Homemade place mats ensure an added level of customization for kitchen decor. Sets of place mats and complimenting napkins make an excellent gift for friends and family. Place mats can be as simple or advanced as the ability of the creator. When cutting pieces for place mats, be sure to add an extra 1/2 inch onto every side of each piece for the seam.
A single rectangle requires no further sewing than a straight edge the entire way around the rectangle. Combine two pieces of fabric and place the design parts together, so that the "wrong" side of the fabric is facing outward. Use a straight stitch to sew around the entire edge of the rectangle, but leave 4 inches unsewn at the end for turning the place mat right side out. Iron the turned-out place mat, and do another straight stitch around the edges to help the place mat keep its form.
If you want a striped appearance, it can also be accomplished by using a simple straight edge. Cut the desired stripes; they should be going either horizontally or vertically. Combine the stripes into the rectangles by straight stitching the pieces together, wrong side out. Once the stripes are combined, sew the entire place mat as though it were two single rectangles.
To create a patchwork design, cut the squares to their desired size and combine them into strips by straight stitching the squares together. Once the strips are formed, sew them together. Finally, stitch the entire place mat together as though it were two single rectangles.
Ann White is a freelance journalist with prior experience as a Corporate and Business Attorney and Family Law Mediator. She has written for multiple university newspapers and has published over 300 articles for publishers such as EHow and Garden Guides. White earned her Juris Doctor from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in English literature.