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How to sew the easiest outdoor placemats and coasters ever [free tutorial]

by Jean Boyd

Yesterday I showed you how to make a lunch bag using HeatnBond Iron-On Vinyl.

Blue print lunch bag with HeatnBond Iron-On Vinyl on the inside and outside

Lunch bag with HeatnBond Iron-On Vinyl on the inside and outside

Today we’ll make some placemats and coasters using both HeatnBond Iron-On Vinyl and Odif Odicoat Gel Coating. These placemats and coasters are perfect for outdoor use, as they are water-resistant and can be wiped off easily when it’s time for clean-up. Placemats are great for using up fabrics from your stash, especially those large prints and specialty fabrics you probably have on hand.

A white plate sitting on a placemat and a green mug sitting on a coaster

Finished placemat and coaster

Here’s the HeatnBond Iron-On Vinyl method.

  • Cut your placemat fabric about ½” larger all around than the desired finished size.
  • For each placemat, cut 2 pieces of HeatnBond Iron-On Vinyl.
  • Following the instructions from instructions given for the snack bag on Tuesday or those that come with the iron-on vinyl, press one piece of vinyl on each side of the placemat fabric. If you’re using a fabric like batik, you’ll have a reversible placemat because the design is often the same on both sides of the fabric.
  • Trim off excess fabric and vinyl to make the placemat to the desired size.

A piece of fabric with triangle patterns in bright colors with the edges trimmed

Trim extra fabric and vinyl.

  • If you wish, you can stitch ¼” from the outside edges all around for extra reinforcement.

Machine stitch ¼" from outside edges using a walking foot.

Stitch ¼” from outside edges.

You can also use Odif Odicoat Gel Coating to make placemats. Follow the method above, but treat each side of the fabric with Odif Odicoat Gel Coating instead of using the vinyl. This product is a waterproof gel that protects fabrics by creating an oilcloth-like finish. Apply Odicoat to fabric using a soft bristle or foam brush, or the plastic card that comes with the product. Wash the finished projects by hand or machine. Let the Gel Coating dry for 12 hours before using the fabric.

Fabric for coasters, Odif Odicoat Gel Coating, foam brush and plastic card for spreading Gel Coating on fabric

Apply Odif Odicoat Gel Coating on fabric.

And here are the finished placemats!

3 different finished placemats, each covered with HeatnBond Iron-On Vinyl

3 finished placemats

To make a set of coasters, choose a piece of fabric that will give you the number of coasters you want.

Put HeatnBond Iron-On Vinyl or Odif Odicoat Gel Coating on both sides of the fabric.

Trace around a circle shape.

Cut out the coasters using scissors.

3 circles are drawn on green fabric that was treated with Odif Odicoat Gel Coating.

Trace the coaster shape on the treated fabric.

And that’s it! Your outdoor, reversible placemats and coasters are ready to use!

Plates sitting on 3 different placemats and a mug on a coaster

Finished placemats and coasters

I hope you enjoyed learning about HeatnBond Iron-On Vinyl and Odif Odicoat Gel Coating this week. There are so many possibilities for creating projects from these two products. Enjoy!

This is part 5 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 4: How to make a quick and easy lunch bag, and waterproof it!


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