Friday, June 24, 2011

Create: Travelling Place Mat

In my efforts to be tone down my use of disposable products, I often take reusable plates and silverware to potlucks and picnics.  It's a great thought, but how do you carry all that stuff?  Someone made me some silverware holders in a swap a while back and while they are great, they are just a bit off for what I need.  Plus, there's no place to stash a plate.

I had made two plate and silverware bags last year but only used them once.  They weren't quite what I wanted either and it showed in the fact that I didn't use them.  I really need something to hold a plate, so I dug into my fabric and came up with another idea - one that works like a place mat too!  I don't like taking big plates, so I measured this to fit a smaller plate.
Crafter Bunny supervised the choice of fabric.
What you need:
Main body - 2 18"x13" pieces of fabric - I used different fabric but you could use the same
Plate pocket - 1 18"x11.5" piece of fabric - Measure this to your plate
Silverware pocket - 1 6"x8" piece of fabric that matches your plate pocket.
Ties - 2 strips of 2" fabric to your desired length
I cut out two sets of fabric.  Here they are paired and folded.
Once you have your pieces cut out, we'll start sewing.  Take your silverware pocket and fold it in half length-wise, right side together.  Sew around the open edges leaving a space to turn.  Once you are done, turn the pocket right-side out and press the opening closed so it matches with the seam.  Sew around the entire pocket once more to close up the opening and make it neat.

You will do the same thing with your plate pocket.

Now it's time to position.  Take a piece of your main fabric and place the silverware pocket to one side.  Leave enough room for the seams and a little more so the silverware doesn't fall out of the edge.  Pin and pick up your plate pocket.  I placed my plate pocket so that the plate would slide out of the side rather than the top.  Leave a few inches to the outside so that you can fold it over the plate.  The picture probably does a better job at explaining.  Sew three sides of each pocket making sure to reinforce the opening.
I could have moved the plate pocket close to the center
Now for your ties.  Fold and iron your strips in half, then open them up and fold the edges into the fold.  Then fold again so you have a .5" strip.  Sew down the edge to hold it together.

Place your strips in the middle of the sides of your main fabric on the right side.  The length should be on the fabric with just a little bit to the outside.  Place your remaining main fabric, right side down, on top of the sewed fabric.  Pin the ties in place and sew around the edges, making sure to leave an opening to turn and reinforcing the ties. 

Turn it right-side out and sew over the edges again.

Add a plate and silverware and you are done!


  1. That is a really neat idea!

  2. Reusable plates are the best but should be bio degradable. It should not be of the material that cannot be degraded by micro organisms and will create pollution.

  3. Thanks! I think it turned out really well.

    As for reusable plates, I use my normal kitchen plates or the extra ones I get from the thrift stores for my picnic ware. That way all I have to worry about is it breaking.

  4. In fact your creative writing abilities have inspired me to start my own Blog Engine blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly...Great idea.

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  5. Such a wonderful real excitement is there...i m enjoying so much.really good idea!!!
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