There are a lot of things you can do with some craft paints and stencils, particularly at holiday time. For my first project of the holiday season, I decided to use some Martha Stewart paints to make a table runner and placemat set to brighten up my Thanksgiving table.
Martha Stewart paints in desired colors
Martha Stewart Crafts basic brush set (I just used the angular 1/2 inch brush.)
Martha Stewart Crafts patterning brush set (I just used the medium patterning brush.)
a couple yards of light-colored burlap
water soluble pen
Cut your burlap into as many placemats as you require. I looked it up, and a standard rectangular placemat size is 12 by 18 inches. I made four since my dining room table and Thanksgiving celebration are both small :). To ensure a rustic frayed edge on all sides of each mat, tug a few strings from each side of the mat, as shown below. Be warned – burlap sheds like crazy when you cut and fray it. I kept a vacuum nearby to cut down on how many rustic little fibers I was inhaling!
Using a water soluble craft pen, mark where you’d like your design to be on each mat. Since I wanted to take advantage of the Martha Stewart paints brush sets, I opted to paint two parallel lines on the right side of each mat. Even though the medium patterning brush from the Martha Stewart Patterning Brush Set features two sets of bristles, 1/2-inch apart, I still wanted to mark some guides to keep my lines straight.
Before you paint, lay down some paper to protect your work surface. Carefully paint your lines with the medium patterning brush to start. It takes a fair bit of paint applied in a couple layers to really paint the burlap since it’s a loosely woven fabric. The loose weave is also why you’re going to want to protect your table from paint seeping through.
When your two lines are painted, grab the angular 1/2-inch brush from the Martha Stewart Basic Brush Set and use the 1/2-inch brush to thicken the left line of the two lines you just painted. It’s easier to show you what the heck I’m talking about with pictures…
When all of your placemats are painted to your satisfaction, let them dry fully. If you used paper like I did to protect your work surface, remember to check that the placemats aren’t sticking to the paper as the paint dries. When the paint is dry, use a damp cloth to remove any visible lines left by the water soluble pen.
Table Runner Directions
For the table runner, I didn’t look for a specific size at all, but I did cut it out and fray the edges just like with the placemats. My runner was about 12 inches wide and 64 inches long.
Again, cover your work surface to protect it from paint seepage. Then, use the water soluble pen to mark your design. I used a simple design that was 36 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. I divided the 36 inches into four equal sections, each 9 inches long.
Using the angular 1/2-inch brush, I painted each 9 inch section a different color, to go with my placemats. Then, I added arrowheads and tail feathers (or fletching as it’s called – nerd alert!) by hand.
Let the table runner dry just like you did the placemats. Again when the paint is dry, use a damp cloth to remove any visible lines left by the water soluble pen. I had more lines to remove from the table runner design than the placemat design, for what it’s worth.
If you want to protect your table runner and placemats from stains, you can use a sealant on the dry, finished product.
If you’re not totally into measuring and aligning everything like me, this project is really simple. So simple, in fact, that it’s honestly pretty kid friendly. On my mom’s side, we sometimes do crafts while we wait for dinner to finish cooking, and I think kids might have fun making their own placemats for dinner. It’s a fun way to trick everyone in to spending time together as a big group too!