Saturday, January 16, 2010

Fabric Project for the Home


Snowy Evening Outing
by James Lee







Above: easy and elegant placemats with sparkled felt and sparkled rick-rack.  This fabric has metallic threads already in it, and is slightly higher in price. The napkin ring is made by brushing paper flowers with glitter glue and dabbing them in more prisma glitter. These were used for a special tea for a widow, and the others were used for a ladies Bible class luncheon.  Click on for a larger view.



It is a great time of year for a cheerful indoor project, such as easy felt placemats, that require no sewing. Wool felt or synthetic will both work well.


Turn your largest bowl upside down, or use a pizza pan of the size of your choice, and trace around it on the felt, with a ballpoint pen.  Cut out the circle, inside the line so that the pen marks will not show.


Here is what it looks like, plain. Some of the purposes of placemats are to protect your wood table from food and drink, or hot plates, provide a decorative background for your dishes, and to provide a soft, quiet landing for your forks, knives, spoons and cups. To make matching coasters for your goblets or glassware, just trace the smallest dessert bowl you have, or turn a goblet upside down and trace around the rim of the glass, for a pattern.

Just choose the color of felt that you feel best matches your dinner plates,


and add trims around the inside, if you prefer.  This one is a glittered rick-rack. Fabri-Tack works just fine, or use the sewing machine.


This one is made from glittered felt found at fabric stores around the country, and trimmed with wide rick-rack.  There are many interesting trims, and sometimes the sewing machine has a stitch that will decorate the edges.
These are easy to make and so pretty, you can have a quick gift for a wedding shower, or some other occasion.  If you are expecting company and want something special, just cut out some of these quick placemats to go with the occasion, whether it be spring or winter.  They wash nicely in the washing machine, but you may have to test one to see for sure if the fabric you are using will need to be hand washed or not.




Here is the smaller placemat, layered on top of the larger one.  There are a lot of colors available and you could experiment with the layering, to match the design colors in your plates.

One half yard of the 52 inch synthetic felt makes 5 large round placemats. The smaller round placemat will fit about 8 times on one half yard.  The fabric is about $5.00 a yard, so it will cost you $2.50 for 6 or 8 placemats, depending on the size you use. It is nice if the placemat has enough space around the edge to place a fork, spoon, knife and napkin. . It all depends on what you want.  Your fabric has to be 1/2 yard wide to cover the size of the placemat.


Here is a smaller placemat made from fushia sparkled felt (acrylic). It is machine washable. Try this easy craft in robins-egg blue or navy blue, black sparkled (which would look good with black toile dinnerware) and red.






To make the heart placemat, right click and print this pattern, or paste it on another page and print. This is for a small heart, so if you want something to put a larger plate on, just cut about an inch larger, outside the line, all around.



Place the pattern on the folded edge of your felt, and cut around it, like this:






Here it is, plain and pretty,


or decorated with a shiny rick-rack edging. I will be adding a matching coaster for a glass or cup.

You can make a larger pattern in the heart style you want, by using a  large paper bag for your pattern.

There is an abundance of felt projects on the web. Just go to Google, click on "images" and type in "felt crafts" and you will see pages and pages of creative felt ideas. This one here is really pretty http://www.flickr.com/photos/giantbutton/3311709964/





About the artist:  James Lee is a native of South Korea, who came to pursue art in the United States. Lovely Whatevers will have a large display of his art, soon.

17 comments:

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

I will try to include a pattern for you to use for a heart shaped felt placemat.

Anonymous said...

Lydia,
Thank you for this simple and inexpensive idea! I hope to buy some felt today to get started right away!

Keeper of our Home said...

What a fantastic idea! I love the elegance the pink and white lend to the place setting. So feminine....would be great for a ladies tea luncheon.

~Mrs. M

Sherri Ann said...

Lydia;

I love your blog and all the idea's you offer! It is a wonderful place to come and find like minded ladies.

This project is one I would have enjoyed doing with my children when they were young.

Thank you!
Sherri Ann
P.S. I am a newbie blogger; please join me at;
sherriannskeepingroom.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

What a novel idea. They look beautiful and are so inexpensive. They also look easy to make.

Anonymous said...

I made a set of these for my daughter that had the place setting outlined with embroidery edged with the blanket stitch, when she was just two. She loved to set the table with them. Now I"m going to make some for my granddaughters.

Sharon said...

I just love this simple idea. I am can't wait to make them! Thank you and I love you blog too!
God Bless, Sharon

Anonymous said...

I didn't know you could wash felt! I thought that I had tried a while ago and the felt was ruined. What is the difference between felt and synthetic felt? It looks like a quick, fun project.

Anonymous said...

I always like to see craft ideas from you. Making pretty things for the home is a great way to pass cold winter days here in New England.

Anonymous said...

I've been wondering what to do with my large stash of felt..that would be "painless"! Thank you Lydia!

Anonymous said...

These would also be pretty with a paper doily placed on top ($ Tree has pkgs of large, round paper doilies!)... :)

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

Ladies I added more varieties to the placemat, above, and a heart pattern. If you experiment with brown paper for a heart pattern, you can get the shape and size suitable for your plates.

To the lady who commented about the shower curtain: I dont use the curtain rings anymore, either. I just make the pocket of the curtain large enough to insert the pole in it. Those things were not very convenient and some of the fancier ones would break or fall off. The large rod pocket is much much easier and looks a lot nicer because the metal rod does not show through. Hanging it from the ceiling is a great idea too. I also made mine from sheets. There is already a folded over pocket you can insert the rod in.

Anonymous said...

Felt is a good fabric to use to make slippers and baby booties from. For adult slippers I thing a sole of non-slip fabric sold at the fabric store is a good idea.

It is washable and very useful to keep someone from slipping. It might prevent a fall.

Anonymous said...

This is off topic, but I want to say "thank you" for this blog. I got some bad news yesterday and it is a very gray day today as it always is lately. I was feeling quite sorry for myself until I thought of your advice about dressing up a bit and did so. My day is turning around now. Just changing into something nice gave me a brighter outlook!

I come here daily for inspiration. I have few "real life" examples to guide me. That is where you are a tremendous help. It's like having a kind, wise woman nearby to offer good advice. Other sites charge for information that you provide here for free and no site I know of offers such a variety of useful information in so much detail.
I also like that many, if not most, of your suggestions cost very little but make a big impact on how the home or the person looks. It seems that it is often how you use what you already have that makes the difference.

I know at times you endure unkind comments for this blog. I wish that was not the case because you do not deserve it at all. You deserve praise for what you do here. I hope you know you are changing lives for the better. The little things really add up to big things after awhile. Thank you again!

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LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

For hospitality in a hurry, you can cut these out of large scrapbook papers or paper bags, and decorate them with other kinds of trims, using hole punchers or just any kind of trims. I once attended a Spring in the Country ladies tea, in which they had made placemats shaped like houses, using the extra large sheets of construction paper. They somehow stenciled in the windows and door of each placemat.

To the lady who commented about dressing up. Thank you for such a nice success story. I have a photograph to post of the gloomy scene before me, of a world in the darkness of a winters day, and an indoor contrast with candles lit. It is the perfect time to have a little celebration and to be happy. If you think also that in Australia they are sufferring from high temperature and bright sun, you can feel better.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lydia and Ladies,

I love your post about using the felt to make placemats and thought maybe I could elaborate on that.

Many years ago ladies would make penny rugs from felt and wool scraps. They would cut out an oval or circle of felt and a couple smaller shapes then applique
them onto the flat bottom piece with a blanket stitch.

They created scenes, bouquets and still life pictures with needle, thread and scraps of wool or felt.

Why couldn't we do the same with your placemats and instead of needle and thread, use a simple bottle of fabric glue sold at craft stores? A little dab will do and let the glue dry overnight.You have a darling set of placemats that can be washed,and you never used anything more then a pair of scissors and some glue.

Simply cut your mat in one color and shape you want then glue other shapes onto it in other colors.

Now think of a theme: Spring/Easter, Valentine/Hearts, Autumn/Leaves,Christmas/Snowflakes,
Summer/Grapes, ???

There I've talked myself right into it. See you at the craft store.

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