diy project: kelly’s midsummer night placemats

today’s second diy project belongs to 2008 d*s diy contest finalist, kelly wilkinson of make:grow:gather. her decorative felt placemats were a hit with the voters so today she’s sharing her full project instructions with us. if you’re looking for something fun to do this weekend, or just need want to create a custom look for your table, kelly’s project is a simple but beautiful way to spend some craft time. click here for kelly’s full instructions or click “read more” below. happy crafting and thanks to kelly for sharing!

Midsummer Night Placemats
These flora-inspired placemats use wool felt and a sharp pair of scissors to imitate laser-cut felt. A good pair of dressmaker’s shears (available at fabric stores) is the most important ingredient, because regular scissors won’t give you a clean, precise edge.

Here’s what you’ll need for a set of four placemats:
-1 yard wool felt
-contrasting thread
-tailor’s chalk
-dressmaker’s scissors
-sewing machine (to replicate exact look- but there are ways to finish without sewing)

1. Measure four 15″ x 11″ rectangles of felt.

2. Cut, using long, even strokes.

3. On one short edge of each placemat, draw design of your choosing (see attached photo for inspiration) with tailor’s chalk. You can make all your placemats match with the same motif, or add slight variations within the design (as pictured).

4. Cut out design, then round each corner.

5. Set sewing machine to zig-zag stitch. Start sewing at one end of the cut-out design, and stitch away from it to leave the cut-out design edge unstitched. Sew around three sides of placemat, ending on the other side of the design cut-out.

6. There are lots of ways to customize the placemats. You could cut a design into all four sides of the placemat if you prefer — or if you don’t want to sew. The zig-zag stitch is optional but adds a nice finished appearance and the contrasting thread lends a subtle pop of color.

7. Set lovely table with champagne to celebrate!

- B -

Perfect timing, honestly. Because I’ve recently developed the theory that a nicely set table will encourage me to cook food to put on it. Or … look nice with takeout on top.


I love this idea, so beautiful and simple. Can I ask what the other finishing options are for the sewing machine impaired?

Jessica White

this was my first place vote! such tiny detail made this piece so charming! i would love to see other projects by this artist.


Wow so cool, I love working in felt, its so good to see that someone else shares my enthusiasm for this material!


Sharon–since it’s felt, you could probably just leave the edges raw and they won’t fray. Just make sure you’re using über sharp scissors.
These are so cute! I absolutely love them. I am adding this to my ever-expanding list of projects to make.


The cut edges look too rough, I would paint, or put prints on top of the leafy edges for a smoother look.