I always try for the trifecta when it comes to projects: fast, easy and inexpensive. Well…one out of three will have to do this time around. This one is pretty easy, but it takes time, and the beads for four placemats can add up, so make sure you have your coupons!
*edited to add* Beads are far less expensive at the Dollar Store than Michael’s
What you’ll need for two placemats:
- A minimum of 3 large bags of beads in the color of your choice. Varying shades are best.
- About 1/2 yard of felt fabric in the color of your choice
- A sheet of paper about 20″x 20″
- See through ruler or carpenter’s square
- Glue gun and lots of hot glue
Our table at the cabin is a small, 42″ round, and I really don’t like the way standard placemats fit. They seem to overlap each other a bit, and since I’m not thrilled with the selection of placemats available for round tables, I decided to make my own.
I spent the better part of an afternoon trying to find a tutorial on this. I came across one, and after following the directions, this is the shape of the template I ended up with. Oh, and that curve on the bottom is something I did freehand and wasn’t exactly perfect. The instructions were for a straight bottom. Weird, right?
So I tried another tutorial and basically ended up with a trapezoid shape. Still, not what I wanted. Believe it or not, I couldn’t find any info on how to get the bottom part rounded, which is, in my not so humble opinion, the most important part! In a rare stroke of genius, this is what I did. I simply took the paper and laid it on the table and traced from one end to the other along the curve of the table.
The hardest part of this project is figuring out how large you want your placemats to be. For an average table, say, around 42″-55″ round, do the following:
- Draw a rectangle that is 17″ in width at top and bottom, and 16″ high at both sides.
- Extend the bottom edge of the rectangle 1 1/2″ on each side.
- Draw a line from each extension to the top to form your trapezoid.
- Cut it out along the outside lines and you now have your template.
- Cut the felt using the template and get to work gluing your beads on.*
*To save time, don’t even THINK about gluing each individual bead! Just run a line of hot glue around 3 inches long and randomly place beads, and continue. This way is much faster and safer on your fingers.
I started out thinking I was going to do four placemats. I cut the felt out, but I kept running out of beads so I figured I would just do two for now. I will definitely do the other two, but I’ll wait until I have all the beads I need at one time.
Another option would be to just do a large round centerpiece in a beaded mat. That would look nice, don’t you think?
If you actually want to sew a fabric placemat, follow the link above but don’t forget to make the curve yourself.