Thanksgiving Crafts — 10 Handmade Placemat Ideas

Posted by on Nov 01, 2011

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We've noticed something when it comes to entertaining-oriented home decor: There's just not enough placemat options. At most stores, you'll find a scant selection of solids (and it's always sage green, gray-blue, brown and maybe red if it's close to December) in ho-hum fabrics. This might be fine the rest of the year, but come Thanksgiving, we'd like to have something a little nicer for setting our tables. 

Here's where our sewing machine comes in handy. A placemat is the most simple sewing project you can do. Essentially you're just hemming a rectangular piece of fabric. But if you want to get fancier, here are 10 lovely options for any skill level. Most require a sewing machine, but we've thrown in a few no-sew options as well.

And quilters, listen up: Pieced placemats have proven to be a trend this year (we found more projects than we knew what to do with), like this patchwork option. 
For a closer look, visit Fantasy Landscape.

thanksgiving crafts, handmade crazy quilt placemats
Crazy Quilt 

A twist on the patchwork mat above, this option has a "crazy quilt" look made by piecing together horizontal strips of fabric. It's a great use for scraps, don't you think?
For a more advanced take on this placemat idea, visit WhipUp.

thanksgiving crafts, handmade patchwork placemat
Color Palette

For a subtle yet sweet quilted look, add a small "color palette" of scraps in the same family of hues. Keep the rest of the mat neutral to really let the colors and patterns shine.
To get the how-to, visit Zwei Baby.
Thanksgiving crafts, handmade patch pocket placemat
Patch Pockets

Retro-cute and handy, to boot: These patch pocket placemats give you a place to stow flatware. Simply stitch a pocket onto your existing mats for the ultimate easy adornment.

thanksgiving crafts, handmade denim pocket placemats
Denim Pocket Placemats

A jean jacket inspired this upcycled placemat, which will add a fun touch to your table. Simply cut a rectangle of denim, hem and then add a pocket (snipped from a jacket or old pair of jeans). Rivets are cool, but totally optional.

thanksgiving crafts, chalkboard placemats
Mini Chalkboards

Want to keep the kids occupied while you dine? Look no further than these chalkboard placemats by Etsy artisan decadentdesigns. To take the DIY approach, just cut a mat-sized rectangle of foam core board, then apply a few coats of chalkboard paint. 
thanksgiving crafts, handmade cork placemats
Quirky Cork

A corkboard doesn't have to be limited to a home office. The material's neutral hue looks great on a table. Plus, you can pin name tags onto each mat, for a fresher take on placecards. You don't have to do much for this idea: Just set the table with cork tiles, or cut sections of a cork sheet to fit your table.
thanksgiving crafts, handmade gingham horse placemat
Gingham Horse

Another quirky option, though it's great for kids (and open-minded grown-ups). This version is made by Etsy artisan studioLISE, but you can get the same look by tracing a horse shape onto gingham, then hemming. Try using double-fold seam binding for an outlined effect.
thanksgiving crafts, handmade crocheted placemats
Crocheted Flower

Liven up your table with bold, bright blooms. You can also use them as trivets, doilies or even underneath a potted plant. The key is to use a variegated yarn, which will produce the gradient effect here (sewing daisies has a further explanation).
For a selection of doily patterns, visit Crochet Pattern Central.
thanksgiving crafts, handmade crochet apple placemats
Adorable Apple

Nothing says fall more than apples, though these super-sweet placemats by Etsy artisan MariMartin would definitely charm year-round. Requiring the most basic of crochet stitches, you can whip up a batch sooner than you'd think. Just crochet a flat circle for the apple, then a small oval in green for a leaf. A stem is optional.
For a tutorial on how to crochet a flat circle, visit

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