Thanksgiving centers around the table, so many people like to decorate it for this special occasion. If you are going for a rustic look to your tableware, then you might like these woven placemats, as they are completely customizable to suit your colors and theme!
This is a great DIY to help use up old scraps of fabric or clothes you no longer wear and aren’t fit for donation. If you are not ready to invest in a weaving loom, this project can be done using everyday materials everyone has around the house.
To prepare for this tutorial, you will need to cut your fabric into strips – it doesn’t matter how long they are, as you can tie the pieces together throughout the design. The strips can also vary in width, but are best kept under around 1-1.5 inches wide. Stretch fabrics will roll up, so don’t just them too thin.
Tools & Materials
- Strips of scrap fabric
- Wool or twine
- A large piece of cardboard, ruler, and dowels
- Alternatively, a weaving loom kit
Start by cutting little slits into the edge of your card. We used 16 slits at around 15mm apart (an even number of slits is necessary for when you come to tie the piece off at the end). Repeat this on the opposite edge of your card and try to line up the slits as evenly as possible (this is where the ruler comes in handy).
Next, you will want to wrap your wool/twine around the card, making sure to push it into the slits you made – they should be held in place quite well once they are wrapped. To make sure there is not going to be any movement, you could tie the two loose ends together at the back.
Then the weaving can begin!
IMPORTANT TIP: If you are using stretch fabrics like jersey from old t-shirts, then don’t pull too tight when you are weaving – this will cause your woven design to shrink and pucker once you cut it from your card.
Leave a tail of about 3 inches of your first strip of fabric (you will need this later to tie to the fringing) and weave it under, then over – alternating for each wool warp. Once you have filled one row of weft, come back across, but swap whether you go over or under – your fabric strip will be wrapped around the end wool warp, holding it in place.
When you add in new strips of fabric, just tie them on with a simple knot and keep weaving.
QUICK TIP: If you have small dowels or even some rulers, you could use them to push your woven section into place, keeping it neat and compact.
Once you have woven your entire mat to the size you want, you can turn over your card and cut the wool at the back.
Tie your tail end fabric strip to the first piece of wool next to it to secure the design then you will need to tie knots along each end. Using an even number of weft lines means that you have pairs to tie together.
Optional Step 7
Tie extra knots to add some decoration to the fringing of your new placemat before cutting. These not only look cute, but should help to secure the woven design even more!
This DIY is super fun and easy to do, it just takes a little bit more time to create, but the results are fab. You could try making coasters first if you feel a placemat is a bit daunting, or if you’re feeling adventurous and have a really big bit of card (or a weaving frame), you could go about making yourself a rug!
Choose your favorite colors and make a unique wall hanging for your living room or create a decorative mat for your dressing table. This is a really versatile project that you could make for so many different occasions, just let your imagination run free.