Bilingual Table Toppers

January 22, 2011

Several of you expressed interest in a tutorial for the placemats I made. This was a rushed, last-minute project for me, so this is the best I can do!

First, I used an existing placemat to determine the size I wanted to use. I cut 2 pieces of each fabric to that size, as well as 2 pieces of flannel, per placemat. Using Elmer’s spray adhesive, I glued the flannel to the wrong side of each placemat piece.

To make all my pieces, I found a fork and spoon image I liked by searching Google images. I made up the knife piece (and kicked myself when I realized I had it backwards. But being under a time constraint, I dealt with my backwards knife). I traced one of our large glasses (that we don’t normally use at dinner) and a plate that’s a size smaller than our regular dinner plates (that I used to set the table). I got out one of our regular napkins, folded it in half, and traced it.

Then I made 8 sets of everything, so I had a complete table setting for each side of my placemat. I traced it all onto the paper side of Heat n Bond LITE.

Once I got it all traced, I ironed the HnB onto the wrong side of the fabric I was using for them. Napkins went on polka dots, everything else on black. Then I cut out all my pieces.

I laid all my pieces out on the placemat until I got an approximate placement for them. I removed everything but the napkin piece, took the paper backing off, and ironed it down onto the right side of the placemat piece. I then appliqued around the edge (for tips on how I applique, visit my applique tutorial).

Then I laid out the rest of my pieces, ironed them down, and appliqued them.

Repeat on both sides for each placemat.

Once all the pieces were appliqued, I placed wrong sides together, and sewed around the perimeter of the placemat, close to the edge. I made bias tape (not on the bias) and sewed it around the edges to finish them off.

Then I wrote my piece names with a fabric marker and voila! I was done!

15 Responses to “Bilingual Table Toppers”

  1. Jess said:

    This is so cute! I’ll have to do this when I have little ones, maybe with French! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  2. tania said:

    Oh wow, Im going to do this for my little girl. English and Portuguese 😉

  3. AJ said:

    This is such a great idea!! We have a multilingual household, it’ll be fun to have these in several different languages :0)

  4. Tammy @ she wears flowers said:

    This is adorable!! Such a great idea to add the words in two languages!

  5. Toqua's Crafts said:

    SO CUTE! This grandma will have to make a set for my daughter and her boys! Thank you for sharing!

  6. Antof9 said:

    Seriously love this! But my grandmother was a stickler for table settings, and the knife is facing the wrong way 🙁 I’m sure it doesn’t matter, but if people are replicating this, I’d want them to know!

    Big (new) fan of your blog,


  7. Andrea said:

    Have you tried washing these? Does the adhesive hold up? Thanks for sharing!

  8. Melissa said:

    I haven’t tried washing them yet. But if you applique all your pieces down, they won’t come off in the washer!

  9. Afton said:

    This project is my favorite! I absolutely love the idea.

  10. cucicucicoo said:

    very cool! i’d seen other versions of these placemats, but never bilingual. we’re a bilingual home, so i will give it a go too! 🙂 lisa

  11. Isabella Ethan said:

    I like it.
    inshallah I will make many as them.
    I think in future sewing will be my new hobbies after age 27 hehe, you encourage me,

    from my childhood I dream to sew, mum is sew sometimes, but you push me to start.

    my best regards,

  12. cucicucicoo said:

    here i am again to tell you that i made them! here’s my take on them, if you’re interested:

    thanks again so much for the idea! 🙂 lisa

  13. Suzanne said:

    This is a great way to teach the kids how to properly set the table. One could even add the salad forks, the soup bowl & spoon, etc… or even make different sets for different courses. The applications are many. And making them multi-lingual provides another teachable opportunity. LOVE IT!

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