How to sew laminated placemats
We recently bought a new dining table – a big Marri (hardwood) table that should last us an eternity. The previous table was a cheapy, bought second-hand. We didn’t really care about it, so we didn’t use placemats or tablecloths. Now that we’ve got one we want to look after, it was time to get the placemats out.
The only placemats we had were cream and yellow woven cotton – a nice, simple look, but, ummm, not so good for a 3 year old and 5 year old. We needed something wipe-clean. I had some laminated cotton leftover from another project (that I haven’t shared with you yet). I could have used it to make a simple placemat, but I wanted something a little more personalised for each kid. I’d made them special pillow cases and wanted to use the leftover fabric, but quilter’s cotton isn’t wipe clean.
It was time to grab the Heat’n’Bond vinyl (affiliate link) to make my own personalised laminated placemats. I discovered (when I ran out and had to buy more) there are two types of Heat’n’Bond Vinyl – matte and gloss. They’re both shiny but the gloss is much smoother (and slightly easier to wipe clean). Either still works well for placemats.
Heat’n’Bond can be applied after you’ve pieced your fabrics together. No need to worry about laminating all the scraps first, and it makes a much smoother (and easier to clean placemat).
And I almost forgot to show you the back – made with store-bought laminated fabric.
Here’s how I made them:
Cotton fabric scraps
Paper clips (or Wonderclips)
Scissors and/or rotary cutter
1. Piece together the fabric scraps however you like to make a 38cm x 30cm piece. I used two different prints from the Far Far Away range (bought from Spotlight, not the Heather Ross range), and tried to feature whole pictures I had left from the scraps.
Here’s how it looks on the back:
2. Following the packet instructions, iron on the Heat’n’Bond Vinyl to the right side of the fabric. It’s pretty simple – peel the backing sheet off the vinyl, place it sticky side down onto the fabric, place the backing sheet over the vinyl and iron in place (medium iron, no steam). Flip the fabric over and iron on the wrong side. Then peel off the backing sheet.
3. Repeat for the back fabric of the placemat (I cheated and use laminated fabric for the back, also bought at Spotlight).
4. Place the two laminated fabric pieces right sides together and use paper clips (or wonder clips) to hold the fabric in place. (Or you can pin in the seam allowance – pins will leave holes in the laminated fabric.
5. Stitch around the outside of the placemat, leaving a large opening at one side.
The opening size is shown in the photo below. It was quite hard to turn, since the laminated fabric is fairly stiff. For the second placemat, I left a whole short side open. It was a little more difficult to neaten up, but much easier to turn.
6. Turn your fabric right side out. Your laminated fabric will look really wrinkled and you may think you’ve ruined the laminate:
7. Don’t worry, just pop the backing sheet back over the laminate and give it another press with the iron (medium heat, no steam). All those wrinkles and bumps should come out.
8. Top-stitch around the edge of the placemat (closing the opening).
And there you have a cute placemat that you can personalise just the way you want. You could also try appliqueing before laminating your placemat.
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