How To Apply Binding to a Placemat

Placemats are a necessity on every table, as they make it easier for you to clean up after every meal. Placemats also function as a holder at the center of your table for your hot meals at mealtimes and serve as “skid proof” material for pitchers, glasses and cups. Simply put, placemats complete any dinner table in every home.

You might look at your placemat as another drab kitchen necessity, but what you don’t know is you can turn this Cinderella into a Princess with funky binding. Depending on your taste and purpose, old placemats can be overhauled using very simple steps. Try this at home and get your kids or grandkids involved to ensure a really fun time.

First, you will need the following:

  • Scissors
  • Fabric
  • Needle and thread
  • Sewing machine
  • A pencil
  • Iron
  • Ironing mat or stand
  • Placemats
  • Pins
  • Vinyl (optional but recommended)

You can now proceed to apply binding to your placemat:

  1. Choose a fabric that will match the design of your placemat. If you have animal prints, the fabric that you will use for binding your placemat should be in keeping with the design. There’s nothing less attractive than clashing prints.
  2. Cut a piece of your fabric for binding. This should be at least 4 inches wide and about 8 inches in length but measure the length of your placemat to be sure.
  3. Fold this piece of fabric in half. Then fold the top edge to form a triangle or bias edge.
  4. Run an iron to the folded fabric. Heat seals the folds in and smooths the fabric.
  5. Pin the binding into the placemat so it’s easier to sew. Make sure the pins are firmly in place.
  6. Leave about 9 inches of tail from the edge of   your placemat before you sew under a sewing machine. The tail will be used once you continue sewing for your placemat’s next corner. Sew down to the edge of your fabric and stop when your reach the end. Go back a couple of stitches for final stitching.
  7. Then pull the newly-sewn placemat out of your sewing machine.
  8. Now you’re done with your first corner. Proceed sewing the next corner.
  9. Fold the tail to form a triangle. Use a pin and place it on the final stitching from the first corner – this will be your marker. Use the extra fabric from the tail and place it down on the next row to get it ready for sewing.
  10. Place the marked fabric under the sewing machine and begin to sew down until you reach the end of the second row of your placemat.
  11. Repeat the same procedure for the last two corners and rows of your placemat.

Use vinyl as cover for your placemat binding. This negates washing your placemat regularly. With a vinyl cover, you can just wipe your placemat with a damp cloth and let it air-dry after use.


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