No-Sew DIY Placemats

watermelon placemat table setting

I love to change out my table setting with each season but purchasing new linens each season can get pricey so I solved that problem by creating my own placemats. I made 6 placemats (plus napkin rings) for under $10.

It was time for a summer tablescape and nothing says summer quite like watermelons, so I was pretty excited when I found this watermelon fabric at Joann’s.

While I have sewn placemats before, it takes sew much time and I’m all about quick and easy, so I decided to try something new and now it’s the ONLY way I’ll make placemats from here on out. All you will need is some fabric, scissors, parchment/wax paper, an iron and some Mod Podge.

watermelon placemat and napkin ring

The amount of fabric you’ll need depends on how many placemats you want to make and what size you want to make them. The average placemat ranges any where from 12-14″ high by 16-20″ wide. I purchased 1.2 yards of fabric (basically 41″). Typically fabric comes in a width of 43 inches, so with a piece of fabric sized 41″ x 43″ you can cut that down to 6 pieces, sized ~14″ x 19″ (with some leftover scraps that I used to make napkin rings, which I’ll talk about later).

When making the placemats, you will be folding the sides and “gluing” those folds with Mod Podge, so you need to account for a 1/2″ fold on each side of the placemat. That means both the width and height of your placemat will lose a total of ~1 inch from the starting size. So in my instance, I started with a piece of fabric sized ~14″x19″ and ended up with a placemat sized ~13″x18″.

Ok and now the step by step instructions, with just a side note: Since I was learning as I went and I was not even sure that my plan of gluing fabric would work, I did not take any pictures of the process. After I found that it did work, I found some scrap fabric to use to make the tutorial (which is why you wont see step by step pictures with watermelon fabric).

To begin it is important to place your fabric so that the design is facing your ironing board, meaning when you look at the fabric, you will see the BACK side of the fabric, you will not see the design side.

You’ll need to have the following items handy:

  • Your pieces of fabric
  • Iron & ironing board
  • Mod Podge
  • Ruler (if you don’t want to estimate a 1/2″ measurement – I estimated)
  • Parchment/wax paper (it’s important to use this in the final steps to prevent Mod Podge from possibly leaking through the fabric onto your ironing board and iron)

When you’re all done, this is what the back and front of your placemat will look like.

I wanted to make some matching napkin rings, so that is why I purchased 41″ of fabric. My placemats where going to use 38″ of it, so I needed an extra 3 inches for the napkin rings.

shower curtain ring

To make some inexpensive DIY napkin rings all you have to do is buy some shower curtain rings. I purchased a pack of 12 for $1 at Walmart. Cut a strip of fabric about 1″ wide by 18″ long. Make sure to close the shower curtain ring first, then simply wrap the fabric around the ring. I started and ended where the 2 ends of the ring come together.

watermelon napkin holder

To secure it, I just cut a piece of yarn and tied it in a double knot around where the fabric ended. If you look at about 11 o’clock you’ll see the aqua colored piece of yarn. When you slide them over your napkins just place that part in the back!

If you don’t want to buy yarn, you could always use Mod Podge to glue the end of the flap down. I wanted to be able to easily remove the fabric strip in case I wanted to swap it out with another fabric design for a new seasonal display, so that’s why I chose to tie off with yarn.

So that’s how you make 6 placemats and napkin rings for under $10! The fabric was $8.99/yard so at 1.2 yards and my 40% off coupon (visit Joann’s website for coupons) my fabric ended up costing $6.50. You can get shower curtain rings for $1 at Dollar Tree and you can pick up a 2 oz. bottle of Mod Podge at Michaels for $1.79 (or less with one of their coupons).

Author: Nicole Bolin