Van Chaplin / Styling and Project Design by: Mary Leigh Fitts
Part of the fun of decorating is adapting beautiful things to new uses. Take pretty place mats, for example. They're ideal for setting a nice table. But by simply sewing together two matching ones, you can fashion a unique pillow to accent a sofa or chair in your home.
A wide array of place mats is available in stores that sell tabletop items. For this project, you can use virtually any kind of soft mat that's appealing to you. Those that make up the pillow shown here are woven from a pliable synthetic material resembling straw. If a fabric place mat is more to your fancy, you can find plenty of colorful quilted, embroidered, or hand-painted possibilities to work with.
Hint: When you're selecting place mats for this project, it's important to first place them back-to-back to make sure that the edges match up well. This will ensure a clean look.
Step 1: Pin two matching place mats together, back-to-back, aligning the edges. Using clear monofilament thread, machine-stitch around three sides of the place mats; leave an opening along the fourth side that's approximately 8 inches long.
Step 2: Remove the straight pins after stitching, and fill the place mats with polyester batting, one handful at a time. Be sure to push batting into the corners as well to make the pillows as plump as possible. Sew opening together by hand.