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Jun 26

Cutlery place mat

You know what I hate? Microwaved food. And plastic utensils. And using facial tissues for napkins because I forgot to bring one. And most of all, dirty tables. But such is life when you work, right? I mean, most of us do, and there really isn’t a way to avoid eating at least one meal away from home on work days.

I came across this idea for a place mat and utensil holder all in one and thought it was genius! It also holds cloth napkins and provides a surface to eat off of. I’d love to make several more of these.

These would be great for picnics, too, or as gifts.


(Click fabrics for direct links for purchase at Warehouse Fabrics Inc.)

Elizabeth chocolate/natural - ELHCHL

Veranda chocolate/natural - VEACHL

Geo chocolate/natural - GEOCHL


The pattern

I found the pattern and idea for this project at But I found myself confused by the instructions. I guess I had already decided in my head how I would do it, so I just went ahead and put it together my own way.
To do it my way, you’ll need two main pieces, 20″x16″. I used two different fabrics.

You’ll need one piece that measures 20″x14.5″. I used a third fabric for this piece.

You’ll need one piece of ribbon 22″ long for the decorative trim and another piece 45″ long for the tie. By the way, are you impressed by how awesome my ribbon looks with my fabric? Lucky find!

If you’d like to make matching napkins, cut two large squares from whichever fabrics you prefer. Mine were about 20″x20″. The link to an easy tutorial is below.

The process

(click photos for bigger views)

Take your smaller piece of fabric (20″x14.5″) and fold it in half lengthwise and press, wrong-sides together. This will be your pocket. At left, the folded edge is on top and all of the other edges are raw edges.
Pin your 22″ ribbon piece near the top and top stitch into place. The folded edge of my fabric is on top.
Pin this pocket piece to one of your big fabric pieces, whichever you want to have inside the roll.
Baste pocket around side and bottom edges. (These are still all raw edges.)
Take your long ribbon piece and fold it in half.
Baste in place at edge of mat, with ribbon ends facing inward toward center of mat. You’ll line it up with the ribbon you just sewed on. These will be your ties, and it will look like one continuous piece when you’re finished.
Now you’ll stitch your pockets for holding your utensils and napkins. I used the measurements on the site, with the utensil sections about 2″ wide each and dividing the remainder in two parts.
Before you continue, make sure your ties are facing inward, not outward. I tucked mine into a pocket for the time being.
Place your other large fabric piece face-down on the interior piece you just made.
Sew all the way around, leaving a hole at the top for turning right-side out. Clip your corners to reduce bulk.
Turn right-side out through the hole that you left and push out the corners carefully.
As you press, press in the seam allowance of the hole you left open, as shown  at left.
Top stitch around the entire place mat. When doing this, you’ll sew up the turning hole.
I made two napkins from the same fabrics using the mitered-corner method. You can find our tutorial for doing so here. It’s really easy and quick!

Other views

  • Cheryl Sherry

    Hi. This is a wonderful tutorial. The only problem I have with it is how do you print a copy of it without it being pages and pages (ink is expensive) as there are photos in the tutorial. I cannot take my computer with me to my sewing room so it is really hard to be able to do this. This is a wonderful idea for students, the working class and other friends and relatives that eat out or take a bag lunch with them and want a ‘touch of class’ while they eat their bag lunches.

  • admin

    Sorry for the trouble printing. I completely understand what you mean. I am not able to make changes to the style of the site as a whole, but I can pass on your comments. It would be nice to at least make a printable version that, even if it still has pictures, doesn’t include all the other stuff at the top and sides of the pages. For now, even though it’s an inconvenience, maybe you could copy and paste the tutorial to a word processing program and delete the pictures? Sorry.

  • admin

    I just wanted to let you know that we are in the process of adding print options for the blog, among other things.

  • jwilk

    Great idea for grandkids learning how to set a table. Thanks for the idea.

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