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How to Make Suede Place Mats

Updated on April 19, 2013
Diane Lockridge profile image

Lockridge enjoys reading and writing about new (and sometimes old) craft and decoration ideas.

No need for naked tables, you can make a place mat without a sewing machine!
No need for naked tables, you can make a place mat without a sewing machine! | Source

A Simple Home Deocrating Project

Place mats brighten the table décor and can impact the overall design of your table and kitchen.

Although you can make place mats from virtually any type of fabric, synthetic suede has the plush look of suede and looks more expensive(and has a higher quality) than other fabrics, is easy to care for, and is available in a wide variety of colors to match your kitchen and dining room décor.

Making your own simple suede place mats is not too difficult; it takes just a few minutes and a flat work surface, and a few supplies. Don't worry if you don’t have a large self-healing mat to protect your work surface; you can also work on a piece of cardboard.

Things You'll Need

Self-healing mat or cardboard

Synthetic suede


Fabric chalk

Crimping scissors

Craft knife


  1. Spread the suede out on your work surface and smooth out all wrinkles and folds in the fabric. Use an iron on the low setting to remove excessive creases if necessary.
  2. Measure a 12-by-18-inch rectangle on the synthetic suede, and mark it with the chalk and the straight edge of the yardstick. A piece of synthetic suede 1 yard long and 54 inches wide should yield nine place mats if cut and measured correctly.
  3. Cut out each rectangle-shaped place mat by running the craft knife along the edge of the yardstick. If you want a more decorative look, use a pair of crimping scissors to cut each place mat to make a crimped edge. Don’t worry about sealing the edges of the synthetic suede; it won’t fray or unravel.
  4. Position the place mats on the table as normal, and set the plate on top of the place mat.


Consider adding a place to tuck silverware into the place mat. Cut a pair of 2-inch long parallel lines, 1 inch apart, and 1 inch away from the edge, about halfway up the middle of the place mat. Slip the knife and fork in the place mat to anchor it in place.

If you want an even more decorative look, embellish the edges of the synthetic suede place mat with stitch from your sewing machine using a contrasting color of thread. If you add the slits for the silverware, consider only stitching around the top or the bottom of the place mat.

For a more modern look, use two coordinating colors of synthetic suede and create a checkerboard pattern by sewing the four pieces together.. Cut the each 12-by-18-inch piece into fourths, and sew four pieces together- two of each color- into a checkerboard type pattern.


Although you can launder synthetic suede in the washing machine and dryer as you would other fabrics, avoid using fabric-softening sheets; use liquid softener in the rinse cycle instead. Remove the synthetic suede from the dryer promptly to reduce wrinkles in the fabric.


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