New This Month


Reversible Place Mats

Source: Martha Stewart Living, June 1995


When choosing a set of place mats, you are limited to a range of styles and colors that complement your dishes. And if you have more than one set of dishes, your best bet may be making your own reversible place mats. Combining a bright color with a muted one, or a plain fabric with a printed one, makes one set of place mats the equivalent of two. Whether dinner calls for a sophisticated damask or a casual plaid, the same place mat can function for both place settings. We used versatile linen for our place mats.


  • Linen (or another fabric), 2 yards of each color to make 8 place mats

  • Interfacing (medium weight), 2 yards

  • Pins

  • Sewing machine

  • Pinking shears

  • Point turner (optional)

  • Scissors

  • Iron


  1. Finished place mats will measure 20 by 14 inches. For each mat, start with two 21-by-15-inch rectangles, each cut from a different color of linen. The measurement accounts for a 1/2-inch seam allowance all around.

  2. Cut one piece of interfacing to the same size.

  3. With the interfacing on top, pin the three layers together. Be sure to match up the edges.

  4. Sew the layers together around the perimeter, 1/2 inch in from the edge. Leave a 4-inch opening on one side.

  5. Trim seams with pinking shears, and clip corners diagonally.

  6. Turn right side out. Shape corners with point turner.

  7. Press the seam allowance of the opening.

  8. Topstitch around the perimeter of the place mat as close to the edges as possible. This will close the opening and create a decorative effect. Here's the trick for topstitching two-colored projects: Thread the sewing machine with two colors of thread. The top spool should match the top of the place mat; the bobbin should match the bottom of the place mat.

  9. Topstitch the perimeter again, this time 1/4 inch in from the first row of topstitching.

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