This project I’m sharing with you today was inspired by my son.  He always wants to help with dinner, and I try to let him help wherever he can with the prep work, but while I’m doing the cooking, he likes to help by setting the table.  This placemat was designed to help little kids do just that, showing them where to put the plate, knife, fork and spoon. So I give you the . . .

Table-Setting-Placemat

These Table Setting Placemats are fun and functional.  They bring together some of my favorite techniques: painting, sewing and quilting.

table setting placemat

The knife, fork and spoon are painted on using freezer paper and fabric paint

table setting placemattable setting placemat

and the top of the placemat is pieced together to allow a fun fabric in the middle.  They can be bright and fun like mine or made to coordinate with your kitchen colors or patterns.  It has very simple quilting to make it a quick project.

table setting placemat

Your kids will have fun setting the table

Connor-1-small-collage

Connor-2-small-collage

Then, of course, you must sit down for a little “snack” and some fun too.

table setting placemat

So let’s make this placemat!

table setting placemat

You’ll need:
the Knife, Fork and Spoon template
fabric paint and brush
freezer paper and craft knife
thread, scissors, sewing machine, iron, etc…

For each placemat you’ll make, you’ll also need:
middle front fabric 12″ x 12″
left front (fork side) fabric 3.5″ x 12″
right front (knife/spoon side) fabric 4.5″ x 12″
back fabric 18″ x 12″
low-loft batting 18″ x 12″
seam binding (home-made or store bought), 1/2″ wide, double fold, approx. 70″

The fabric I used for the top pieces are Metro Cafe Flatware in Vintage (Robert Kaufman) and a linen/cotton blend in off-white.  The binding is a small polka dot print from Robert Kaufman.  The back is a print I had lying around from Jo-Ann’s.

table setting placemat

Seam allowances are 1/2″ for this project, unless otherwise noted.

Start by sewing your middle front piece to the left front and the right front on the left and right sides, respectively.  Iron flat and set aside.

table setting placemat

Using your template, cut out the knife fork and spoon onto freezer paper.  Cut the fork on a separate piece from the spoon and knife.  Hint:  If you’re making more than one placemat, you can put a couple pieces of freezer paper under the template to cut out a few at a time. 

table setting placemat

Once you’ve made your stencils, iron them onto the top of the placemat.  (Fork on the left, knife and spoon on the right.)

table setting placemat

Paint the knife, fork and spoon using whatever colors you like.  I chose colors that would compliment my center fabric.  (Mandarin Orange, Lime and Turquoise).  For some extra tips on freezer paper and painting go here.

table setting placemat
table setting placemat

Allow the paint to dry before removing the freezer paper and when the paint is completely dry, heat set the paint by ironing it.  You should feel a texture difference after heat treating (it will now be smooth instead of rough).

table setting placemat

Take your back fabric piece and lay it right side down.  Next place the batting on top and finally your placemat top, right side up.  Pin these layers together for quilting.

table setting placemat
table setting placemat

Since this is a small placemat, you don’t need a special quilting foot for your machine (but of course you can use one if you like).  Start by stitching in the ditch along the division between the left/middle and middle/right of your placemat top.  (This means simply stitch in the seam line between your top fabric pieces.)

Now slowly sew around your fork close to the paint, roughly a 1/8″ away from the edge.

table setting placemat
table setting placemat

Repeat for the knife and spoon.

table setting placemat

To quilt the space for the plate.  Go to the kitchen and grab a plate or large bowl and trace around it with chalk or a fabric pen.

table setting placemat

Repeat with a slightly smaller plate or bowl for a smaller inner circle.

table setting placemat

Sew on these lines and remove any markings from your pen/chalk when you’re done.

table setting placemat

Sew on the binding.  Start by opening the binding and pinning the edge of the binding to the edge of the placemat (right side down), leaving a tail of about 5″.

table setting placemat

Start sewing down the seam binding, by sewing in the fold line.  Since I made my seam binding, I chose not to waste extra fabric, so I only have about 1/4″ from the fold to the edge.  You may have more. 

table setting placemat

When you reach a corner, stop approx 1/4″ from the end.  (More if your seam binding has a larger distance from the fold.)

table setting placemat

Fold the seam binding up

table setting placemat

then down (at the edge of the placemat).

table setting placemat
table setting placemat

Continue sewing until you’ve gone all the way around stopping a few inches from where you started.

table setting placemat

Lay the seam binding out flat and pin where the two pieces come together.

table setting placemat

Pull the seam binding away from your placemat and sew them together.  Trim the excess.

table setting placemat

Lay the binding flat onto the placemat and stitch in place.

table setting placemat

Fold over the seam binding and stitch in place by hand, making sure your thread doesn’t show through to the front side.

table setting placemat

And you’re done!

table setting placemat

So go ahead make one or two . . . or six!

Finished placemat size: 18″ x 12″

This tutorial is for personal use only.

on Table Setting Placemat

  1. I love the idea and thanks for explaining how to use the seam binding in corners and how to finish it (I’ve been crap at that ;)). I will be making these!

  2. I have that middle fabric and wanted to make placemats out of it but could not come up with a pattern that I loved. This is perfect! I don’t have any children but overall I think these are super cute placemats – thanks for the tutorial!

  3. Spray with Scotchguard so it’s even more durable (resistant) to stains from the food. It these were on my table-they would be washed almost daily.

  4. Love it! Been wanting to make some kid placemats for awhile now. This is perfect. And I’m a bit addicted to freezer paper stencils. Thank you!

  5. Thanks for the tutorial! I’ve been looking for a pre-made table setting place mat but we have a round table so the ones I’ve seen don’t fit on our table well but I could make these to fit my table perfectly. Just brilliant!

  6. As a mom of a 6yr. old daughter and twins that are 3 who also love to help… I la,la,LOVE these placematts you made!

    I just bought the Quick Easy Mitered Binding Tool and used it and WOW how awesome and easy it was to get PERfect results! check out the tutorial video here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqkBRfQjyU8&feature=related

    and these placemats will go so much faster using the backing to turn over to the front for these placematts.

    Thanks for sharing! Love from Texas! ~bonnie

  7. This is so cute! When my son was in elementary school, he was assigned to invent something, and he came up with a similar idea. You executed it very well!

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