Friday, April 26, 2013

DIY Woven Burlap Placemat

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      Welcome to the fourth post of the "DIY Dining Room Decor" series! Over the course of this week I have been sharing five easy and budget-friendly projects to add to the organization, function and style of the dining room. We've now created a menu board to hang on the wall to maintain organization. We've also created a very cost effective tablecloth. Yesterday, we added a touch of style with the creation of a simple centerpiece. (Scroll down to bottom of post for links to previous posts).Today, we're going to be making some fun placemats! 

     When I considered the feel I wanted the dining room space to convey, I thought of the words "natural," "earthy" and "calm." I feel like I achieved that with the use of lentils and split peas as the filler in the vases. I thought I'd continue on that path in making the placemats. I liked the natural texture and color of burlap. Instead of cutting a single sheet of the material, I decided to do a woven pattern. The weave will also strengthen it and provide extra durability. 

I purchased wide burlap ribbon from the floral section of the craft store (at 50% off! whoo hoo!). To make a placemat you will need: 7 strips of 14.5 inches long of ribbon, 5 strips of 19.25 inches long of ribbon, matching thread, scissors, and a sewing machine with a heavy needle. Each placemat will use approximately 16.5 ft. of ribbon.

Lay out all the long pieces horizontally. 

Begin to weave the shorter, vertical pieces. You will have some extra on the ends that will be cut off later. I allowed myself some extra length since it's always easier to cut length off than put it back on (aka waste material to cut a new one).

I found it helpful to pin the pieces together as I went so that they didn't shift during the next step. You will want to make sure they fit snugly against each other, but not so tight that they buckle. 

Next, sew 1/4-1/2 in. around the edge. 

Cut off excess ribbon round edges. 
(Note: burlap has a natural "aroma", and so it's a good idea to let it air out a bit outside. Afterwards, you're good to go with your new placemats!)

Finished product! 

         I'm really enjoying how all of these little projects are coming together! In terms of cost, each placemat was about $3 each, which is comparable to the cheapest option I found in the stores. However, I rather like my placemats better than the styles available at that price range (but I could have a crafter's bias. haha). If I ever need additional settings, then I can easily make extra placemats. One benefit to taking a DIY approach to home decor is never having to be concerned about a product being discontinued in a store. I can just make what I need! Tomorrow we'll finish up the series with some DIY chair cushions made guess it, a (new) sheet. 

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