Who doesn’t love a good no-sew project? I tend to come up with these ideas during the summer because they’re well suited for hot weather. You’re not tied up to your sewing machine so you’re free to take your project wherever you please: traveling, on a picnic, in the garden, or right in front of the AC vent… These No-Sew Placemats are super portable, fold your linen squares and take them with you on the go!
These placemats are made from natural linen which is my go-to fabric, but you can easily swap it for cotton. Both linen and cotton are washable so pop them in the washing machine without any worries!
If the coconut candles in the picture piqued your interest, I have good news: you can find out how to make your own here!
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To make these No-Sew Placemats, you’ll need…
- Linen fabric (in natural shades or home dyed)
- Glue gun
Step 1: Cut the fabric
To start off, iron your fabric on a heat-proof surface (like an ironing table or a worktable covered with a thick towel) to smooth out the wrinkles. Don’t skip this step because it’s very unlikely anyone can cut a proper rectangle out of wrinkled fabric!
Once you’ve tamed your linen into submission (and you might need the steam function on your iron for this), cut a 14 by 20 1/2″ (36 x 52cm) rectangle into the fabric. Cut as many of these rectangles as you need placemats.
Step 2: Unthread the short edges
Next, pinch a thread from the short edge of the rectangle and pull it to remove it from the fabric. If you find it hard to grab the threads, rub the fabric corner between your fingers to loosen the fibers or use a pair of tweezers to pull on the threads.
Once you get going, this becomes ridiculously enjoyable. Pulling threads is what you usually need to avoid doing so there’s a great sense of catharsis when you get to do it on purpose!
As much as you might enjoy this, I’m sorry to say you’ll need to stop after about 2 inches (5cm). The good news is that you get to do it again on the other short edge of your fabric rectangle 😉
Step 3: Hem the long edges with glue
Once you’re done unthreading your fabric, fold the long edges and glue them down with a glue gun or fabric glue. If it helps, place a ruler against the edge of the fabric to use as a guide for straight edges.
Step 4: Knot the no-sew placemats’ edges
Finally, my favorite part of this DIY: the (meditative) knotting! Grab 2/5 to 1/2″ (1cm) of threads hanging from the short edge and split this tiny bunch of threads into two. Double knot the threads, and give them a little tug after the second knot to make sure the knot is tight. This will prevent the edges from unraveling when you wash the placemats.
That’s all! If your linen was pre-washed, your placemats are ready to use right away. They look especially good on a wooden table contrasting with the natural linen. I imagine they would also look great dyed with natural ingredients like avocadoes or onions skins!