No-Sew DIY Placemats

watermelon table setting

I love to change out my table setting with each season but purchasing new linens several times a year can get pricey. So I solved that problem by creating these no-sew DIY 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. Now these no-sew DIY placemats are the ONLY way I’ll make placemats from here on out.

Supplies you’ll need

  1. Fabric (amount discussed below)
  2. Scissors
  3. Parchment paper
  4. Iron & ironing board
  5. Mod Podge
  6. Ruler or tape measure
no-sew DIY placemats

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″. That will leave some leftover scraps which you can use 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″.

Making your No-Sew DIY Placemats

Ok and now the step by step instructions, with just a side note: Since I was learning as I went and I 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 used some scrap fabric to make the tutorial, which is why you won’t see step by step pictures with watermelon fabric.

Step 1. Orient your 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.

Step 2. 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 paper – it’s important to use this from step 5 on, to prevent Mod Podge from leaking through the fabric onto your ironing board and iron
no-sew DIY placemats step by step instructions for

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

dining table decorated in a watermelon theme

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.

DIY Napkin Rings

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 3/4″ 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.

To secure it, just cut a piece of yarn and tie it in a double knot around where the fabric ends. 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.

watermelon table setting

So that’s how you make 6 placemats and napkin rings for $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 and you can pick up a 2 oz. bottle of Mod Podge at Michaels for $1.79 (or less with one of their coupons).

profile picture of Nicole Bolin

Author: Nicole Bolin