How to Braid Placemats

by Erin Ringwald
Use old t-shirts or linens to create fabric strips.

Use old t-shirts or linens to create fabric strips.

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Instead of throwing out old t-shirts with holes in them, sending unused blankets and linens to the local second-hand store or discarding strips of fabric from past craft projects, put them to good use. By braiding cotton strips made from your old and leftover fabric, you can easily create a functional and inexpensive placemat. Make your own braided placemat in little time on a rainy afternoon or as a fun Saturday craft with your children.

Items you will need

  • Cotton fabric
  • Safety pins
  • Pillow
  • Sewing machine
Step 1

Cut pieces of cotton fabric into 3-by-36-inch strips. Use old clothing, blankets and linens to make the strips or purchase cotton fabric at fabric or craft stores.

Step 2

Gather three cotton strips together, keeping the ends even. Tie a knot in the three strips, 1 inch from the end, to secure them. Insert a safety pin through the knot and attach the safety pin to a pillow or shut it in a drawer to keep the strips secure while you work.

Step 3

Braid the three pieces of cotton together to make an 18-inch long braided chain. Tie a knot at the end of the braided chain. Cut away any excess cotton strips to leave a 1-inch fringe.

Step 4

Repeat the first two steps with more cotton strips to create 24 braided chains total.

Step 5

Line the braided chains next to one another on your work surface. Use safety pins to secure them together to create a 12-by-18-inch placemat. Sew across the chains to attach them to one another using a straight stitch with a sewing machine. Place one stitch 1/2-inch from each knot and then one more stitch every 2 inches. Remove the safety pins to finish the placemat.

Tips & Warnings

  • Create additional placemats using the same method to create a matched set.
  • Use one color cotton strips or multiple colors for a multicolored placemat.
  • Braids with four or five strips offer a different look to the placemat.
  • Use other types of fabric to create a different look for your braided placemats, such as nylon rope or twine.
  • When choosing fabrics or other materials,choose non-flammable fabric or avoid using the placemats near candles or heat sources.

Photo Credits

  • Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images