So this year we are hosting Christmas dinner for our whole family in a new house, since we finally have the space to do it! We previously lived in a very small 2 up 2 down end terrace, and could barely fit an extra two people in the living room let alone host Christmas dinner for 10! Now we’re in our lovely 1930s semi we have a dining room as well as a kitchen diner, so we went and bought a nice big extendable table. I’ve been busy planning the decor of our Christmas table, and I’m loving every minute of it!
When Googling placemats, I came across these beautiful pom pom mats. I mean, pom poms are a big deal in the interiors world right now – I must admit to being a little bit obsessed with them! I scoured the entire internet looking for them, but couldn’t find any; the couple I did find were from America and around $20 each… not viable when you need 10 of them! So, I decided to make them myself…
DISCLAIMER: I am not a professional. I am not even an amateur. I’ve not touched a sewing machine since my GCSE in Textiles in 2002, and I’m not actually all that good at crafts and DIY stuff. This sewing machine is my mum’s and I’m pretty sure it’s older than me, I remember sitting and watching her make curtains on it when I was little. It still works brilliantly though… so if I can do this on my mum’s old sewing machine, you can too!
You will need:
Fabric glue (or craft glue)
Placemats (or thick linen/cotton fabric if you want to make your own)
Pom pom trim (I got mine from Bertie’s Bows)
I bought the Marit placemats from Ikea in a natural grey/beige, as they’re only £1.50 each and I needed loads of them. Plus they’re really thick and sturdy, and I personally didn’t trust myself to make my own placemats… however if you’re better at sewing than me you could easily buy some thick linen fabric and make these yourself!
First thing first, iron your placemats. If you get them from Ikea they will be folded a million times and full of creases. This is important as the creases would make the pom pom trim go on wonky if they were left in.
Next, cut off the labels – don’t make my mistake and forget this step then accidentally sew one into your pom poms!
Now you need to secure the trim to the placemat. There are a few different methods for this; a lot of people would use pins or hand sew it on with big tacking stitches. I discovered when I upcycled some furniture that I hugely lack patience as I’m desperate to see the finished product, so I didn’t tack. I also couldn’t get the trim to stop moving around when I pinned it, so I opted for glueing it on first. Again, due to patience issues I couldn’t get hold of any fabric glue and didn’t want to wait for it from Amazon, so I bought some Bostik all purpose glue. I used this to stick lace ribbon on to card for my wedding invitations and remembered that it held brilliantly, even on fabric, and it has been great for this too. If you wanted to skip the sewing step entirely you could probably get a good fabric glue or glue gun and just glue on the trim, but I know that I will want to be able to chuck these in the washing machine when sauce inevitably gets spilled on them, so I want my trim to be really secure.
You don’t need a lot of this glue, just run it around the edge of the mat leaving a thin trail. Do this as close to the edge as possible as you don’t really want your placemat showing through behind your pom poms.
I didn’t measure and cut off the trim, I just stuck it on straight from its original bundle and trimmed it off at each end.
When you trim it and start again on each corner, I found it looked better to overlap so that there isn’t a gap of no pom poms.
When it’s all glued on, let it dry for a bit. Maybe get a cup of tea at this point – a lot of tea is needed for crafts, or gin!
When it’s dry, you’re ready to sew. I used white cotton and a small, straight running stitch. Your sewing machine might find this part a bit tricky if the placemats are thick; the Ikea ones have two thin and two thick edges, and it definitely struggled a bit on the thick ones. The key here is to keep the pom poms out of the way of the foot, as if they get stuck underneath you’d end up sewing your pom pom to your trim and probably breaking your needle. I used my right hand to flatten and guide the pom poms as I sewed, and I didn’t go too fast either.
When you get to each corner, keep the needle in and lift up the foot as you rotate the placemat – keeps the stitches consistent and stops you losing your place!
Once you’ve gone all the way around, finish off your stitches. You can do this on a sewing machine by going backwards and forwards, or using a zig zag stitch, but I found the machine didn’t like this with the thickness of the mats, so I just tied a double knot in the remaining threads and snipped them off.
Ta-da, you’ve made pom pom placemats! Last step is to immediately invite all of your friends round for dinner and show them off. But don’t let them spill anything on them.
Let me know if you give this a go!