Sunday, January 15, 2012

waldorf day of the week place mats

When school started, one of the items we were requested to have for our Waldorf kindergarten was a small place mat and napkin for lunchtime.  Just a few days before school began, then, I made a little mat and five napkins for my daughter and each day packed the pink fairie table setting in her basket. 
Turns out, one mat will not do. 
Three months later, that thing is disgusting, and I have to wash it at least twice during the week and hope it dries prior to lunch packing the following day.
Better, I thought, to have a mat for each day and wash them all at once at the end of the week.  I still have some of the pink fairie fabric left over but decided instead that it would be nice to use the traditional Waldorf colors for the days of the week to designate a specific setting for each day.  And while I'm putting them together, why not share the how-to with you?  (Let me just say before I begin though that sewing is not my area of expertise.  These are a little slipshod in execution...)

Monday: purple
Tuesday: red
Wednesday: yellow
Thursday: orange
Friday: green

These place mats require little in the way of materials.  They're intentionally small (about the size of a sheet of printer paper) to fit at the lunch table.  Of course, one could make regular sized mats using this same method as well.   

Each child's mat requires:
two 9"x12" pieces of fabric
one 9"x12" sheet of interfacing
matching thread
18"- 42" trim (optional - 18" if trimming only the short sides, 42" if trimming the entire mat.  The tutorial is shown trimming only the two short sides.)

Begin by washing and ironing your fabric.  Then cut the two sheets of 9"x12" fabric, one 9"x12" sheet of interfacing and (optionally) two 9" strips of trim. 

Lay down the interfacing.  On top of that lay one of the fabric sheets right side up.  If using trim, lay it along both short sides of the fabric before laying the second sheet of fabric wrong side up.

My fabric is identical on both sides.  If one is using fabric with a right and wrong side, the right sides should be facing each other with the trim in between and interfacing underneath.

Pin all four edges in place.

Hand or machine stitch around the perimeter with a 1/4" seam leaving about a 3" gap along one edge.


Reach in between the two layers of material (not between the material and interfacing) and pull the inside out until the mat is right side out.

Iron to press the edges flat.

Using matching thread, sew up the hole.

That's it!

I made some really plain mats and another set with the fairie panel.  All kinds of creative quilting and color combining is possible using the same basic idea.

For the fairie mats , I simply sewed two strips on either side of the printed panel, pressed them flat with an iron and put the pieces together as shown above.  Instead of sewing trim on the inside, one might also consider finishing the edges with binding tape.

Have fun!


  1. Thanks to Laura and Nicole Elizabeth for your kind words about this project. This particular post was having some kind of issue though and I had to re-type the whole thing. Your comments were connected to the faulty and now deleted post of a similar title but I wanted to share my gratitude anyway :)

  2. They are so pretty. I like the idea of days of the week placemats, what a great way to help a child understand different days.

  3. These are beautiful! I am definitely going to make some for my daughter. Thank you so much for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

  4. These are beautiful! Just found your blog on For the Kids Friday and am now following you!

  5. These are inspiring me right now. My son's not in school at lunch time yet, but he has a little table in our playroom/kitchen where we often eat breakfast and lunch. I've been trying to keep place mats/cloth napkins on it but the pre-made ones we have are all too big and really need to be changed daily. I think I'm going to make him a set of these with matching napkins for Valentine's Day. Thanks for sharing this great idea!

  6. Glad to be of inspiration Ericasue. Maybe you can send me a picture or link to your final product. I'd love to see them :)

  7. Okay, this may be pipedreaming but I just sprayed Spray and wash on the stains on the school's placemats and put them in the washer and Wednesday yellows are ruined. Is anybody making these or a place that I can buy them? Any help..anybody?

    1. How many are you looking to replace? In just the solid color, these are not so hard to sew together yourself. Alternately, if they're just little half-sized place mats like these, you may be able to purchase regular sized versions at lots of stores and simply cut them in half. Good luck!


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