Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on omaha.com
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER
See more crafts in the Handmade Holidays series.
Colorful place mats make a table setting more appealing, and these laminated cloth ones are super simple to make.
I cut out four of them in 15 minutes. The project is easy enough that a child who can cut a marked straight line can make them.
Choose coordinating colors when making a set for a gift.
Clean-up after a meal is a breeze: Damp-wipe the place mats, dry with a towel and put them away.
LAMINATED PLACE MATS
Iron and ironing board
Men’s all-cotton plaid shirt in size large or bigger (see notes)
A favorite rectangular place mat to use as a size guide
Access to a store that can laminate sizes larger than 11-inches-by-17-inches
Notes: You will need one shirt per place mat. Use garage sale or thrift store purchases if you otherwise lack access to such shirts. Shirts with a tapered fit will not work because they have darts sewn into the back. Use caution if a shirt contains fibers other than cotton: The heat of laminating could melt noncotton fibers.
If needed, iron the back of a shirt to smooth it for easier cutting.
Using a horizontal stripe of the plaid as a straight-line guide, cut the bottom back of the shirt to form one of the longer sides of a place mat. If the shirttail is rounded, cut above the rounded area so that you have a straight line. Use a favorite place mat to guide the length you cut.
Again using a favorite place mat as a guide, cut along a vertical stripe close to a side seam to form one short side of the plaid place mat.
Repeat the process with the remaining two sides.
Iron to make it completely smooth.
Repeat the process to make the number of place mats you want.
Take place mats to store for laminating. Ask store to trim off excess laminating material or take place mats home and trim them yourself.
Difficulty: 1 out of 4