Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Placemat To-Go Tutorial

Hubby and I are very lucky. Our child is a neat eater. This may be by accident, because she loves food and every. single. crumb must make it into her mouth. messy floor or table. She has started to feed herself with her fingers (I'm not brave enough to hand her the spoon yet.)

When we go out to eat we will break up what we are having and give her some. Being an 11 month old, she still gets really excited and has a tendency to flip plates that food is sitting on when she smacks them with joy. I also hate putting food directly on the table for her. Something just doesn't seem right about it. So I decided she needed a placemat to eat on, and I wanted something to carry it in inside the diaper bag so it would stay neat and ready to use. I thought I would share this with you. It is the "Placemat To-Go."

You will need (for 1 placemat and pouch):

14" x 18" piece of tablecloth material (They have lots of patterns at our local fabric store)
Double Fold Bias Tape in a coordinating color, or you can make your own.
20" x 6" piece of cotton for pouch (can also be the fabric for your bias tape if you make your own)
22" piece of coordinating ribbon for the drawstring

I made 4 of these from one cut of tablecloth material. One for the diaper bag, one for Nana's house, and one for each of our cars...just in case.

Measure and cut out your materials to get started.

I made my own bias tape, but store bought double-fold would work just fine. Make sure you have at least 70" to go around your mat to account for corners and overlap. don't have to fool with the bias tape if you don't want to. The tablecloth material won't unravel or do anything just looks nice with a pretty and neat border to match your pouch!

Starting about 1/4 way down one side of your placemat, start pinning down your bias tape to the edge. There are several ways to do this, and I know I don't do it the "proper" way, but as long as the edge is covered and it looks's okay with me.

You are going to want to miter the corners to make them pretty. Once you reach a corner, bend your tape at 90 degrees and start down the other side.

Use your fingers to press the extra tape into the corner as much as possible. If you get it tight enough, you should get a very pretty corner. Pin in place.

Once your tape has gone all the way around your mat, measure about 1/2" past the start of the tape and trim the excess. Fold the end under and pin down to make a clean edge.

Stitch the bias tape down all the way around the placemat making sure to catch both sides. And Voila!! your placemat is done. The wonderful thing about using tablecloth material is that it's wipeable!! Yay for easy clean ups! on to the pouch.

To give the pouch a drawstring, we need to sew a casing. Fold your fabric over 1/4" then again 1/2" on both short sides and pin. Then sew.

Fold up right sides together and sew down the long sides, but make sure not to sew your casings shut!

Find yourself some coordinating ribbon and cut a 22" piece.

Run a safety pin through the end of the ribbon to help you thread it through the casing. You can finish the edges of your casings if you don't like the looks of it, but I like the raw edges on mine so I left them alone.

Fold or roll up your mat and place it in your beautiful pouch. Pull the drawstrings and tie a pretty bow.

Toss it in your diaper bag and get ready to use!

Here's a little action shot of Gray using her Placemat! Mmmmmmm....quesadillas!!
Happy Crafting!!

 If you make these I would love to see pictures in our Flickr Group


  1. How neat...I wish my baby was a neat eater lol...he loves food but it doesn't always make it in his mouth every time lol...thanks for stopping by my blog...just wanted to come by and return the love!

  2. Wow, that's a fantastic tutorial!

    I'm a new follower from the blog hop. If you get a chance, stop by and say hi!

  3. Super fantastic! I may have to make one. Silas likes to feed the floor once he's done so when we go out I end up cleaning up the floor and/or feeling badly. Apparently our dogs have trained him that cleanup is easy.

  4. Oh, this looks great! I might make an extra one to use as a changing mat.

    I'm your newest follower, visiting from the "Finding New Friends" Blog Hop. I'd love it if you'd follow my blog, Why We Love Green at

  5. How on earth do you have time to be crafty??

    Love the idea! One of these days I will have to drag out my sewing machine and do something crafty!! You will inspire me one day to get off my lazy non-crafty butt! lol :) I prefer crochetting though! My Grandma taught me when I was about 9 years old! I don't know how to ACTUALLY follow patterns. I just kind of do what I think is right! lol I will have to make a blog post of the scarves that I have made. :)

  6. Love this! I agree... I hate putting food right on the table! Thanks for showing us how to do it!

  7. What a smart idea, and CUTE diaper bag! I know what you mean about throwing plates around, this place mat would have gotten us out of many 'embarrassing' dining out predicaments! Thanks for showing off!



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