Sunday, July 24, 2016

Placemat Craft Ideas

Recently we bought new sofas for our family room (it was time. The old ones were 25 years old and no longer comfortable). But with new sofas come new worries (spills, stains, wear and tear). I wanted protectors for the arms, but I didn't want to spend a lot of money or have to do a lot of work.

Originally I was just going to buy material and create rectangles to drape over the arms (which I might still do). But then I realized that such a creature already exists in the form of placemats, so if I can find ones that look good and aren't thick I might actually go that route. I doubt I would leave them around when company comes over, but for everyday use, they might serve my purpose.

Having gone on a placemat search, however, I wondered what else could be done with a placemat, and no surprise, the internet came through. One of the most common repurposing projects is a clutch. You can buy some really cute ones on Etsy.

But there are also lots of tutorials on how to make your own. Here are two:(the first one involves minimal stitching and the second one uses hot glue). If you go to YouTube and search for placemat clutch or placemat purse, you'll find many others of both types and there are some that use fabric glue rather than hot glue, so...a variety of choices to make a quick, inexpensive and easy purse from a placemat.
There are some details missing here (the handle, for instance), but they seem as if they would be very easy to figure out.

Here's a link to one more. I didn't embed it because it's over 12 minutes long, but it has directions for 3 clutches, using two techniques (fabric glue and hot glue), but another reason I've included it here is because there are several techniques for different fasteners, one being a snap mechanism not included in the videos above.

For another idea, how about a pillow?

pillows from anthro placemats

And for more ideas with links (garden flags, a backsplash, children's aprons, picture frames, seat cushion pads, reusable shopping bags, a small bathroom rug, chair cushions and more), check out this post at A Cultivated Nest, this one from favecrafts, this one from Southern Revivals or this one from Fourteen Countess.

Now to search through my placemat stash or find pretty placemats at the dollar store...

Happy crafting!



Laney4 said...

The armrest in our car caved in a few years ago. My husband tried reinforcing it inside/underneath the "lid", but his attempts were short-lived. This year he decided on making his own "lid" out of wood (as, surely, one's arm won't cave THAT in, LOL). The problem now was that the original material couldn't stretch over it (because it was removed at a seam, and now there wasn't extra material to make a new seam). I went to Value Village (thrift store) and I picked up two very thick identical placemats for $1 that were a similar colour (although slightly patterned with squares). I used hem fuser to attach/iron the two placemats to each other (because one placemat lacked about 1" at the back) so that no stitching would be required/show (as I wasn't sure if I could even get my sewing machine needle through the material, let alone how ugly the stitches could look). We yanked and tugged to pull the combined placemat over not only the new wood, but also thick sponge we had in the garage (so it would be a little softer for our elbows), as the original sponge had deteriorated. Then we staple-gunned it all underneath the "lid" like one would do for reupholstering chairs. When all looked fine, I took the remaining piece from the second placemat and staple-gunned it underneath to cover up the tons of other unsightly staples. Most people wouldn't realize that we had redone the armrest, as it blends in so well. *I* think the armrest will survive till we junk the car (it's a 2004), as this thicker placemat (like vinyl almost) is handling the wear and tear much better than the original material ever could. So ... one more use for placemats (similar to your chair cushions notation above)! In this case, necessity is the mother of invention. (I had gone to the thrift store looking for "linen" that wouldn't have lasted very long, and when I saw the placemats, I just knew they could last indefinitely for me.)
BTW, thanks for the tips on the clutch, etc. Looking at several uses for placemats, I was reminded of when we first put wallpaper (on one wall) and matching border on our main floor back in 1998. I found placemats and tablecloths that matched the flowered pattern quite well and bought lots. I used extra placemats on our three end tables, and I used part of a tablecloth to wrap around a corkboard kept near our wall phone (with polyfill/heavy-duty cotton balls on top for padding), also using a staple-gun to hold in place from the back. I still use the corkboard, although we got rid of the wallpaper and border last year, plus we no longer use the tablecloths or end-table placemats.
When we first moved in here, I used Mactac on not only all the kitchen shelves, but also as a backsplash. When I would tell women about it, many (mucky mucks) thought it was terrible. Not my problem; *I* loved it - especially the easy cleanup - and that's all that mattered.

Myrna Mackenzie said...

I love it when people come up with ingenious ideas to solve problems! The placemat armrest cover sounds great! And I hear you on the Mactac backsplash. I don't have a real backsplash, but I have semi-gloss paint, and the reason for that is, yes, I can scrub it clean easily, and that's important to me.