Nautical placemats,
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Simple DIY Placemats

Simple Placemat – You can DIY

I love simple projects and decided to make some simple place mats that can be sewn in no time at all.

We needed placemats for our new (to us) dining table for six. My husband was eager to just buy some, but I kept holding out so that I could sew them.

Nautical placemats,

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Plus, I wanted to try out my Cricut on the place mats also.  I already had the materials.   I just needed to set aside some time to do that.  Fortunately my husband was patient and I finally got around to sewing up a very nice set of simple nautical placemats.

List of Equipment and Materials for Simple Placemat

I’ve been sewing since my parents gave me a sewing machine for Christmas when I was 14 years old.  I’ve made my own clothes, clothes for my children when they were small, and quilts.  I’ve never done any difficult sewing, just basic things.

Many years ago, after I had gone back to work fulltime, I was moving to a new house and I gave away all of my fabric (there was a lot), thinking I would never have the time or desire to sew again.  Although I don’t use it, I do still have that sewing machine.  I just can’t bear to part with it.

I was wrong.  It’s been 12 years since that move and I want to “create” with my hands again.  That includes sewing.  Plus, my husband gave me a Cricut Maker for Christmas and I want to “create” with that too.

This Simple Placemat project is my very first Cricut Maker project.

Honestly, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but I watched a video about uploading my svg files and I managed to get this done.  I made a couple of beginner mistakes that were entertaining.  I am certain that I  made it a lot harder than it had to be.  Thus, in this tutorial I am only going to tell you how to do the sewing part.  When I learn more about using the Cricut, I promise to come back and give a few more details about that part of the process.

The nice thing about these placemats is that if you just want to sew them.  You can.  You don’t have to add the iron-on like I did.  In fact, mine sat on the table like that for over a month, before I finally got up the nerve to try the Cricut Maker.

I’m glad I did though, because we are real pleased with the final look of these placemats.

I can’t wait to make some more as gifts.

Here’s the basic sewing instructions:

Fabric:  Cut out 12 17” x 13 ½” rectangles of the fabric.  Each placemat will require 2 of them.

Nautical placemats,

Interfacing:  Cut out 6 17” x 13 ½” rectangles of the interfacing. Each placemat will only require 1 of them.

Sewing:  Place an interfacing rectangle on the bottom.  Top it with one of the fabric rectangles, right side up (wrong side facing the interfacing).  Now place another fabric rectangle on top of the other one placing this one right side down.  Pin these 3 layers together.

Starting near the middle of any side, sew a ½ ” seam around the placemat, leaving a 2” opening before where you began sewing.  Do a double stitch at each corner for reinforcement.

Clip the corners diagonally so they will turn nicely.

Turn the placemats right side out.  Use a closed pen or medium sized crochet hook (or similar object) to gently push out the corners.  Finger press all edges (you can use an iron if you wish, but with most fabrics a finger press is enough).  Finger press ½” of fabric inside the 2” opening so that it matches the rest of the seam.

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Topstitch  ¼” from outside edge around the entire placemat.

Repeat these sewing steps for the remaining 5 placemats.

If you don’t want to add the iron-on, your placemats are done.  Wasn’t that easy!  Don’t they look awesome!

Nautical placemats,

Here are the basic Cricut instructions:

If you want, you can add the vinyl iron-ons now.  Since I’m a beginner and still doing the trial and error method, I’m not going to try to tell you how to do this in detail.  But in summary, this is what I did:

  • Uploaded the free sailboat and anchor svg files that I found HERE  (she has a lot of free svgs available on this site). You can also use svg files available on the Cricut Access site.  They have so many to choose from.  Plus if you use their projects, you don’t have to do the trial and error like I did.  They tell you every step to take.
  • Create a project
      • I needed 3 sailboats and 3 anchors so I put both of them into the project. I wanted them to be about 3 ½” tall and 3” wide so I enlarged them to that size (easy to do since the project mat shows measurements).  I made sure the sailboat and the anchor were different colors (that’s how Cricut knows you’ll need to use two different vinyls and ultimately gives you instructions to insert the two different colored vinyl sheets). I then duplicated each item twice, making a total of 3 of each of them.  I’m sharing the picture below because in my mind placing the sailboats and anchors in these positions would be the most wise way to place them so that I didn’t have much vinyl waste.  Well, the joke was on me, because Cricut Access doesn’t care about my frugalness, they laid the sailboats and anchors out in a way that used as much vinyl as possible.  For the future, I am going to have to study up and see if I can find a way to “force” the Access program to lay things out the way I want.
      • Nautical placemats,

I really had a blast making these placemats.  They took very little time to make, especially for just the cutting and sewing portions.  Honestly, the Cricut work didn’t take long at all, nor was it difficult.  I’m just a newbie and am learning my way with this machine.  I can’t wait to use it again!

Nautical placemats,

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