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  • Writer's pictureSew Retro

Christmas Table Mats, Table Runner and Napkin Holders.

This is a fabulously simple project, you can protect your table from hot plates and make stunning table mats at the same time. These mats have a lovely retro Christmas feel, but they could be made in any fabric, and would also make a very welcome gift. The mats have a layer of Insul Bright Heat resistant wadding inside, enabling you to put a hot plate or pot onto the mat and still protect your table. The table runner also is heat resistant with a layer of the Insul Bright between the main fabric and the back fabric. I designed the mats to be big enough to fit a dinner plate, side plate and a glass or cup, which make the project very quick, and you do not need to make separate coasters (unless you wish to) finish the look with sew simple napkin holders. Beginners will enjoy this quick and very satisfying project, sewers with more experience will be amazed how quickly they can be made.


3 meters of Insul Bright I got mine here

150cm meters of the main fabric for the mats I got mine here

50cm of the main fabric for the runner I got mine here

Backing Fabric 150cm (Its very wide 235cm and designed for making sheets) I got mine here


Matching thread, pins, chalk, scissors.

Mats - cutting instructions for 6 mats


6 x 56cm x 35cm for the FRONT of the mat fabric, of your choice. You will need to use the whole width of the fabric, ( if your fabric is 112cm) you can get 2 mats spread across the width of the fabric. Cut 6 single mat fronts.

Insul bright cut 6 x 56cm x 35cm for the wadding.

Backing Cut 6 x 56cm x 35cm for the backing.

1. Layer the fabric - place the main fabric, facing you on a flat surface.

2. lay the backing fabric on the first layer with the RS (right side) of the fabric facing in and the WS (wrong side) facing you.

3. Lay the Insul Bright on top, pin all 3 layers together.

4. Leave a gap in one of the seams to turn the mat inside out. Stitch the remaining edges together using a 1cm seam allowance. It may help to make, your, stitch larger that the stitch size you normally sew with. I also used a walking foot. It should not be necessary as the Insul bright is quite thin. If you are struggling, make the stitch larger as suggested above, if you do not have a walking foot, use a layer of tissue paper on top of the Insul Bright, this will stop it snagging and help it to stitch evenly.

5. When you reach the corner, leave the needle down, lift up the foot and pivot (or swing) your sewing around .Continue stitching around the mat.

6.Clip your corners.

7. Trim the seam allowance as shown, cut away half the Insul bright 0.5cm on the seams, this will help it to lay flat.

8. Turn the mat inside out. Using the blunt end of a knitting needle gently push the corners out.Press.

9. Pin the gap that is left, then slip stitch the gap. Press. Well done one mat made, repeat until you have made the amount of mats your require.

Instructions to make the Table Runner


2x 25cm x 112cm in your main fabric

2 x 35cm x 112cm in the backing fabric

2 x 35cm x 112cm in the insul bright wadding.

4 x 6cm x 112cm in the contrast or backing fabric for the plain edge.


Matching thread, pins, chalk, scissors.

1. Join the 2 short edges of the main fabric for the runner together, pin, and stitch together using a 1cm seam allowance. Press the seam flat.

Join the short seams on the contrast edge together, pin, stitch , and press the seam open x 2.

Join the short edges together for the backing fabric, pin, stitch, and press flat.

Join the Insul bright wadding, you will need either to - hand stitch using a large stitch catching and bring the short edges together, BUT DO NOT OVER LAP the seam, or using a large zig zap stitch join the short edges together, BUT AGAIN DO NOT OVER LAP.

2. With the RS facing you, pin the RS of the long contrast bands onto the RS main fabric. Stitch into place using a 1cm seam allowance. Press the seam flat and open. Repeat on the remaining side. Press the seam open and flat. (as shown)

press seams open and flat

3.Layer the fabric- on a flat surface, lay the main fabric facing towards you. Lay the backing RS(right side) to the RS of the main fabric, lay the insul bright on top.

Pin, all 3 layers together, leaving a gap to turn the table runner inside out.Stitch into place. Cut the corners, and trim the insul bright seam allowance to 0.5cm. This will help it to lay flat. Turn in side out and press. Pin the gap together and slip stitch into place. Press. Yay ! your table runner is made .

Instructions to make the Napkin holders


2x 15cm x cm in your main fabric


Matching thread, pins, chalk, scissors.

1. pin the long edges together and stitch together using a 1cm seam allowance.

2. Turn inside out and press.

3.Join the short seam together, pin, stitch . press. Trim the seam to 0.25cm.

4.Turn the napkin holder inside out and stitch a 0.5cm seam. This is called a french seam.

5. Turn back to the right side . press.

Congratulations you have made the napkin holder.

Pin, leave a gap to turn the runner inside out. Using a 1cm seam allowance stitch into place.

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