Have you ever chased your toddler around the dinner table?

I have…And it really interferes with the actual eating part!  T

hough it’s pretty normal for kids to have the wiggles during meal times, I’ve found a proactive way to keep my toddler son (mostly) and preschool daughter at the table!

I’m a huge advocate for sitting at the dinner table (completely screen free).  I’m not going to lie and say that we do it every night, or for every meal, but we do it regularly.

Research shows that there are some good reasons to focus on the family during dinner time:

Over the past 15 years researchers have confirmed what parents have known for a long time: sharing a family meal is good for the spirit, the brain and the health of all family members. Recent studies link regular family dinners with many behaviors that parents pray for: lower rates of substance abuse, teen pregnancy and depression, as well as higher grade-point averages and self-esteem” (www.thefamilydinnerproject.org).

So what does that have to do with placemats?

Well, it was getting tough to rouse excitement for sitting at the dinner table.

Not to mention, things can get messy with two kids eating.  Spaghetti goes flying, sunflower seeds end up in the water cup, and so the story goes.

Now, I’m not going to say that these placemats are going to help my kids get higher grade-point averages, but it sure does make the dinner table more fun!

So here’s the deal:  If you already have a placemat of some sort, measure it and decide what size you want your new no-sew placemats to be.  I have some burlap placemats that measured at about 12 inches by 15 inches.  I decided to stick with that size for our new ones.

Now is the fun part… going to the fabric store.  The kids were beyond excited to pick out their material.

When my daughter asked if she could pick two different types of material, I came up with the idea to make them reversible.  Way more fun!

When it comes to measuring out material at the fabric store, I’m the worst.  So I opted for 1/2 a yard of each material, knowing that it was way too much (plenty for the next project).

Next on the list was the hemming tape (why bring out the sewing machine, when this fabulous stuff exists?) I bought this hemming tape, but a 4 pack, which was way too much:  Heat and Bond Hemming Tape.

When we got home, we were ready to get started!  We waited for toddler nap time and then dove in!

The finished product for the kids:


So here’s the recap:

  1.  Decide on the size you would like your placemats to be (Mine were 12 inches by 15 inches).
  2. Choose your material (2 prints if you want them reversible).  I went with 1/2 a yard for each side of material.
  3. Buy your Heat and Bond Hemming Tape.

To Make 1 Placemat:

You will need:

*an iron

*your chosen material

*Heat and Bond Hemming Tape.

  1. For a 12″x 15″ placemat, measure out 2 rectanges of 13″ x 15″ of material.
  2. Measure 1/2 an inch on each side and make markings to ensure straight edges.
  3. With your material print facing out, fold over the edges on your 1/2″ markings and iron down.
  4. Repeat with second rectangle of material.
  5. Measure out your hemming tape and place it on the folds (it’s best to do one at a time so you can make adjustments).
  6. Put the rectangles of material together (printed sides facing out) to where you no longer see the hemming tape.
  7. Iron according to the hemming tape instructions.


I was worried about there not being any padding in between, or that they weren’t coated with an easy wipe-off material.  But, the best part about these placemats is you can hand wash them with hot, soapy water and then hang them on your oven handle to dry and they’re dry before the next meal.  I haven’t tried to machine wash them yet, but I’ll update if I do!

Post your no-sew placemat questions or comments in the comments section!  Better yet, post a picture!