How-To: Outdoor Oilcloth Placemats


I’m the proud owner of my very first patio table – I’m pretty excited, but was even more excited to start making accessories for it. I love oilcloth fabric, so I try to pick up fun patterns whenever I find them. If you’re in the mood to make some fun, weather-approved placemats for your outdoor activities, oilcoth is the way to go.

First, determine your size. I had a sturdy placemat I use as a table top that I decided to use a template. It’s a rectangle shape, so it was perfect for our outdoor dining table. On the wrong side of the fabric, with a pencil, trace the shape of your placemat and then cut them out with pinking shears. Make two for each mat. (I used two different patterns.)
With wrong sides together, sew your two pieces together. I recommend taking a scrap piece of oilcloth and using it as a test piece for your individual machine – every machine is different, so make sure yours will work with this kind of fabric. I didn’t pin my two pieces together as I was afraid of leaving pin-hole marks in the fabric. Instead, I held the pieces taught as I ran them through the machine to keep them from bunching up.
If you notice any extra fabric on any given side, simply pink the area to match the corresponding side. If you had any bumps or lumps in your fabric, you’ll notice that they start to work themselves out as you handle the fabric.
There you have it! Make your dinner, set the table, and pour yourself a cocktail. Not only do these placemats withstand the weather, they withstand messy dinner guests! A quick project to make, these accessories add a bit of color to your summer table.

9 thoughts on “How-To: Outdoor Oilcloth Placemats

  1. EvelynMcH says:

    Wrap masking tape or drafting tape around the edges when sewing oil cloth or plastic or leather instead of pins – it removes easily, even if you sew through it. You can also lay the tape on with a hem gauge, and use the presser foot along the edge of the tape to help keep the row of stitches straight and even.

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    How-To: Outdoor Oilcloth Placemats – Make: | MAKE: Craft

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