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Oil Cloth Placemats

by Cathy Ellsaesser, posted on

I have messy grandkids! So when I dress my Christmas table with the good linens,  I like to have some “wipeable” placemats, that are easy to clean, for the kiddos. I ran across an idea to use oilcloth to make placemats and thought that was a fine idea to make sturdy, but wipeable, oilcloth placemats. I think these would be great under the dog dish as well! The little pocket included is a nice touch and could even be monogrammed to really make it personal.

Oilcloth Placemats With a Pocket

The instructions I found on the web were for some summertime placemats, but I think a solid color red or green oilcloth placemats, embellished with Christmas designs would be too cute! I can even imagine making some laminated ScanNCut stickers and adding those to the oil cloth. Plus, there are many sites out there on the web that have oilcloth with Christmas designs. Oilcloth By The Yard is even having a sale right now.

What I really like about this project is that very little sewing is needed.

Materials Needed

  • Oilcloth
    • If fabric is directional, you can get 3 placemats from 12″ of 60″ wide oilcloth.
    • If fabric is non directional, you can get 5 placemats from 18″ of 60″ wide oilcloth.
  • Oilcloth for pocket- about 1/4 yard for 8 placemats
  • Cotton fabric for back of placemats
    • 1 yd of 42 – 44″ wide fabric for every 6 placemats (directional or not)
  • Teflon Foot for your sewing machine
  • Glue Stick
  • Binding Clips
  • Pins
  • Pinking Blade for Rotary Cutter
  • Quilt Ruler



Each placemat should be 12″ x 18″.

If the oilcloth is directional, cut 12″ width of fabric (WOF)  strips, and cut the strips into 18″ sections.

  • diagram of cutting directional yardage for oilcloth placemats

Cut 18″ WOF strips and then five 12″ sections if oil cloth is non directional.

diagram of cutting non directional yardage for oilcloth placemats

Cut out your lining fabric into 12″WOF strips, then two 18″ sections from each strip. This arrangement will work for directional or non directional fabric.

diagram of cutting cotton yardage for oilcloth placemats

Cut out the pocket pieces. Click here for pattern

pocket pattern for oilcloth placemats


Make sure you have the teflon foot on your sewing machine for this ENTIRE project!

  1. Pin the pocket to the placemat front 1½″ in from the edge and 1″ up from the bottom. Stitch pocket to placemat.
    drawing of oilcloth placemat with pocket placed
  2. If you want to use the pocket for silverware, you can section it into threes.
    drawing of oilcloth placemat pocket divided into three sections for silveware
  3. Using your glue stick put a bit of glue on the center of 12″ x 18″ lining piece of fabric. This will help keep the lining from sliding around while you’re sewing it to the oilcloth.
  4. Glue the lining to the back of the oilcloth, wrong sides together. Secure with binding clips.
  5. Stitch around the edge of the placemat (oilcloth facing up) using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
    drawing of oilcloth placement with stitches and pocket
  6. Using your quilt ruler and the pinking blade or other decorative blade on your rotary cutter, cut off the edge of the placemat 1/4″ out from the seam you just stitched.
    Photo pf pinked edges of oilcloth placemats
    Of course, you can bind the edges if you prefer, but the oil cloth won’t ravel, so just pinking the edges will look cute and save you some time.

How simple is that?!

I haven’t had time to make these yet, so I’m just providing the diagrams and measurements right now. I’ll update the blog when I get mine done. If you make some, we’d love to see some pictures. Just add them to the comments below or post them on our Facebook page.