Directions to Make Rag Placemats


Do not leave all those little scraps of fabric laying around when they can be put to wonderful use as part of a rag place mat. With all those little scraps of fabric that are just too pretty to be thrown out but too small to do much with, this project is a fun solution. Piece them together to make one-of-a-kind place mats that would dress up any table very nicely.

Things You'll Need

  • 4-inch fabric squares, 70
  • Scissor
  • Sewing needle
  • Thread
  • Backing material
  • Lightweight batting
  • Fine-tooth comb
  • Cut your fabric into 70 4-inch squares. You can work with smaller pieces, but it's easiest to work with all pieces being uniform in size. For each place mat you make, you will need 70 of the 4-inch squares.

  • Layer two squares on top of each other and stitch together around all sides, 5/8 inch in from the edge. Repeat with all remaining squares. You will end up with 35 squares.

  • Lay the pieces out on a flat surface, arranging them in the order you prefer. Lay them out in five rows that are seven squares long. When you are happy with their order, pin the raw edges of all the individual squares together.

  • Sew the squares together one by one. Sew the seam directly over the seam you made when you pieced the two squares together. When you are finished sewing them all together, your place mat will measure five squares in height by seven squares in length.

  • Lay the place mat on a flat surface with the raw edges facing down. (With the place mat in this position the raw edges are going to be on the top of your finished place mat.) If you would prefer your place mat to have smooth top when finished, then lay the place mat with the raw edges up.

  • Measure the place mat. Cut a piece of backing material the exact same size as the place mat. Cut a piece of batting that measures 1 1/4 inches less in length and 1 1/4 inches less in width than the place mat. For example, if the place mat measures 15 inches by 10 inches, you would cut the batting to 13 3/4 inches by 8 3/4 inches.

  • Center the batting on top of the place mat. Since the batting is a bit smaller, arrange it so there is equal spacing around each edge of the batting on the place mat.

  • Lay the backing fabric on top of the batting, with the raw edges of the backing aligning with the raw edges of the place mat. Since the batting is a bit smaller, you should not see any batting along any of the edges. Pin the three layers together.

  • Sew a straight seam along the entire outside edge, 5/8th inch in from the raw edge. The batting will be loose on the inside of the place mat.

  • Lay the place mat with the raw edges up. Using a fine-tooth comb, fray the raw edges of the material to achieve the patchwork quilt look.

Tips & Warnings

  • You could also fray the raw edges of the place mat by running the place mat through a wash cycle of your washing machine once you are finished sewing it together.
  • Always use proper precautions when working with scissors, needles and straight pins.

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  • Photo Credit store display of fabric image by Joyce Wilkes from
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