Fun Placemats to Make: ‘Let’s Sew Together’

Want to make a handpainted skirt, dollhouse pillow or world-map quilt with your little kids? Me too! I’m obsessed with beginning sewing project. You know, the ones that are so easy an intelligent monkey can do them. This book, Let’s Sew Together: Simple Projects the Whole Family Can Make, hits the spot, and my kids are already picking out summer projects for us to do together. Author and mom of four, Rubyellen Bratcher, has been blogging about her DIY adventures on Cakies for years. Now she’s written this book filled with sewing, crafts, play and educational ideas. Super cute.

She’s let us run an excerpt from Let’s Sew Together below so you and your little ones can make reversible placemats. Find more sewing projects from Parents, too!

Cheerful Flip ’Em Placemats
These placemats not only protect the dinner table but will also make you smile when you see your child’s artwork and your handiwork together. Mix or match fabric and embroidery on opposite sides so you can flip ’em over for a whole new look.

Skill Level: Sew Quick

Basic sewing supplies (needles, thread, scissors)

Eight 14″ x 18″ (35.5cm x 45.5cm) pieces of lightweight cotton fabrics for 4 placemats (use contrasting or coordinating fabrics for each side)

Four 14″ x 18″ (35.5cm x 45.5cm) pieces of cotton flannel fabrics (to give weight to the placemats)

Fabric markers

Embroidery hoop

Embroidery floss in colors to match fabric markers

Seam Allowance: 1⁄2″ (13mm)

Finished Measurements: 13″ x 17″ (33cm x 43cm)


• The placemats can be adjusted to fit your table. We have a vintage farm table, which is significantly smaller than regular dining tables, so these placemats are a wee bit smaller than the norm. A traditional placemat size is 13″ x 19″ (33cm x 48.5cm). If desired, adjust the size of the placemats to work best for your dining table, adding 1″ (2.5cm) to the width and height for the seam allowance.

• To make coordinating cloth napkins, cut out large fabric squares, fold the edges under by 1⁄4″ (6mm) twice, and topstitch in place. You’re all set for a lovely family dinner.

• Have each child design his or her own placemat for family meals—perhaps with a favorite fruit, favorite animal, or simply colorful shapes.

1. With fabric markers, have your child draw a design on one corner of each placemat. (Leave the reversible side plain.) Be sure to let the design dry completely and iron to heat-set the designs in place.

2. Place the section of the placemat with the design in an embroidery hoop, and embroider (page 20) some parts of your child’s design to give it more dimension.

3. Place the front and back fabrics together with right sides facing, place the cotton flannel on top, and sew around the perimeter of the placement, leaving a 3″ (7.5cm) opening for turning. Clip the corners, turn inside out, and press. Repeat for each placemat.

4. Topstitch 1/4″ (6mm) from the edge around the entire placemat.

Have a cute dinner together!

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