Placemats might not be something you use every day, particularly if you’re the kind of person who tends to eat on the go, standing up while you chat, or sitting by the TV so you can relax. We, however, still think they’re versatile things to have around, particularly if you have kids. We put one under the cat’s water dish, under our messiest crafts, and under every meal we serves our kids. Sometimes, though, it’s nice to have cuter placemats than your regular rough and tumble ones because they look so good when you set the table for a nice real family dinner!
Does that mean you have to spend a fortune on fancy placemats that you’ll only use a few times a year? Of course not! Check out these 15 awesome DIY placemat designs that will jazz up your dinner table every time they’re used.
1. Washi tape placemats
This adorably striped and pattern washi tape placemat idea from Brit + Co. is a versatile one. If you just need cute decorative placemats that are affordable but still fit the colour scheme for your birthday party, use this technique on plain white paper placemats that you can easily discard after. If, however, you’re looking for something easy and DIY but that will last a little longer, stick your tape to plastic placemats instead!
2. Dip dye placemats
Have you always preferred cloth and fabric placemats to paper and plastic? Don’t worry, those are quite simple to make yourself as well. Buy plain white cloth mats (or make your own from scratch if you’re feeling very creative) and follow Design Love Fest‘s guide for dip dying! The fading effect towards the middle will be impressive no matter what colours you use.
3. Thankful placemat
Are you stockpiling festive, holiday, and themed placemat ideas so that you can create a cute custom tablescape for every holiday dinner you host this year? Then here’s a Thanksgiving design for your early consideration! Oh My Deer Handmades shows you how to make your placemats interactive by writing “I’m Thankful For…” on cardstock, leaving some blank lines, and giving each guest a pencil so they can fill in the lines with what they’re thankful for. Share them with everyone around the table for some bonding time!
4. Wooden stencil placemat
Perhaps you’d like something longer lasting but that’s a little more rustic than plastic? Then thin wooden particle board is a great tool for you! Leaving the board just plain would look quite natural, but we’d also get bored of that pretty quickly. That’s why we like A Subtle Revelry‘s idea of using simply shaped stencils to create a repeating themed pattern across the top. They used little Christmas trees in different shapes and sizes but you could use any little stencils you please!
5. Dip dyed bamboo placemat
Did you adore the idea of dip dying your own placemats but you’re actually looking or something a little more hardy than fabric that you’ll be able to use outdoors more easily? Then we have a feeling you’ll enjoy this bamboo strip placemat idea from The Homesteady! Yes, believe it or not, bamboo is porous enough that you can absolutely dye it bright, fun colours, just like you can with fabric!
6. Quote placemats
They might have put a cloth placemat underneath (and you could too, whether you bought it or made it yourself), but what really impressed us about Oh Joy‘s tablescape here was the adorable quote mat in the middle! You could print yours on cardstock if durability isn’t a concern or have a piece of fabric or plastic screen printed or stuck with vinyl if it’s an inspirational sentiment that you’d like to keep around and use again and again.
7. Place setting silhouette placemats
When we first took a look at these awesomely unique dyed placemats from Style Me Pretty, we had to think about what we were seeing on the mat for just a second. The moment we realized that it was the outlined silhouette of each piece of kitchenware that you’d normally put on a placemat for dinner, however, we were enthralled. Talk about a fun way to teach your kids how to set the table! Their tutorial guides you through the process of making your own.
8. Watercolor placemats
Are you an artist with a particular love for hand painting and an even more special place in your heart for water colours? Then marry those skills with your desire for a DIY placemat by making yourself these watercolour fabric mats from A Beautiful Mess! They show you how they literally used durable water colour paint on absorbent fabric to create simple lines in different thicknesses, letting the paint bleed every so slightly into the material so the design does, indeed, resemble a water colour painting technique.
9. Painted cork placemats
Perhaps your idea of a good placemat is a little thicker, sturdier, and easier to clean than fabric but you’d still really like it to be custom and unique? Then consider using rectangular cut pieces of cork board as a base! Instead of leaving them how they are, however, follow in Sarah Hearts‘s lead and paint whatever design you like right onto the cork. You might choose swirling designs or stencilled shapes, but we quite like the clean cut geometric sections they chose here!
10. Woven paper placemats
Perhaps you’re looking for a disposable placemat option for an outdoor summer picnic but you’d still like it to have some unique décor appeal since the point of the meal is to celebrate a special occasion? Then gather all the scrap crafting paper you can find, cut it into strips of different thicknesses, and prepare to have some crafting fun! The House That Lars Built shows you how to weave the paper strips in and out of each other in layers to create a colourful basket design.
11. Felt honeycomb placemat
Perhaps you’d like a placemat design that’s durable and reusable but you’d rather something a little bit kitschy and unique in place of the usual rectangle shape? We love this pieced together felt hexagon design from Leelah Loves because when you make it (and even later on) you can just keep adding pieces until it’s the shape and size you’re happy with! We adore their idea of cutting the hexagons from differently coloured pieces of felt.
12. Pom pom trim placemat
Maybe you’re quite fine with the idea of a simple, neat rectangle placemat in the classic style, but you’d prefer to add just a bit of flair to the piece in some capacity? Decorative trim is one of the easiest ways to go about that! Sew or glue the fancy trim of your choice along one, two, or all edges of your simple placemat and voila; a whole new look! We love this pom pom look from Sugar and Cloth.
13. Name origin placemats
Are you totally in love with very personalized details in your home, filling your kids’ doors and your living room mantle with monograms and motifs of your family name? Then we have a feeling you’ll love this name origin idea from Kate’s Creative Space. Research the origin of each family member’s name, choose and format the key details you find, and put them on a DIY placemat! You might print them on cardstock paper for disposable mats or perhaps screen or vinyl the words onto fabric or plastic for something more long lasting.
14. Shibori dyed placemats
Have your favourite designs on this list so far been the ones that involve letting dye and paint travel through fabric however it pleases, but the dip dying and the water colour ideas just weren’t quite abstractly artistic enough for you? Then check out how Lovely Indeed made these stunningly dyed placemats using Shibori techniques!
15. Jute rope placemats
Have you always loved decor crafts that look very rustic chic or perhaps hearken back to summer days on the sailboat and near the seaside? Then grab some rope and get to coiling! City Farmhouse shows you how to wrap the rope and fasten it there so you can enjoy a beautiful summer dinner on top with having it unfurl under your plate.
Have you made other DIY placemat designs that you love and use all the time, but you don’t see anything similar on our list? Tell us how you did them in the comments section!