How to Paint Placemats

Updated April 17, 2017

Placemats play an important role in dinner parties or at home in general. Decorative placemats help create a festive atmosphere and are a fun idea for birthdays, holidays, and children's parties. Rather than buying generic placemats, one cool idea is to design and paint them yourself. If they are for your child's birthday, he and his friends can have fun making their own placemats.

Purchase 50/50 cotton/polyester placemats. Cotton is the best fabric to paint on because paint adheres better to finely woven--rather than loosely woven--fabric.

Pre-wash the placemats. Some cotton placemats will shrink the first time they are washed. Washing the placemats before painting them prevents damaging the paint.

Create a design for the placemat. Be creative and intricate. Sketch out ideas and colour schemes on a piece of paper to develop your plan.

Practice with a paper towel. Purchase the acrylic craft brushes and other necessary items. Paper towel fabric is similar to cotton fabric and will allow you to test your ideas and develop your skills.

The design you select determines how you approach the painting process. For example, if you wish to have a background colour, begin by painting the placemat the appropriate colour with a roller. Always allow drying time for one colour before applying a second one, unless you want to blend colours at the edges. One way of painting with stencils is to align the stencils on the placemat and then use an aerosol spray to paint the design.

Once the paint is thoroughly dry, Turn the placemats face down and iron the backside to heat and seal the paint.

Things You'll Need

  • Cotton placemats
  • Coloured markers
  • Paper
  • Paper towels
  • Paint brushes
  • Rollers
  • Acrylic craft paints
  • Iron
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About the Author

Robert Russell began writing online professionally in 2010. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and is currently working on a book project exploring the relationship between art, entertainment and culture. He is the guitar player for the nationally touring cajun/zydeco band Creole Stomp. Russell travels with his laptop and writes many of his articles on the road between gigs.