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Up- cycling DIY Tutorial From Tired Placemat to Pretty Tea Cosy

What can you do with an old fabric place mat, that feels too good to throw away?

Use the extra thermal padding and pretty fabric as a Teapot Cosy!

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15 minute up-cycling project, that will leave you with endless cups of hot tea,( or as much as your teapot holds) and you will be helping the planet. Waste less, enjoy more!

In all seriousness,  this only took me 15 minutes to complete. And I am not on friendly terms with my sewing machine, so it may even take less time for experienced crafters!

Tutorial: Up- cycling project. Place-mat to Tea Cosy

You will need:

–   1 fabric place-mat, of a standard size, table setting.

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Mine was 44cm x 30cm.

–   Complementary ribbon or bias binding for edging of cut side and loop.

(Simply double the width of the placemat and add extra for tucking under at start and finish)

I needed 0.75 metre.

– Sewing machine with complementary coloured thread.

Instructions

1. Measure place-mat and mark half way  along its lengths on both sides.

2. Cut carefully in half.

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3. Pin a short length of ribbon to form a loop mid-way along the wrong side,  of what will be the top edge, of the tea cosy and secure with sewing.

This is useful for removing the tea- cosy to pour the tea, or hanging up to air or dry!

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4. Fold over the ribbon 0.5 cm at the start and pin bias binding or ribbon along cut edge.

    Sew to secure. As I used a ribbon, a zigzag stitch was best;

   But you could use a triple stitch or anything to secure the edge to stop it from fraying. Tuck in another little piece of ribbon at the end of each side.

( I didn’t really need to tell anyone that, did I?)

5.  Finally pin the place-mat, along the edges, wrong sides together.

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 6.  Sew along the three outer sides of the two halves of the place-mat.

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Now you are ready for a hot cup of tea, or two or three. And the padding on the reverse side of the mat, means your cuppa stays HOT!

I really wish I had this makeshift teapot cosy, on hand when my kids were little, as I was forever drinking cold or lukewarm cups of tea.

I hope that you can recycle some of your pretty place-mats in a similar way. Do you have any lurking in the rag box? Something to ponder about today.

Check out Natasha’s Linky party too for more craft inspiration.

Poofy Cheeks

Community

Upcycling using Fabric Scraps – DIY Scrap floor mat/ rag rug

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We all have a collection remnant fabric scraps, don’t we, but who saves the small off-cuts? They are useless, right? WRONG….

There are a number of useful ways to create something quite unique, out of very small fabric scraps, and one way is to make a durable floor mat/rug that is soft on our feet. Perfect for the kitchen, bathroom or laundry, it is time to think of keeping our toes warm, now that winter is approaching. Rag mats first originated  in the depression years, when every single item had to be used and re-used. Whilst there is no need for us to be so frugal today, why throw away something that could be turned into a functional and pretty item? It is free and uses no pre-purchased materials, apart from a small piece of hessian, which most crafters would have sitting in their stash, anyways.

In years gone by, many families purchased their potatoes, flour, sugar or salt  in hessian bags, and once the contents were eaten, gave the sacks second lives, around the home.

You will need:

1 piece of hessian or burlap, cut and hemmed to the size of the mat you desire. The hemming will stop the hessian from fraying.

 A selection of fabric scraps, cut into strips -1cm w x 12 cm long and upwards.

You don’t have to be especially neat with this, but I do prefer to use pinking shears to cut a zig zag edge, otherwise the  scraps do tend to fray.

 

Now you are ready…. this technique does take some time, so be patient, or do this whilst watching TV, a little each night.

Using an old crochet hook, or knitting needle, lay a fabric strip on the hessian and push one end of the cut strip through to the other side of the hessian.

 

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Do the same on the underside, so that there are two ends showing through on the right side of the hessian mat.

 

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Tie a simple “criss cross and under” overhand knot. No need to double the knot.

 

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Repeat with more and more fabric strips.

Continue in this fashion until the mat is covered to the desired thickness and fullness with fabric off-cuts.

If you have a limited amount of one colour of fabric, I like to distribute it evenly over the mat, rather than finishing with a conglomeration of colour, on one end.

Then I just fill in all the gaps…..

  Until, one day… hey presto>>>>

 

 

A cosy, environmentally friendly rug to keep your bare feet warm when the weather cools that has cost you nothing but time.

The under side of your hessian mat should look something like this:

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Once complete, the mat would be washed in very hot water to make the hessian skrink, and the holes in the base fabric contract, thereby locking the fabric strips/scraps into the hessian. If you use this method, you probably don’t have to knot the ends of each fabric strip together.

 

How many scraps make a rug? Definitely something I will NOT ponder about today.