Episode 409


Painted Place Mats by Dena Fishbein, courtesy of Dena Designs

Create quick-and-easy place mats as canvases to showcase hand-painted artwork.


Supplies listed are enough to make two 13"x21" place mats.

1/2 yard of white cotton fabric (See "Sources.")

1/4 yard of print cotton fabric (See "Sources.")

Coordinating all-purpose thread


Fabric paint (in desired colors)

Assorted circle templates (such as thread spools and cups)

Air-soluble fabric marker

Plastic tablecloth, trash bag or wax paper

Paper towels & cup of water

Cut It

From the white fabric, cut one 15"x16" rectangle.

From the print fabric, cut two 4 1/2"x15" rectangles.

Sew It

With right sides together, stitch one white-rectangle short edge to one print-rectangle long edge; press open the seam. Repeat to stitch the remaining print rectangle to the opposite white-rectangle short edge.

Double-fold each rectangle short edge 1/2" toward the wrong side; press. Double-fold each rectangle long edge 1/2" toward the wrong side; press.

Unfold each rectangle edge. Cut across each corner along the second foldline marks (1). Refold the edges along the first foldline (2). Fold the corners toward the rectangle center (3). Fold the edges along the second foldline to create mitered corners.


Edgestitch the place mat perimeter close to the first foldline (4).


Paint It

Protect the work surface with a plastic tablecloth, trash bag or wax paper. Have a cup of water and paper towels handy.

With the place mat right side up on the protected work surface, plan the design. Place a dinner plate in the place mat center. Using several circle templates that are approximately 2"- to 4 1/2"-diameter, draw three to four circles around the plate on the white fabric only (5). Remove the plate.


Dip the paintbrush in the water. "Paint" a small amount of water inside each circle.

Dip the wet paintbrush in a small amount of paint. Swirl the paint inside each circle to create a watercolor effect.

Using complementary paint colors, paint swirls inside each circle to mimic flower petals. Add finer details for each flower using two more paint colors and less water each time, if desired.

Paint a wavy line to connect each flower circle, using a complementary paint color (6).


TIP: Use three blue paint shades, white and black for detailing, green for the stems and yellow for the leaves to re-create the featured place mats. Or choose paint colors to match your fabric borders.

Paint leaves along the wavy stem, if desired.

Let the place mat dry overnight.

Appliqué Additions

Create place mats using fusible appliques, which are effortlessly cut using a shape-cutting machine. Scissors work too, but this process is much easier!

Applique Additions


Ready-made place mat

Assorted coordinating fabric scraps (each large enough to fit die)

Double-sided fusible web

Shape-cutting machine (See "Sources.")

Shape-cutting die (See "Sources.")

Press cloth (optional)

Matching all-purpose thread (optional)

Cut It

Follow the manufacturer's instructions to adhere fusible web to each fabric-scrap wrong side.

Position the scrap wrong side down over the die. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to sandwich the die between the cutting pads and pass it through the machine.

Repeat to cut more scraps as desired. Remove the paper backing from each shape to reveal the adhesive.

Fuse It

Audition each shape on the place-mat right side until satisfied with the placement. Experiment by layering shapes and incorporating different fabric colors and textures into the design.

Once satisfied with the placement, fuse the shapes to the place mat using an iron on the medium setting and a press cloth, if desired.

Sew It

Stitch each applique in place, if desired. Choose a decorative stitch, zigzag stitch or straight stitch and stitch each shape perimeter. Or stitch only some elements of each shape for a different look.


Dena Designs provided the Sunshine Linen fabrics (866) 907-3305, freespiritfabric.com; Flower Layers & Leaves Sizzix Bigz Die, available at (877) 355-4766, sizzix.com; and dinnerware, available at (877) 866-6287, vonmaur.com.

Sizzix provided the Big Shot Pro Shape-Cutting machine: (877) 355-4766, sizzix.com.


Products used in this episode:





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