Summer is the perfect time for picnics and barbecues and outdoor get-togethers with family and friends. I thought it would be fun to make some placemats to use for those summer picnics. I wanted something that would be cute, portable and functional and I think these Roll-Up Picnic Placemats are all three. They are also really easy to sew together.
They roll up and tie closed, I know you never would have guessed that from the name, which makes them easy to throw in a picnic basket to bring along with you.
They have a pocket that holds utensils and a napkin. I made coordinating cloth napkins to go inside and I will show you how I made those too.
I made a set of 4 placemats using 2 fabrics for the placemats and one for the napkins. I made 2 placemats of each color with the other color on the back and the pocket. So, 2 cherry placemats with polka dots on the back and the pocket and 2 polka dot placemats with cherries on the back and the pocket. All 4 napkins were made of the same fabric, a solid green cotton. Oh, and the weird little bit on the bottom of the red placemats, your's should not look like that. That is what happens when you accidentally measure and cut the finished size instead of the size it needs to be before you sew it and have no desire to load all of the kids back in the car to get more fabric so you just decide to sew a strip on the bottom and call it good.
How to Make Picnic Placemats and Cloth Napkins
Set of 4, finished size: Placemat 18 x 12 inches, Napkin 14 x 14 inches
You will need:
- 1 yard each of 3 coordinating fabrics (2 for the placemats, 1 for the napkins)
- 3 1/2 yards of ribbon
- 1 yard fusible fleece
- matching thread
- rotary cutter, mat and ruler
The first thing you will need to do is cut all of your pieces. You will need:
From each of your 2 placemat fabrics
- 4- 19 x 13 inch rectangles for the placemats
- 4- 5 inch squares for the pockets
- 4- 18 x 12 inch rectangles
From you napkin fabric
- 4- 16 inch squares
- 4- 30 inch pieces
Now, let's start with the placemat.
You should have a total of 8- 19 x 13 inch rectangles, 4 from each fabric. On two of each color, iron on the fusible fleece, these will become your fronts (the side the pocket is sewn onto). The fleece is cut smaller so that you can leave a 1/2 inch around each side for the seam allowance.
Next, prepare your pocket. Place 2 pocket pieces right sides together. Using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, sew around the pockets leaving an opening in the bottom. Clip the corners and turn right side out. Press flat and topstitch along the top of your pocket. Pin the pocket to the front of your placemat in the lower right hand corner, 2 inches from the side and 2 inches from the bottom.
Stitch as close as possible to the side of your pocket around the sides and bottom. Next, fold your ribbon in half and pin the folded end to the middle of the left side.
Place the placemat back (one of the pieces that doesn't have the fleece attached), right sides together on the front. Sew around the placemat with a 1/2 inch seam allowance, leaving an opening to turn, and being sure to catch the ribbon in the seam. Clip the corners, turn, and press. Topstitch around the outside, closing the opening as you stitch. Make all 4 placemats the same way.
That's it for the placemats, now for the napkins.
With your 16 inch squares, begin by pressing a 1 inch hem all the way around. Then fold the corners in and press. Trim about 1/2 inch off the corner point. Fold the raw edge to the pressed line and then fold along the pressed edge to create a double folded 1/2 inch hem. When you get to a corner fold the corner as shown in the picture to create a mitered corner. Sew all the way around close to the inside edge. Press the napkin. Now you can fold it up and stick it in the pocket of your placemat.
Add some utensils to your pocket, roll it up starting with the side with the pocket, wrap the ribbon around and tie closed. You may want to trim you ribbon a little once you see how it looks tied.
Grab some plates, some food and some drinks and you are ready to head outside for a picnic.