Sewing

Sewing Tutorial: Easy DIY Place Mats & Napkins

November 7, 2019

Make your table beautiful.

Who enjoys setting the table? While your kids may not agree, setting a beautiful table can be a really joyful thing. Making place mats and cloth napkins is a winning way to add your personal style to the table this season. Mix and match fabrics to create stunning place settings that all will admire. It’s easy with a variety of basic Dritz sewing supplies and your favorite fabrics.

Sewing Tutorial: Easy-to-Make Place Mats and Napkins


Gather your supplies.

These are the supplies needed to make four 12″ x 18″ place mats.

Omnigrid® supplies:

Dritz® supplies:

Other supplies:

  • 1-1/2 yds fabric
  • 2 yds medium to heavy weight, fusible or sew-in interfacing
  • Sewing machine & matching thread
  • Basic sewing supplies
  • Iron and pressing surface

Notes: ½” seam allowance

Prepare your fabric.

  • Cut 8 pcs: 13” x 19” of main fabric for front and back of place mats
  • Cut 4 pcs: 12” x 18” of interfacing

Get started.

Place mats can be made from quilting cotton, canvas, or any washable fabric. They are reversible, so you can use a different fabric on the front and back. Just wash and dry fabric before cutting.

Sewing Tutorial: Easy-to-Make Place Mats and Napkins

The scoop on interfacing.

Your interfacing choice will depend on your fabric and the feel that you like. For very heavy fabrics, like denim, no interfacing may be needed. You can use sew-in or fusible interfacing or even fusible fleece if you want a quilted look and feel. Stack your front and back fabric with 1 layer of interfacing to determine if you like the structure and feel of all the layers together.

Sewing Tutorial: Easy-to-Make Place Mats and Napkins

Center interfacing on front fabric pieces. Fuse or baste interfacing in place.

Using a Dritz Ezy-Hem to Make a Perfect Hem on a Place Mat (sewing project)

Check out the Dritz Ezy-Hem gauge.

With right sides together, stitch around all 4 sides; pivoting at each corner. Leave a 4” to 6” opening along one side. Trim corners to eliminate bulk. Place Ezy-Hem gauge at opening, aligning edge with stitching line. Press back opening seam allowances on each side of the place mats. The Ezy-Hem gauge is handy for all kinds of projects – check out this tutorial to learn more tips for using one.

Ironing a Place Mat that You Made Yourself

Almost done.

Turn place mats right side out. Use point turner to push out corners. Push opening seam allowances to the inside. Press along all edges.

Tip: Roll and push edges back and forth with fingers to push stitched seam to edge of place mat. This will give a nice crisp edge to your place mats.

Close-Up of a Place Mat Corner

Finish with topstitching.

Topstitch ¼” along all edges to close openings and maintain the pressed edge. Use matching or contrasting thread.

Sewing Tutorial: Easy-to-Make Place Mats and Napkins

Get creative with place settings.

Make guests feel special with thoughtful place settings. Marry your DIY place mats with handmade cloth napkins. When you make your own place mats and napkins you’re totally in control of the vibe at your table. Custom fabrics can’t be beat when it comes to setting one-of-a-kind place settings.

Sewing Tutorial: Easy-to-Make Place Mats and Napkins

Entertaining with handmade napkins.

Handmade cloth napkins are the number one way to jazz up buffets and drink stations at parties. Make a bunch of them and pile them high by the food and beverages – they’re a great way to add a pop of personality and color. Bonus: they’re easy to wash and they cut down on all the waste of paper napkins.

Are you ready to set a beautiful table? We sure hope so! Check out our Dritz lookbooks and find Dritz on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube for more inspiration and know-how.

Happy making!