How to Make Hand-Dyed Place Mats Out of a Drop Cloth

Ditch the plastic, lace and everything in between. Create your own dip-dyed, canvas place mats for an upscale look at a dollar store price.

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DIY Dip-Dyed Place Mats
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Finding neutral, yet beautiful place mats can be difficult. Once you find them, expect to pay around $20 a piece. Something so simple should and can be made at home.

What You'll Need

  • gridded cutting mat
  • canvas drop cloth
  • scissors or rotary cutter
  • plastic drop cloth
  • 2 disposable baking tins
  • mixing cup
  • stir stick
  • 2 complementary shades of fabric dye
  • soda ash
  • boiling water
  • salt
  • tablespoon
  • 1-cup measuring cup
  • rubber gloves
  • sewing machine
  • fabric wax

Photo by: Jalynn Baker

Jalynn Baker

Prep Materials

Begin by measuring and cutting a canvas drop cloth to 18 inches by 12 inches. Mix five tablespoons of fabric dye with equal parts soda ash and pour the mixture into a disposable baking tin with two quarts boiling water. Mix thoroughly before adding a cup of salt and continuing to mix. Repeat process in the second baking tin with the complementary fabric dye color.

Dip + Dye

Once both dyes are mixed, dip one end of the place mat into one color and the opposite end into the other color. Lay the place mat on a plastic drop cloth and allow the fabric to fully dry.

Sew Edges and Apply Wax

Once the placemat is dry, use a sewing machine and your choice of thread to sew around the perimeter of the placemat, one inch in from the edge. Fray the edges and apply an even coat of fabric wax on the front and back of the placemat.


Photo by: Jalynn Baker

Jalynn Baker

Pick colors that complement your decor and rotate seasonally or find the perfect fit for your space and utilize them all year round. One thing is certain, the options are endless.

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