Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you, as someone who sews a little, could stitch four small seams and create something beautiful? That means it would only take a couple of minutes and you’d have that something beautiful for years! That’s exactly what you can do when you sew a place mat. You don’t have to make the place mat itself; just use it to make a gorgeous gift basket or storage basket.
The type of place mat you use should be a cloth one and should have no ruffles or frills around the edges. The place mat can be quilted or not; can be the same on both sides or different. The place mat should also have no protruding embellishments, like a fake flower glued on. An ordinary, simplistic cloth place mat can almost instantly become a beautiful basket.
Lay the place mat out flat with one long side facing you. Bring the right side of the mat up a little, hold it there, then bring the long side facing you up as well. When you do this, you form a corner between the two sides, and this corner is where you will make a seam. Bring the sides up high to make a deep but small basket. Bring them up just a little and you’ll have a larger basket that’s very shallow.
So, bring two sides up and pin the newly-formed corner. Do this to all four corners, pinning them to hold for now. Sew the four corners – just a small seam on each one – so that they hold the shape of the new basket. It can be helpful to use a square object to help you shape the basket. A tissue box or other product box works well. Set the box on the place mat then pull the sides up to hug the sides of the chosen object. Now pin, then sew, the four corners.
Although these cloth baskets are adorable and useful they’re not too sturdy when you pick them up or if you place objects in them. To sturdy them up a little, cut a piece of thin cardboard, cover it with decorative cloth or paper, then set it in the bottom of the basket.
The finished baskets are great for gifting things like wash cloths or hand towels, sample bath and body products, food gifts and more. Or, use them around the house to hold spice packets, napkins, small soaps, medications, dried flowers or other things. They’re useful, beautiful and really easy to make!