Burlap Placemats From Jess at If Only They Would Nap.

It’s Thursday! The week is almost over and so is the school year. Anyone have kids in school and wonder where the year just went? Good grief! I can’t believe my daughter is about to finish second grade. (sniff sniff) It has been really busy around here so I’ve asked some blog friends if they would like to share some tutorials with you. Last week Celeste shared the Pocket Belt tutorial. This week we have Jess with us, from If Only They Would Nap. So let’s get right to it…

Hello, Southern Institute readers!  I’m Jess, and I blog over at If Only They Would Nap (because seriously, if my boys would nap, I could get so much done!)  I am so happy to be here sharing with you all today.  I have been a reader of Jenny’s blog for quite awhile and l.o.v.e. everything she does.  So what a joy for me to be here!

After a loooong Wisconsin winter, I decided I needed a little change in my kitchen.  And some flowers – who doesn’t love flowers in the spring?  So to spruce things up a bit, I whipped up a super easy project – painted burlap placemats!

These are really easy to make for your own home.  Here’s how:

1. Measure and cut your burlap.  You can use a placemat you have on hand as a guide or just eyeball it.  I cut mine about 16in. x 22in.  Keep in mind that the placemat will end up being a little bit smaller than you cut it, plus you want to leave a little margin for error (burlap can be tricky to cut in straight lines!)

2. Zig-zag stitch about one inch in from the edge of the burlap, all around the placemat.

When you are sewing around the edges, be sure to back stitch at the beginning and then again at the end.  When you reach a corner (leaving about an inch to go before the edge), don’t take your needle out.  Leave it in and pivot your burlap to continue sewing on the next side.

3.  After you have zig-zagged around all four edges, trim each side of the burlap to make sure they’re all even.  Be careful to cut the burlap as straight as you can.

4. Now you’re going to fray your edges.  Carefully pull out the loose threads of burlap – the ones that are parallel to the side you are fraying.

As you are fraying the sides, you may occasionally come to a spot where the burlap thread won’t pull anymore because it has been sewn into your zig-zig stitch.
When this happens just trim close to the zig-zag stitch- but don’t cut through that!
This is what your placemat edges will look like when they are all frayed.

5. Now you get to add your paint accents! You can free hand paint or use freezer paper stenciling. I recommend using freezer paper, because you’ll get a much cleaner line. I’ve done it free hand, but it doesn’t look quite as nice.
If you’re going the freezer paper route, draw your image onto the dull side of the paper, use a sharp paper cutting tool to cut it out, then iron it onto your burlap, shiny side down.

Then use fabric paint to paint over your freezer paper!  Let it dry some before pulling the paper off your placemat.  If you pull carefully, you should be able to re-use your freezer paper stencil for your other placemats as well.
6. Let the paint dry completely and set the table with your beautiful new placemats!
Pair them up with some cloth napkins to add a fun new spring look to your dinner table!

Thanks so much, Jenny, for having me over today!  You’re all welcome to stop by and visit me at my blog or on facebook anytime!

Thank you, Jess! This is the perfect afternoon project. A little bit of time and effort can make a big difference in our homes.

Please make sure you all visit Jess at her blog… she has a baby on the way and has been making her own maternity clothes. AWESOME! She also has an Etsy shop.

Have a wonderful day. I’ll see you back here soon.


  1. I love your stencil! What wonderful placemats!

  2. kpmattingly says:

    Super cute. Love the colors.

  3. hope says:

    what a GREAT idea!! i’m so ready for school to be out so i can get some crafting time!! these are moving to the top of my list.

  4. kpmattingly says:

    Super cute. Love the colors.

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