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Hand-Bleached Place Mats

Create an artful backdrop for your dishes by dipping the edges of black bamboo place mats in bleach.


At each seat, an ear of dried miniature corn, its husks sprayed silver, unfurls elegantly on a platinum-rimmed plate and echoes the two-tone effect. Store-bought chocolate truffles shine with coats of edible petal dust and silver leaf.


  • Large rubber bands
  • Cylinder vase, at least 6 inches wide
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Black bamboo place mats,


  1. Step 1

    Stretch 2 rubber bands around vase vertically, about 1 inch apart.

  2. Step 2

    Fill vase with 1 1/2 inches bleach. Set place mats (3 at a time), loosely rolled, into vase between bands.

  3. Step 3

    Let soak in a well-ventilated area until desired shade is achieved, up to 5 hours.

  4. Step 4

    Carefully rinse bleached area; lay flat, and let dry completely, about 2 hours. Repeat to bleach other side.

Martha Stewart Living, November 2009

Reviews (2)

  • MSLO_tiffany 30 Nov, 2009

    They are available at

  • diditme 24 Nov, 2009

    where can i find these black bamboo placemats??