How To Make French Placemats

You won't believe what I used to make these beautiful French Placemats.
Today I am sharing my French Placemat project. It does take a little time but is so worth it.

The material I used was a 15′ x 4′ drop cloth that I purchased at Wal-Mart *5H910 Canvas Drop Cloth for $14.99. That is a lot of material.
You do have to prepare the drop cloth before you start the project. Check out my drop cloth post on the blog.

Here is the list for what you will need for this project.

canvas drop cloth (washed and prepped)

wax paper


printer paper

adhesive spray

painters tape

sponge brush

acrylic paint

My place mats measure 18 x 14 when finished.

I first cut out 4 sets or 8 pieces measuring 20 x 16.

Once cut out take four of your pieces and these will be your tops for the placemat transfers.
I used this Free Paris graphic I found at Graphic Fairy. Check out her site, there are so many awesome graphics for download. I used the transfer method of wax paper. You can find that method on Graphic Fairy also.

Make sure to center the graphic on the fabric.
After transferring my graphic onto each placemat I now wanted to paint side stripes to give it a more finished look.

I measured out 1 inch from the widest point of the graphic. That is where I wanted my first line to be.
Place your painters/masking tape in a straight line for that first stripe. Measure from the outer edge towards your tape to make sure your sides are going to be even. It looked like there were right so I continues on.
Started painting my first thin line. I wanted three lines total with the middle line being the widest.
To start the middle line I cover the thin line just over to where I want the middle line to start. I didn’t want to much space between the thin line and the middle. You will repeat this spacing for the second thin line as well.

Important thing here is to take your time and think out each line spacing and copy the same for each side.
Your paint brush should be rather dry, because this is more a stenciling project. To wet a brush and your paint may spread outside your lines.

To get your third line you need to create a tape line the same width as the space between the wide line and the thin first line.

Once you have painted all the placemats then I seamed up all four sides except my 5-6 inch turning spot. Turn each placemat inside out and then iron the seams flat and remove all wrinkles.
I made placemats for a setting of four. I did wash one set to see how it would do and it did not fade much at all. So I would suggest washing at a minimum because some fading will occur.

These do take some time with the prep work of the canvas drop cloth and then the transfer of the image and painting of stripes, but I think they are well worth it.

COST OF PLACEMATS. $11.00 for 4-Placemats. I have enough fabric left over to make a couple of other things.

I will have some in my Etsy shop if you would rather forgo the time it takes to make them.

Don’t forget to pin this to your Pinterest Board. I would love for you to join me on PINTEREST. Great things are happening all the time over there.

I love hearing from you, so please leave a comment if you would like. I do enjoying reading them all and will reply.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoy your weekend!
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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3 of 5 comments
  • Hannah V Hannah V on Sep 08, 2015
    They're perfect!

  • Deltamom Deltamom on Apr 23, 2016
    thank you for sharing. ive been looking for placemats for a long time at thrift stores. ive only found two sets of 8 placemats. i had given up. now, with your idea i can make my own with two old dropcloths that ive used for years as tablecloths for precisely the reason they are called dropcloths! now, time for a new tablecloth!!! thanks again for sharing such beautiful work!