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Raffia Place Mats

Geometric designs can be added easily to place mats. The embroidered pattern and the different colors of raffia offer a nice way to make plain table linens more distinctive.

Source: Martha Stewart Living, June 2008


  • Raffia

  • Disappearing-ink fabric pen

  • Place mats

  • Thread (any color)

  • Sewing needles


  1. Using a disappearing-ink fabric pen, draw a row of diamond shapes (ours are 1 1/2 by 1 1/2 inches) along the bottom of a place mat. Draw an additional diamond shape at the top left of the place mat.

  2. Thread a large-eyed needle with raffia in desired color, knotting it before embroidering design using a detached-chain stitch.

  3. Starting with first diamond, draw a threaded needle up through A. Draw the needle down through A, creating a loop. Holding the loop, gently use fingers to flatten and spread out raffia. [See image.]

  4. Draw needle up through B, inside the loop. Pull loop taut. Bring needle down through B, outside of the loop.

  5. Working on one side of diamond at a time, repeat steps 3 and 4, creating a stitch from A to D; C to D; and then C to B.

  6. Stitch remaining diamonds onto place mats. When stitching several in a row, connect them: Always use point D of the preceding diamond as your new point B.

  7. Knot stitches on underside of mat as needed. Spot-clean mats as needed.

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