Julie Bowersett


Blog Writing Course Alumni

From Guide to Art Schools


Entries in placemat (2)


Stenciled Cork Placemats

Thursday is typically DIY-day over on the Alabama Chanin Journal so today I'm posting one of my own DIY projects, AC style. 

A while back I was tempted by some wool felt placemats on the AC site but waited too long and they were soon sold out.

And in the way my brain usually works I started thinking, "Hey, I could make my own".  About this time I also took a trip to Ikea and found packs of cork placemats which I thought would be perfect for stenciling.

Here are two of the placemats all laid out on my drop cloth-covered table

and here they are with the stencil I used.

I was able to stencil two mats at a time with the large stencil.  I used a spray adhesive on the back of the stencil to minimize the bleeding around the stencil shapes and pressed the stencil securely onto the two cork mats.

Last week my friend Jane came to visit, and we played with my stencils and air brush.  We encountered several equipment failures during the course of the day but by the end we'd figured out the best method for spraying.  Here's my mini air compressor and air brush all ready to go.

Trust me, once you experience the ease of painting with a small airbrush you will never go back.

It took me less than 5 minutes to paint both placemats.  Ready for the reveal?

Once these two were set aside to dry I hosed off my stencil, let it dry and repeated the process on the remaining two placemats.

Here they are, gracing my dining room table.

I'm super happy with how these turned out.  I've got four more mats that I am planning to stencil with a different design and in a different color.  I'm also considering stenciling the back side of all of the mats so I can have four different mix/match options.

My gardening tasks are slowing down as the weather gets warmer.  I've actually had the chance to venture into my studio a few times in the last week.  School will be out for my kids in about 3 weeks which will make time to myself a lot more scarce but I'm hoping to get a few projects checked off the list this summer.

If you like this project, click on the Alabama Chanin option in the Category listing along the righthand side of this page.


Bag of the Week 52

Placemat Bag

This is my last Bag of the Week post.  I made it all the way to week #52 before I depleted my supply of bags and said, “what am I going to post for my last bag?”  Well, since it looked like I needed to come up with something at the last minute I decided to use that as a theme for a bag.  With New Years Eve arriving tomorrow you might be looking for a quick bag to sew for the festivities.  This little clutch began its life as a placemat (you can see a picture of it in my last post).  I simply seamed the two sides together, boxed the bottom just a wee bit, and it was done; it took me less than 20 minutes.   I think a frog closure would look great on this but you could also add a large snap to the inside.  Placemats are a great starting point because they already have some body to them and they are fully finished and lined.

I will continue to post pictures of bags as I create them but this is the last of my year-long feature.  I have enjoyed posting a recurring theme each week and I have some ideas for more of these in 2011 (but probably not a year-long venture).  Happy New Year to one and all.  I’ll see you next year!