS. ;)

    @Gaby - Sewing machines are not as hard as they look, once you get the hang of it. And your projects go by so much faster! Also, my mouth feels much better! Thanks for asking. I can get vegan ice-cream here (thank goodness!) but have mostly been living on pudding cups and soy yogurt.

  6. Sigh. I need to learn to use a sewing machine...

  7. These are so cute!! What a great idea! It's actually a bit ridiculous how expensive nice placemats can I love that this is a relatively simple, cheap way to make them...and make them look exactly how you want them to.

    Hope you're recovering well!