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Woven Place Mats

The 3-D tumbling-block effect on these beauties goes off the grid: It calls for three materials instead of two, but that doesn't mean it's more difficult.

woven place mats on a table

Photography: Ryan Liebe

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2020

Introduction

Weave your own place mats, then set the table with our favorite serveware (Five Two Everyday Soft Cotton Napkins, in Rhubarb, $30 for 4, food52.com. West Elm Kanto Mugs, in Ice White, $42 for 4, westelm.com; West Elm Kanto Salad Plates, $50 for 4, westelm.com; Hearth & Hand with Magnolia Matte-Finish Flatware, in Black, $20 for 5 pieces, target.com).

 

For more ideas, scroll through our entire collection of weaving projects.

materials

  • Cardboard

  • Cotton tape, 1 inch wide, in three colors (you'll need about 9 yards of each, plus an additional 2 yards of the color you want to use for the border) (Pacific Trimming Cotton Twill Tape, 1", in 165, 177, and 178, $2 a yd., pacifictrimming.com)

  • A piece of foam core, at least 16 by 20 inches

  • Sewing supplies

  • Fabric glue

  • Cotton felt

steps

  1. To make your cardboard "tapestry needle," cut out a 12-inch-by-1-inch strip of cardboard. Snip a 1/2-inch-wide slit parallel to the short side at one end, for the "eye." Cut off the corners at the other end, making it into an arrow shape.

  2. Cut and pin down twelve 20-inch-long strips of cotton tape in one color onto a piece of foam core, side-by-side vertically.

  3. Weave a second set of cotton-tape strips in a new color through the pinned-down strips, as shown. You will need 22 strips of gradated lengths, from 3 inches at the corners to 20 inches at the middle. Thread the cardboard needle with one strip and, starting on the right-hand side near the middle, guide it over two vertical strips and under one vertical strip, working at an upward diagonal angle. Pin down both ends of the working strip when you reach the opposite edge. Repeat, alternating how you begin each row as shown, and working your way out toward the corners, until you've woven all 22 strips through.

    step one of weaving tutorial illustration
  4. Weave a third set of cotton tape strips in a new color through the first two sets of pinned-down strips, as shown. You will need 20 strips of varying lengths, from 3 inches at the corners to 20 inches at the middle. Thread the cardboard needle with one strip and, starting on the left-hand side near the top, guide it under four "triangles" and over two "triangles," working at a downward diagonal angle. Repeat, alternating how you begin each row as shown, and working your way out toward the corners, until you’ve woven all 20 strips through.

    step two of weaving tutorial illustration
  5. Tack down with glue, or sew the finished woven rectangle onto a piece of cotton felt. Trim the ends of the strips so they are even, as shown, and felt is 1/4 inch wider than the finished woven rectangle; our felt backing measured 13 1/2 inches by 19 inches. Glue or sew additional cotton tape around the edges of the rectangle as a border.

    step three of weaving tutorial illustration

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