TUTORIAL: Table Setting Placemat

This blog has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #BestSummerMemories #CollectiveBias

Tutorial: Table Setting Placemat | The Inspired Wren

As a family we don't dine out often, but we make dinners special by eating together and listening to music while we eat. And in the Summer we do it outside! Of course The Peanut sets the table for us and she still needs cues where to place the glass, the napkin, the fork and knife. So I created these happy, Summer-ready placemats with subtle cues for table setting. Now you can, too!

Love the subtle cues for setting the table and the napkin holder for outside! | TUTORIAL: Table Setting Placemat | The Inspired Wren

Mr. Wren and I love sharing our music memories with each other during dinner -- from our time together and from our past before we met. Now we share them with The Peanut, too. Lately we've made a habit of dashing into CVS to grab a quick daily Coca-Cola™ for me. The Peanut loves pulling up the Shazam app on my iPhone to scan the lyrics on the label and learn a new song. (You should totally download the Shazam App, available on iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android and other devices to get your Coca-Cola Share a Song, too. Seriously, it's super fun.) I can tell we'll be spending our Summer making the best memories over the music I remember and her attempts to find one I can't sing along with.

Share a Coke, Share a Song at CVS
Super convenient at my CVS, just inside the door beside the make-up!

When we head home from CVS for dinner, The Peanut can't always remember where exactly that Coke belongs when she sets the table. So I created summer placemats that show her exactly where the drink belongs (hint: not placed precariously on the edge of the table near your elbow, Dear Child). I've also color blocked the placemat on the left, the same side as the napkin and fork. Now The Peanut can set the table herself without twenty questions while I cook. Since these mats were made for Summer they have a bonus elastic corner for holding down the napkin in the breeze. They are laminated for easy wiping and reversible for fun. Ready to make one?

If you’re like me and prefer to print out the tutorials you use, download the 3-page PDF version here for just $1.99! Otherwise, read on for step-by-step directions how to sew an outdoor-perfect, laminated, reversible Table Setting Placemat with subtle cues for glass and napkin placement.

Love these reversible placemats! TUTORIAL: Table Setting Placemat | The Inspired Wren


  • Coordinating Quilting Cotton Fabrics for the front, accent pieces, and back* 
  • Matte Laminate such as Pellon Vinyl Fuse, Matte* 
  • Firm Stabilizer such as Pellon Peltex 70 Ultra Firm Stabilizer* 
  • Fusible Web such as Pellon Wonder-Under, scraps OR Glue Stick 
  • Coordinating Two-Inch Wide Braided Elastic or Folder Over Elastic, 6″ (will be visible on final project) 
  • Heavy Duty Needle 
  • Coordinating Thread 

*Please see "Cutting" for amounts needed. Remember the amounts listed here create ONE final placemat, be sure to multiply by the number of placemats you’d like to make in a complete set.

Tutorial: Table Setting Placemat | The Inspired Wren


NOTE: Before cutting, identify the pieces indicated as “Laminated Quilting Cotton,” it is best to laminate this fabric slightly larger than necessary, then trim to size. 

The dimensions listed here will create one final Table Setting Placemat 18″ wide by 12″ tall. You can easily change these dimensions to fit your needs or supplies on hand.

Laminated Quilting Cotton
Main Front: 14″ x 12 ½″, cut 1 
Accent: 5″ x 12 ½″, cut 1 
Appliqué: approx. 3 ½″ diameter, cut 1 

Quilting Cotton (no laminate)
Back Panel: 18″ x 12 ½″, cut 1 

Firm Stabilizer 
Interfacing: 18″ x 12 ½″, cut 1


NOTE: When working on laminated fabrics don’t forget to use a press cloth between your project and your iron! 

1.      Create a glass-position cue with an Appliqué; consider fussy cutting a flower or other round image from fabric. Here I used the laminated Accent fabric to create a hexi approximately 3 ½″ across. Fold under the edges of your Appliqué. Press using a press cloth. 

TIP: The Appliqué can be any shape you desire as long as there is a flat surface wide enough for your glass to sit on (no less than 3″). Consider cutting flowers from a large print fabric as seen on this shirt.

2.      Position the Appliqué on the Main Front 1 ¼″ down from the top edge and 1 ¼″ in from the right edge; use a scrap of fusible web or a glue stick to hold it in place. Edge stitch the full perimeter of your Appliqué.

Tutorial: Table Setting Placemat | The Inspired Wren
Step 2

3.      Working opposite the Appliqué, align the Main Front and Accent right sides together along the 12 ½″ raw edges. Sew with a ¼″ seam-allowance; press the seam open (with a press cloth).

Tutorial: Table Setting Placemat | The Inspired Wren
Step 3

4.      Working on the Accent fabric, measure from left raw edge along bottom raw edge 3″ and mark; measure again from bottom raw edge up left raw edge 3″ and mark. Align the bottom of the Elastic diagonally with the marks. Baste the edges of the Elastic in place with a scant ¼″ seam-allowance; trim extra elastic flush with the raw edges. The Front Panel is complete.

Tutorial: Table Setting Placemat | The Inspired Wren
Step 4

5.      Match the completed Front Panel with the Back Panel, right sides together noting fabric direction if necessary. Place Firm Stabilizer on top of the wrong side of the Back Panel. [You should now have this stack: Front Panel right side up, Back Panel wrong side up, Firm Stabilizer.] Pin the raw edges together. 

6.      Stitch the full perimeter of the placemat with a ¼″ seam-allowance leaving a 4” unstitched opening on one short end. Clip the corners; turn.

Tutorial: Table Setting Placemat | The Inspired Wren
Steps 5 & 6

7.      Press the placemat flat (using a press cloth for the laminate) and fold the raw edges of the opening in ¼″. Edge stitch the around the entire placemat closing the opening and moving the elastic out of the way so that it is not caught in the stitching.

Love the subtle cues for setting the table and the napkin holder for outside! | TUTORIAL: Table Setting Placemat | The Inspired Wren
Fabric: Cloud 9 Fabric [affiliate link] On Pointy Mint & Tweety Tweet Blue with Jules & Coco [affiliate link] Green Mini Dot


This seemingly geometric placemat is actually a hidden place setting map in disguise: the Appliqué indicates the glass position and the Accent Fabric down the left indicates the napkin/fork position; place the knife and/or spoon opposite the napkin and fork. My daughter can now set the table without asking for help! And when we dine al fresco, our napkins never blow away in the breeze because they are safely tucked into the elastic corner. 

The laminate on the front of the placemat is easy to wipe clean and allows us to use our favorite fabrics to make each new set. On nights I’m tired of the place setting map, I just flip the mat over and enjoy the back while I eat.

If you use this tutorial, I’d love to see and hear about your results. Come share your projects on The Inspired Wren “Share” page. There you can link up your original images from a blog, Flickr, Pinterest, or Instagram.

Brilliant corner catch for napkins in the wind! | TUTORIAL: Table Setting Placemats | The Inspired Wren

All finished? Check out the Best Summer Ever Deals at your local CVS. Buy 2 20oz bottles of Coca-Cola products for $3 and Share a Coke and Song with your loved ones -- make your own best summer memories this year!

Ren Murphy writes for The Inspired Wren.

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