12 Days of Projects – Day 11 No Sew Stenciled Placemats

Wowsers, we are in the home stretch of 12 Days of Projects! Today is Day 11 and I’m making No Sew Stenciled Placemats. I could have just used a fabric transfer technique like I tried a few days ago, but I had this stencil of rustic numbers and thought it might be fun to try my hand at stenciling on fabric. I hoped the result would be soft and slightly imperfect. And why not try on a simple project like placemats?! Did you know the French word for stencil is pochoir? Tidbits to share with friends at cocktail parties (ones where you talk about DIY, of course!) I also wanted to avoid sewing so thought I could do some frayed edges that would give the placemats a finished look without the bother of pulling out the sewing machine. Let’s get started…

Materials:
Fabric – I used a cotton muslin pre-washed/shrunk. I think these would work much better with linen, I just didn’t want to spend the money!
Fabric paint
Stencil brush
Scissors – make sure you use a pair dedicated for use on fabrics. Did you know that using scissors on paper dulls them very quickly? I keep mine separate.
Pencil
Ruler/tape measure
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Instructions:
Step 1. From what I’ve seen, placemat dimensions tend to be about 13 x 17 inches. Plan out your placemats on your fabric and use your pencil to sketch an outline (I did 14 x 18). Fabric bolts can come in different widths, but if you find one at least 45 inches wide, you can easily get 4 placemats out of one yard.
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Step 2. Cut out your placemats with your fabric scissors.
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Step 3. Lay out your stencil and tape it down securely. I wanted mine to appear in the bottom right corner of the placemat.
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Step 4. Using a stencil brush (inexpensive foam round brush), dip the brush in the fabric paint, and “dab” on a surface to remove most of the paint (I use an old plastic lid). And then use the same dabbing technique to go over your stencil onto your fabric in an even manner. You really use very little paint, particularly in the case of these where we want it to appear a little faded.
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Step 5. Remove your stencil and let the paint dry.
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Step 6. To fray the edges, pull strands of the fabric threads one at a time until you reach a desirable effect. I had mixed success with this techniques, fyi. I think it was the fabric I used, but it wasn’t that square, so my frayed edges got a little lopsided (but hey they are “perfectly imperfect”). 🙂 I think next time I might just sew them. Or linen might work better for this part, too.
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That’s it! That’s all! You could make 2 or 4 or as many as are in your family. These also make great handmade gifts. Have fun crafting!
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