By Anna of Annabode.
We haven’t updated our woven hyacinth Ikea placemats in years, and although they’ve served us well, they have become harborers of dried oatmeal, bread crumbs, and God knows what else. They’re also just tired. I decided replacing them would be the kind thing to do.
I’ve always preferred round placemats on rectangular tables—they prevent the look from becoming too linear and echo the shape of the dishes nicely. And don’t you just love the textured, minimal look of those woven ones? While you can’t beat that price, I set out to create my own version of a DIY-woven-placemat that could still be made for very little money, but would look unique (and even more lovely).
- Black embroidery thread
- Macrame cotton cord (75 ft/placemat, one 50-yd roll makes two placemats)
- Cardboard piece 14″ x 14″
- Embroidery needle (alternatively, you can use a regular needle and black thread)
First, you’ll need to make your loom. I found this tutorial for round woven rugs on the Free People blog quite helpful! The same idea can be applied to woven placemats as well.
Follow the steps they describe using your 14-x-14 cardboard piece.
But here’s a tip: Don’t divide it into 32 sections. (Way too much work!) Using just 16 is fine. Also, be sure to cut your 75-ft length of cotton cord into 5-ft length pieces. This will make everything ten times easier, I promise.
Make a knot at one end of the first length of cord. Start at the center and weave in a spiral, making sure to alternate over and under each thread and to hide the knot under the weaving. (Don’t weave too tightly—you should be able to see the black thread.) When you reach the end of the first length, knot it, and repeat the whole process until all your cord lengths have been used. Trim the last cord so that it matches up with one of the ends of the embroidery threads and tie a knot.
Next, cut the black threads off of the cardboard, leaving a tail of 2-3″ on each. Wrap each tail around the nearest cord and tie in a knot to secure.
Now, take the embroidery thread and wrap it several times around the four outer cords at the spot where your final cord ended, covering the knot. Secure by tying a knot on the back side of the placemat. Repeat this for every other spot where the embroidery thread is located—for a total of eight wrappings.
Make eight small tassels by wrapping embroidery thread around four of your fingers, folding in half, wrapping more cord around the top, and tying a knot. Cut the looped ends, and attach to the placemat either with more embroidery thread and a large needle, or with regular black thread.
This was such a fun project to make, and was actually very relaxing. I found all of my materials at Michaels, and the cost was about $3.75 per placemat!
Thank you, Anna!
Anna lives in Washington, DC with her fiancé Austin and their four-year-old son, Clinton (and they’re about to move to Denver). An interior designer by day and Craigslist-comber by night, she isn’t afraid of wielding a hammer and shares her tips for do-it-yourself decorating on her blog, Annabode.
P.S. A previous DIY by Anna.