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It has been a while since I've spent time crafting for myself. I decided to change that this week and do something with the canvas dropcloth I've been tripping over in my workshop. I love the almost linen-like look of the untreated canvas and decided to use it on my tabletop. A few cuts, a few stitches, and some collaboration with my little ones and I had myself some placemats.
Placemats with cute little pockets!
They were incredibly easy to make and here's a little how-to if you'd like to give them a go yourself.
sewing machine threaded with your choice of thread color
paint - acrylic or fabric paint
You'll need to cut two pieces of canvas for each placemat. Mine are 11" x 15" which fit my plates and silverware nicely. When determining the size I laid out my dish and the silverware pocket to check for a proper fit. You'll want to adjust the size to fit your own dishes as needed.
Cut a piece of canvas roughly 3" x 4" to act as a pocket on your placemat.
Enlist the help of children to do botanical prints on your pocket pieces. If you don't have any children laying around, then go on and do it yourself. Instructions for making nature prints are here.
After your leaf prints are completely dry you'll want to sew across the top of each one to stop the fabric from fraying too far.
Pin the pocket to the front of your placemat and sew down the side, across the bottom, and back up the third side. Be sure to back stitch at the beginning and end so your pocket holds securely.
After your pocket is sewn on, pin the top layer of your placemat to the bottom layer. I'm going for a simple look with an intentional fray around the outside. None of that turning inside-out fanciness for me today.
Sew the two layers of placemat together, keeping the stitches 1/4" from the outer edge.
Fray the edges of the placemat and the pocket by removing the threads running parallel to your stitches. Be careful not to tug the stitches out in the process.
Give your placemat a good shake or a once-over with a lint brush and there you have it!
Ready to serve.
My kids think the little pockets are super cool and the younger ones were eager to set the table.
To set the table.
That alone makes this project totally worth it for me.
If you're so inclined you could also treat these to make them more stain-resistent.
I think these would be cute made from denim too, maybe with pockets made of bandana material or leather? Or made of felt perhaps? Or recycle a thrift-store raincoat and make placemats that can withstand a storm of peas and carrots, that would be cool.
If you try it, I hope you'll share the results. I'd love to see where your creativity takes this.