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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Present Placemat Tutorial

Years ago, my mom was Miss Crafty!  She was constantly making or stitching something, and oftentimes, I was her trusty assistant.  Today, I'm sharing with you a tutorial on how you can make these Christmas Present Placemats--fun, holiday inspired placemats that look like a Christmas present all wrapped up!

I still have and use the original set of Christmas Present Placemats that these are patterned after.  I have no idea where my mom got the idea to make these.  Most likely she bought a kit or saw them in a magazine like Better Homes & Gardens or Southern Living.  I've searched the web, and I haven't been able to find any others like them.

Here's what you'll need to make 6 Christmas Present Placemats:

- 1 yard double faced quilted fabric
- Approx. 3/4 yard fabric for binding and bow strips
- 1 1/2 yards cotton or linen fabric for napkins
- thread
- rotary cutter and mat (plain scissors will do)
- ruler
- walking foot (very helpful but not necessary)

First, cut out 6 rectangles each 12" wide x 18" long for the main part of the placemat.

Next, here's where your rotary cutter and mat really come in handy.  Take your fabric for the bow strips and the placemat binding, and cut the following:

6 strips each 3" wide x 12" long (these are the bow strips)
12 strips each 3" wide x 5.5" long (these are the bow loops)
At least 10 strips each 1.5" wide x width of fabric (usually 44") (these are for the binding)

I am assuming you already know how to make bias tape.  If not, there are lots of tutorials out there (sorry, I don't have one).  A great one that I discovered after I made these placemats is here from Caila Made.  Since we are just using our bias tape as binding for a rectangular placemat, we really don't have to cut out our strips on the bias.  If you reference Caila's tutorial, you can start at Step 2 for sewing the strips together, or just sew them together by matching up ends with right sides together.

Take the 10 strips that are 1.5" wide and approximately 44" long and sew them together by your preferred method. Once you are done with this, you may then cut the long strip down to six strips that are 6' long each.  Then iron these strips into double bias tape for the binding of the placemats.

Now, take the 6 bow strips and ...

If you have a walking foot for your machine, you might want to use it.  A walking foot will prevent the fabric from creeping as you sew.  Do this for all 6 placemats.

The next step is my least favorite part to do, and again, you might want to use your walking foot.

I know you will do a much better job than I did with this.  I really need to practice this technique since my stitching is all over the place when you look at the back of the placemat!  Again, Caila has a great tutorial specifically for sewing on bias tape.  Wish I had known about it before I tackled this project!

Here's what your placemat should look like from the front now.  I am too ashamed to show you the back at this point.  It's a hot mess, but hey, they will still work as placemats!

You are now ready to make the bow loop.  Your walking foot is no longer needed.

Starting at the short side, begin sewing the two pieces together using a 1/2" seam allowance.  Be sure to leave an opening for turning!

You can use a bodkin or a wooden chopstick on the next step to help gently push out the corners.

You are now ready to pin the bow loop to the top of the placemat along the bow strip as shown.

Sew along the seam of the bow loop and then again 1/2 inch on either side of the the first seam.  You may not be able to sew all the way across, but sew as far as you can and then sew from the other side.  Hope this makes sense!

Now the placemat part is complete!  Please ignore how wonky my placemat edges look!

Next, you need to use your rotary cutter, mat, and ruler to cut out the napkins.  Cut six napkins each 14" to 16" square (your choice).  You may then either use your serger and hem them with a rolled edge, use your sewing machine and hem with a narrow hem, or hem with the rolled edge hemming foot for your sewing machine.  I chose the easiest route and just used my serger.

Once all 6 placemats are hemmed, insert one through the bow loop and arrange it to your liking.  You now have a set of very festive Christmas placemats that look like presents!

In case you missed yesterday's post, I've got another giveaway going on thanks to my dear friend, RaeAnna from Sewing Mama RaeAnna.  Click here to enter and check out her guest post!

This tutorial if for personal use only and it may not be reproduced or copied in part or whole without my expressed written consent.  


  1. This is so cute!! Hmmm... do I have time to make these yet??

  2. What a great idea!!!! It's one of those "why didn't I ever think of that?" projects!!!! :)

  3. Veronica, these are so cute! I just noticed that you linked to my bias tape tutorial--thank you so much! I'm so glad you liked it. :)

  4. Hi Veronica, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

    1. Chris, thanks so much for your sweet comment. I'm glad you are following along. I'll be checking out your blog, too! Happy new year!

  5. Excellent tutorial, thank you! I know what the grandchildren are getting for Christmas!

  6. Love this idea,,wonder if a velcro strip would work to close the loop..would make stitching a lot easier. will try that

  7. can't wait to make these!!! tooo cute

  8. Très belle réalisation et très bonne idée...

  9. Just made a placemat, using the basic idea and what Christmas fabric I had in, so a green back, patterned front, green broad ribbon and backing fabric for the napkin. Net to the napkin I have added a white cardboard luggage label for the guest's name. Really pleased with it. Now to make another. Thank you!

    1. Sounds great! I love your gift tag addition! So glad you liked the tutorial. Thanks for letting me know. :)

  10. Great idea. Just a thought, I would velcro the loop shut and put a napkin as a bow instead.


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