So, my problem is this:
I make a project and it sits there for a few days or weeks. And then I get around to taking pictures of it after awhile. Finally, two weeks later, after I’ve moved the photos onto my laptop, edited the photos, and actually written the post, then I hit publish. Normally that’s fine. At this time of year however, two weeks makes a big difference. Two weeks ago the trees were bare and now everything is beautiful and lush and green and leafy, but it looks like I took these pictures in February.
What I’m saying is: I didn’t. I took them two weeks ago.
Anyway, on to the project!
First of all, this stuff here is so neat. I fell in love with it as soon as it arrived on my doorstep. It’s called White Moire Flannel Backed Vinyl (in case you’re wondering) and it was lovingly provided to me by Online Fabric Store, who provides me with all kinds of fun fabrics to play with. I seriously almost scrapped this project and made curtains for my living room out of it instead. It looks like some kind of fancy heavy silk-type fabric in person and you have to touch it to tell that it isn’t. So if you’re wondering how I managed to make vinyl place mats look amazing, that’s my trick.
My other trick is that I tried this project a few times first and royally screwed it up. If you want to make some fun outdoor place mats too, I’ll tell you what actually worked for me.
Now, you can’t really iron this stuff like you can with normal fabric to make your finished product look nice and crisp, but I got a little creative with my technique and got it all figured out.
First, cut your place mats out. Make them about 1″ wider and 1″ taller than you want them to be in the end to give you some room to work with the edges.
You can see I’m no expert fabric cutter, but that’s OK. A crying baby in the background will make anyone cut a little wonkily, I’m sure. I found that a metal ruler was my best friend to hide all my oopsies and make everything look crisp and professional in the end. I just free-handed the first few without the help of my trusty ruler and they weren’t good at all. It was a little shameful.
What worked was when I folded over the edge of the place mat and rested in on top of the metal ruler. Then I took my thumb nail and ran it over the seam, scoring the fabric slightly. This allowed it to fold neatly right in that spot.
Then all I did was run a bead of hot glue under each edge and set the table!
Not too shabby, right? For the record, we ate pizza at this snazzy table. Not homemade.
The good news is that when I am ready to cook a fancy alfresco meal, I’m all set. I even made a couple of table runners for the picnic tables that we just put together. These place mats are wipe-able and durable enough to last through lots of messy family meals and still be ready to go if we have company over one day and I want to pretend like I’m all fancy and stuff.
How about you? Have you been dining outside this Spring? Even if it’s just pizza, it still counts as alfresco in my books!