I love to spice up our everyday table decorations. Just changing our placemats feels nice; I do love placemats and find them more useful than a big tablecloth. The kids always need waterproof placemats since it's amazing how messy our placemats get, and it would be hard to wash them if they were just fabric.
I also love great design and it is hard to find waterproof mats for the kids that are also attractive. I decided to give it a try and make some that they would like and that could work for adults too. I made them by stamping fabric with craft paint and then using fabric vinyl iron-ons -- the finished product ends up feeling like an oil cloth. These can be wiped clean with a sponge.
Make 4 placemats
Start by cutting the fabric. Place your sample placemat on top of the fabric as a guide, leave about 1.5" of border and cut. The one I used here measures 11 x 17. Cut for 4 placemats.
Cut 4 triangles out of corrugated cardboard; these will work as stamps. Cut little triangles to use as handles for stamping. Place some paint on the paper plate and with the brush paint the flat side of the triangle. Be generous but try not overfill with paint.
Start stamping the fabric with the cardboard stamp. Make sure to press hard so that all the paint reaches the fabric. Stamp randomly throghout the fabric. Try not to rotate the shape too many times. In this design I rotated it just once, that way the desing will mantain a certain consistency.
if there are a lot of spots missed after releasing the stamp, retouch them with a small paintbrush.
Continue stamping the other colors. To make it easier to distribute the four colors, try doing them one by one. Stamp all the first color first, then the second and so on. You will have a more evenly filled fabric. Paint all of the placemats and let them dry for about 3 hours minimum.
After the paint is completely dry, cut the vinyl to the size of each placemat.
Follow the instructions of the vinyl and iron it on the four placemats.
Bring back the placemat sample and place it on top of the fabric, now cut a corner on each side of the rectangle, leaving about half of an inch between the placemat and the side of the corner. This will help avoid a bulky corner once the fabric folds.
Cut 4 rectangles of iron-on backing, the size should be about 1/4 of an inch smaller than your sample placemat. Place the backing on top the wrong side of the fabric. Fold one time the sided of teh fabric and apply the hem tape on the top all sides, you will fold them once again after this.
Fold the side the second time, this time using the tape applied. Make sure to start with the 4 corners first.
After the corners, fold 2 opposite sides first and then the last two. Keep your sample placemat handy and try setting it for guidance to fold. This will help you make the the placemat straight.
After all the sides are folded, cut another set of vinyl iron-ons to fit the back of your placemats. This time, make it a little smaller than the whole back so you don't have leftover coming out of the placemat. Stick it and iron according to the instructions of the vinyl. After this, the placemats are ready to use!