DIY Summer Placemats

DIY Woven Placemat
Photos compliments of the Creative Jewish Mom Blog

It's summer time and that means enjoying some outdoor dining time. Check out these adorable placemats made entirely of reused t-shirts. Maybe this is project just for you, or maybe it's a fun simple project you can do with the little ones.  Either way, head over to a VOA Thrift near you, pick out some t-shirts and get ready to DIY until your heart's content.

We also love that this project could be turned into small coasters or pot holders.  Just make sure you double up for potholders.  We don't want you burning any fingers.

You'll Need

  • T-Shirts made into t-shirt yard. Don't forget to get your tees from from a VOA Thrift Store near you.
  • Cardboard.  Size according to how large you want your finished piece.
  • Cotton String
Weaving Technique

The How-To

We'll give you the basics. Head over to this creative blog for the full directions. There are also many different weaving techniques that you can get fancy with. The options are endless

Step 1  |  Make Your Loom

  1. Measure our vertical lines on your cardboard.  We like 3/4" apart.
  2. Make 2" slits, along your marked lines, on top and bottom edge of cardboard
  3. Use your cotton string and wind around your cardboard starting at one edge.
  4. Make sure to have an even number of strings and secure the ends to the back with tape.
  5. Voila! You have a loom.

Step 2  |  Let's Weave!

  1. Have a pattern of colors in your head. You could make one solid color. Rainbow. Every other. Whatever you desire!  It can also help to lay them out in the order that you'll use them.
  2. Start at the bottom and start weaving at the side edge of your cardboard horizontally. You'll weave on top of a string and then underneath a string. Keep alternating until you get to the end. If you're t-shirt string is really long, you can weave back the other direction for a finished edge. Or stop there and start a new row for a rough edge. Remember, this is YOUR project.
  3. Keep your rows tight as you move up the loom and add on layers

Step 3  |  Let's Finish!

  1. T-shirts are stretchy.  Your piece will most likely shrink once you take it off the loom.
  2. If you have rough edges, start at the top or bottom and tie double knots in pairs of ends.
  3. Trim your yarn ends to desired length.
  4. After tying ends on both sides, cut the vertical cotton strings at the top and bottom of the cardboard.
  5. Tie ends of cotton string in pairs, close to the t-shirt yarn edges and trim.
  6. If you feel like getting fancy, you can skip tying the ends and run the edges through a sewing machine.

Visit Your Local VOA Thrift Store

Your next item of business is to visit your local Volunteers of America Thrift Store. The great thing about this project is that you can find affordable second hand tees, you're reusing instead of buying new which is great for the environment. Let's not also forget that YOU ARE offering hope to people who need it most through your purchase at any of our VOA Thrift Stores.

Offer Hope   Restore Dignity   Transform Lives

This creative idea and photos are from the Creative Jewish Mom blog. Detailed instructions can be seen on her blog page.