For those of you who enjoy working with fabric and also entertaining, I think making no-sew placemats and napkins is the perfect project.
This might be something you’d like to get your kids involved with as well since it is easy and you can talk about replacing paper napkins with fabric ones so we aren’t going through so many trees to make paper towels.
The felt placemats we are going to make teach ironing and cutting, also some measuring. It’s fun to teach your kids without them knowing they are getting a lesson!
Let’s start with the placemats.
I made the placemats 21” by 16” and they will fit a plate, napkin and flatware easily. To keep them stiff I used an iron on interfacing and just cut it about 2” narrower than the placemat so I could more easily cut the fringe on the ends without the added thickness of the interfacing.
To iron on the interfacing, set the iron to the wool setting and grab a pressing cloth. I have always used a pillowcase because it’s white and clean. When you are adhering interfacing you begin in the center and work your way out to the edges. Don’t slide the iron, hold it in place for about 10 seconds and then pick it up and move it to the next position, covering the entire area over time.
Let the placemat cool a bit, and then, using sharp scissors cut thin fringe along the edge of your placemat and you are done!!
Now add some napkins!
For the napkins, either grab some scraps of fabric or purchase a nice, soft cotton blend for napkins that co-ordinate with your placemats. Wash the fabrics first so any unraveling of threads can take place before you cut them out.
Using a pinking sheer, cut the fabric into 16 by 16 inch squares. By using plaids, I had perfect lines to follow to cut the squares. Otherwise, you’ll have to use a straight edge to draw your napkins and cut them out.
Give them a quick ironing and set your table for a nice dinner!
Afterwards, washing felt is a sketchy business. Dry cleaning is best. But you can try hand-washing in COLD water with a mild detergent. Cover the placemat with cold water and brush over the fibers gently with your fingers. Then remove them from the water, squeegee them off and let dry on a towel. They are probably not the best placemats for kids, or messy adults, but they do make for a nice looking table setting perhaps for a special occasion or holiday meal!
Of course the napkins as you know can go in the washer time and time again and come out looking great as long as you iron them for a better presentation. Keep in mind that no-sew napkins make for a nice hostess or holiday gift that you can whip up in a hurry if you are in a pinch! Happy No-Sewing!