I've been wanting to make chalkboard placemats for months now. I finally did it. I decided that I would follow the directions from Sew 4 Home. However, I wanted to have waterproof fabric on the back instead of regular fabric so I grabbed some oil cloth. When it came time to put the placemat together, I couldn't press anything with an iron or use too many pins. I didn't want to melt my fabric and once the fabric is punctured with pins, the hole stays there.
I decided to do this thing a super basic way using bias tape.
What you'll need:
- Chalkboard cloth (found in the "utility fabric" section of your fabric store)
- Oil cloth (also a "utility fabric")
- Bias tape (extra wide, double fold bias tape- 3 yd. Plan on one package per placemat just in case)
- Jean needle (strong needle to sew your fabrics)
- Sewing machine (with jean needle)
What you'll do:
1) Cut one piece of chalkboard fabric and one piece of oil cloth the same size. Cut it to the size you'd like your placemat to be.
2) With wrong sides together, line up your bias tape on one edge of the chalkboard side! This is important! I found that the chalkboard fabric is quite slick and thick and doesn't grab onto the feed dogs well. So, having the oil cloth on the bottom allows for easier and nicer sewing.
3) Sew your bias tape on. See the following tutorial.
I already finished 2 edges. I'm going to show you the top edge. (Pretend this is your first edge.)
Here's one side of the placemat.
Here's the other side of the placemat.
Here's where the bias tape comes in. For super clear instructions on using bias tape without swearing, watch this video.
I followed the instructions in the video almost exactly. The only change I made was that I lined up the edge of my bias tape with the edge of my fabric. The woman in the video, Amy, lines up her bias tape a little below the edge of the fabric but, don't do it! You need that space when you're using the thicker fabrics.
So, unfold your bias tape, with the thinner edge up. Sew along that first fold. I tucked in my sides like Amy did too.
Start folding your bias tape over to the other side of the placemat.
Now it should look like this on the reverse side.
Sew the edge down. The chalkboard side will be facing down but since you now have the bias tape on the bottom, the feed dogs will grab onto the bias tape nicely and you won't have problems.
Repeat with the remaining sides.
Prep your chalkboard by rubbing the edge of your chalk all over the board. Wipe it clean with a clean cloth. You're ready! You can also use liquid chalk which I'd like to try out sometime. It looks a lot cleaner and brighter.
This post was part of The Shady Porch's Rock 'N' Share! Visit The Shady Porch for other great ideas across the blogosphere.