How To Make a Decorative Table Mat Using Cord

5 Materials
4 Hours

Celebrate spring or any time of the year by creating fun craft projects while at the same time adding beauty to your surroundings! One way is to make an adorable table mat! It's a delightful way to provide a decorative accent feature that can dress up almost any area of your home - including the dining room, kitchen and living areas. And it's a great decorative accent piece that can be used anywhere, on any type of table, including buffets, side tables, end tables, sofa tables, coffee tables and of course dining tables, too. Check how easy it is to make a lovely decoupage table mat:


Let's begin - to stop the 3-ply cord from coming apart, add a little fabric glue to the end pressing it together and let dry. Next, add a dab of fabric glue on the center of the pad and lay the tip of the cord on top. Begin folding the cord together, adding fabric glue around the sides of the cord and on top of the pad to keep the cords and shape secure.

You can see the mat beginning to take shape!

Continue adding fabric glue around the bottom and sides of the cord to hold the shape together and to the pad.

Once you've reached the size you want (19"), cut the cord at an angle and using more fabric glue, blend in the end to the side of the mat.

Then; cut off the excess pad around the mat cutting as close to the made edge as possible.

To make decorative cord trim for the mat, cut two 60" strips of cord. Secure ends with fabric glue and let dry, as before. Begin coiling the cord, applying fabric glue to secure and placing cord on parchment paper to continue coiling.

Continue coiling cord into a circle and applying fabric glue until satisfied with size of the circle.

Then make a decorative curve with the cord and continue coiling cord for a second circle. Use the first coil as a pattern for the size of the second coiled circle.

Let dry and repeat for making a second decorative set - matching the size.

Glue decorative coils onto the table mat matching placement on opposite sides.

To decorate the table mat with napkins, cut out napkin designs . . .

and separate the plain layers of the napkin from the printed side.

Then lay out a design plan around the table mat.

Add a layer of decoupage to the cording - just enough for the size of the napkin design.

Lay the napkin down on top of the decoupage, smoothing out the napkin. Use clear plastic to smooth down the napkin (as long as you haven't added more Mod Podge to the top of the napkin. If you have, the napkin might come up when removing the plastic) Otherwise, just use the brush to lightly smooth the napkin down along the ridges of the cord. 

Continue adding Mod Podge to the cord and applying the cutout napkin designs. Smoothing the napkin designs out as you add each design section  using the paint brush to high-light the shape of the cording until the table mat is covered with the napkin design.

Once dry, seal entire table mat with Mod Podge.

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Gail@Purple Hues and Me

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Beth Booth
    Beth Booth
    on Apr 16, 2021

    Why didn’t you say what the pad was at the start of the instructions?

      on Apr 21, 2021

      Hi Beth

      Check the 'materials list' Gail has the pad listed there. It's such a pretty project and you can adjust your napkins to match your style & decor.

  • Mary Ann Goldberg
    Mary Ann Goldberg
    on Apr 20, 2021

    Will this hold up to heat if used as a trivet? Adorable!

    • Gail@Purple Hues and Me
      Gail@Purple Hues and Me
      on Apr 20, 2021

      Thanks, Mary! Not sure since I sealed it with Matte Mod Podge. Perhaps if you sealed it with Outdoor Mod Podge or a clear sealant for high temperatures it should work. I didn't have any on hand and didn't think about using hot items on it, but I should have! Thanks for suggesting this!

Join the conversation

3 of 34 comments
  • Ruth Price
    Ruth Price
    5 days ago

    I love this idea. I have a real weakness for pretty napkins and this is a great way to both preserve & repurpose some of my favourites.

  • Betty
    10 hours ago

    Gail, you always have the best projects! (Plus we share the love of purple.) This projects is so doable and versatile that I may make it more than once. I can see lining a serving tray, or making absorbent coasters, or any number of other things. Thank you!

    • Thanks so much for your sweet comments, Betty! Those are all great ideas! I might have to use some of your ideas for making a few more!

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