Posts tagged "placemats"

What can I reuse or recycle to make placemats/table mats?

We’ve been using our dining table more recently – regular use stops it becoming a dumping ground for everything we own but can’t be bothered putting away properly. But because we’re newcomers to the idea of actually dining at a dining table (as opposed to using it as an office desk, which we’ve done until recently), we don’t have any placemats or anything like that.

Now I know I could just find some pretty fabric and whip up some mats on a sewing machine, maybe with a bit of batting/couple of extra layers of fabric in the middle to make them more heat resistant – but where’s the fun in that?

Have you made placemats by reusing/upcycling anything fun? I’d imagine old clothes are rip for upcycling since they’re just shaped fabric (for example, placemats from old t-shirts or from old jeans with cutlery pockets; I imagine felted jumpers would work too). Does anyone have any other ideas clothes recycling ideas?

And what about other ideas? John has been enjoying the patterns on logs recently – if we could take a thin slice from the ends of some pretty logs and varnish them, that might work. I’ve also got another half idea of weaving some mats using old packaging materials – some colourful card (although it would have to be at least wipe-clean), some plastic from bottles or drinks cans… Anyone done anything similar?

Would love to hear any and all ideas!

Crazy-wonderful & crafty emails I’ve received recently

This is usually a links round-up but this week everything seems to have arrived in my inbox instead ;)

Daniel emailed us pictures of cannon he made reusing and recycling stuff. Yes, you read that right, a CANNON. (Ok, ok, a decorative rather than functioning cannon but still).

I applied for a job working on the gun side of BAe, I did not get a reply and took it upon my self to make my own as a personal token of disgust with them out of rubbish.

The barrel is made from a plastic spoil down pipe, which is resting on a tables extending brace that is found underneath, with the tow bar that was picked up off the road while walking the dog. The handles at the base of the barrel is a bit of broom handle, and the end cap is a plastic part of a polishing buff for cars. The brass hub cap is the back plate off a door handle, and the fire hole device is a letter of a car name badge, with the brass design in the middle coming from a handle back plate off an old video cabinet, the axle is a cut off from a scaffold pipe. It’s painted with black and copper paint from the shed.

Good job Sellafield replied!. (Didn’t get it.)

He also made a decorative well with a weather vane attachment for his garden:

The roof is made from slate taken from where a velux window was installed. The two support beams were from a shed, the rope was washed up on the beach, the rope is wrapped around the other half of the cannon barrel pictured earlier, the winding mechanism on the right side is part of the table extender mentioned earlier, the winding handle is a pedal and cog that has been adapted. The base is the wooden base of a fish tank that has a plastic liner and two fish-(not recycled).

The eagle is weather vane that always faces the wind and keeps seagulls out of my garden. This is made from a broken wheely bin with the wing tips heated to curl up, the legs are made from the same brush handle as the cannon and is set in attack mode with talons made from half a clothes peg. The eagle is painted in the eagle colours using shed stains, and the north, west, east and south is off a xmas and noel decorations… Full time score=EAGLE 1:0 SEAGULLS.

Great reusing & recycling Daniel – fantastic to see so many things being reused so creatively!

Patty got in touch to tell us about her reuses. She reused some old placemats to make crumb catchers/bibs for messy eaters on the go:

It catches all the droppings from sloppy eaters! The bottom edge snaps up to catch the crumbs. A ribbon is around the neck and attaches to a small button. It can also be unsnapped, rolled up and buttoned to keep it snug and then just rubber band it to the visor to be used in the car.

She also told us about using old egg boxes (particularly plastic ones) in her jewellery drawer:

I have used my cartons in my jewelry drawer. My rings and ear rings fit where the eggs go and necklaces and bracelets go around the opened top side where the separators stick up. That keeps them from tangling. If you have a deep drawer, they stack beautifully!

As someone who is constantly detangling bracelets & necklaces, thanks for the great suggestion Patty!

How can I reuse or recycle placemats and coasters?

PlacematsWe’ve had an email from Sue:

I have a pile of old placemats and coasters, some with a cork backing and some felt-backed and I just don’t know what to do with them.

I have used a few for my kids to paint and stick on but I’d love some more ideas.

We’ve got a placemat underneath the cats’ food dishes in the kitchen (to stop food spillages/flickages from going all over the floor) but all the other ideas I can come up with – using as drip trays under paint cans or plants – need them to be more tray-like instead of being flat.

So any suggestions?