DIY: Drop Cloth Placements with Decorative Top Stitch

The Holidays are right around the corner and as I’ve been finalizing the table decor for Thanksgiving and getting ready for Christmas, I realized that I didn’t have any placemats that were festive or unstained (from past Holiday gatherings).  I was just about to head to the store, when I remembered I had purchased a new package of drop clothes the week before.  Why waste the time of spending money and venturing through the crowded stores, when I could just make what I was envisioning?!

If you’ve been a follower of mine for a while, YOU KNOW that I love drop cloth material!  Have you ever asked yourself, “Why does she always use drop cloth?”  I have.  My answer is because it’s cheap, durable, heavy, and looks very similar to linen (but without the wrinkles).  Have you ever made something using drop cloth material?  If not, you’re missing out – trust me!

To start off making these drop cloth placemats, determine the size you’re desiring.  I made the overall finished size 14″ x 19″, but cut my fabric to be 15″ x 19″ to allow for a 1/2″ seam all around. The beauty of making your own is that YOU can make any size you want / need – smaller, larger, square, triangle, oval…  And you can also use any fabric – It’s not a must to use drop cloth (even though I love it).

I made (4) placemats, so I cut (8) 15″ x 19″ pieces.  Iron.

Pin the right sides of the material together.  With drop cloth, there isn’t a “right” or “wrong” side, but again, this placemat tutorial can be used for ANY material.

Sew around the entire perimeter, leaving a 6″+/-  opening at one side, so you can pull the “right” side through.

Once the soon-to-be placemat is on the “right” side, iron the seams flat.

Looks pretty good and it’s almost done!

At this point, you have a lot of options which will depend on the fabric and/or the decorative embellishments you want to add (or not add).   For my drop cloth placements, I decided to add a decorative top stitch around the entire perimeter, which is inset about 3/4″ from the edge.

The stitch I used is #16 on my machine, which is a scalloped, zig-zag design, and in keeping with the Holiday theme, I decided on a burgundy colored thread.

This is a close-up of the stitch.  It’s very simple, yet more detailed and interesting instead of a typical straight stitch. 

Here’s a tip: When you are sewing around a corner, don’t pick up your needle, but instead pick up the “sewing foot”, turn your material around the corner, put down the “sewing foot”, and continue sewing.

1 down…  3 more to go! 

And they were all done!

Tomorrow, I have something even more exciting for you.  I’m going to embellish these placemats – still keeping them simple and stylish!

I link my projects to some of these parties: Skip to My Lou, Dittle Dattle, Between Naps on the Porch, Today’s Creative BlogHome Stories A to Z, All Things Heart & Home, Savvy Southern Style, House of Hepworths, Finding Fabulous, Creation Corner, The Shabby Nest, Tatertots and Jello, Funky Junk, Under the Table & Dreaming


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  1. says

    Super Cute! I have a love thing with drop cloth too… I think the first time I discovered your site it was over some drop cloth. :) Now my head is spinning with the holiday possibilities! How fun.

    -H
    Heidi Muller recently posted..Red Rake

    • Jenna says

      That’s too funny that the first time you discovered my blog, I had shared a drop cloth project and once again, I am using my favorite material! Endless possibilities!! Thanks Heidi for the kind comment. xo Jenna

  2. says

    Simple yet very pretty. I’m in desperate need of new placemats! Even I (who is admittedly sewing machine challenged) is tempted to give this a try. I love that the fabric is durable (and cheap!). Is it easy to remove stains from drop cloth?

    • Jenna says

      Thank you Laurie!! Removing stains might not be as easy as true placemats because they aren’t a stain resistant material, but a spot remover might come in handy. If you stencil, use an iron over them once they are dry to set the stencil, then you can wash them.

    • Jenna says

      Thanks Meghan. I’ve made SO many things with drop cloth. Before making these placemats, I actually used drop cloth as lining to make window treatments. It was SO much less expensive than actual lining material and it was more durable!

  3. says

    I love these! I have some extra drop cloth left from making the no sew ruffle tree skirt, so I think I will try these. I just got a sewing machine this week – total newbie here!! Did you use a special needle to sew through the drop cloth? Can’t wait to see how you embellish them, although I like them this way a lot!

    • Jenna says

      YAY to just getting a sewing machine. You will love it in no time. I have had a sewing machine for years and never used it. Then for Mother’s Day this year, I got a new one and I’ve been using it non-stop. It’s amazing what you can create. I’d love to see your no sew tree ruffle! Please send me a link. And no I did not use a different needle for the drop cloth – you should be fine with your basic needle. Here is the link to the embellished placemats if you want to take a look ~ http://www.sasinteriors.net/2011/11/holiday-stenciling-using-martha-stewart-paints-by-plaid/
      Happy Thanksgiving, Jenna

  4. says

    Drop Cloth Place-mats – Genius! I make all my napkins, we only use cloth around my house. I have never been satisfied with place-mats. This is a GREAT idea. Thank you so much for sharing. I traveled over from your post on stenciling with Martha Stewart stencils and paint.

    • Jenna says

      Thanks Jodie… If you’re a regular reader, you know that I use drop cloth for ALOT of my projects. They were easy to make. Send me a picture once you create yours or upload it to my facebook page! Happy Holidays, xo Jenna

  5. says

    Love these, so simple and cute. I just used the zig-zag stitch on my machine for the first time with some burp cloths-it made them SO much cuter than a plain stitch.
    Thanks for sharing this idea.

    • Jenna says

      Thanks Amy! I’m so in-love with the zigzag stitch. And you’re right, it makes whatever you’re creating so much cuter! xo Jenna

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