red, white washed & blue… [DIY Place Mats]

Ready for a fun weekend?

Me too! Fun in the sun, hot dogs, hamburgers, iced tea and watermelon!  I can’t wait!

I have a confession…

I’ve been wanting to make a tablescape for awhile but just never had the confidence that could pull it off…

but being that it’s the 4th of July…I thought why not use those red plates I bought for a Christmas dinner one year.

Well, to have a proper table scape you need some rock’n place mats and I didn’t…

but I do now.  Want to learn how to make your own?

Keep reading 🙂

These white washed place mats are so easy and I think you will find they will be very versatile.  I already have visions of beach tablescapes, nautical, french country, ho-down…just to name a few, I think the list might grow before this post is complete.

All of the materials needed to make these fun place mats where found in my home.  The slats are just plain old shims used for leveling door frames, stirring paint and more.  Their package says “thousands of uses”  but they never thought of this use  🙂

the jute twine is pretty much a staple in my work shop so there’s always plenty for any project the pops into my head and for the paint, I just used plain ceiling paint.  I seem to always have that hiding somewhere in my garage.

To get started select some shims, don’t worry about how they look.  I found some where a bit warped, so I replaced those.  I used eight shims for this project.  Now shims are tapered at one end so I lay the slats alternating directions.

Don’t worry the plates don’t wobble…I promise.

Also don’t be too concerned about notches or holes in the shims.  This adds to the distressed look and it might even lend itself to another use, you’ll see later 🙂

Next you dry brush the white ceiling paint onto the shims.  Don’t worry about covering all of the the wood.  This just helps to skip sanding for the distressed worn look.  Unless you want to sand…I prefer not to.

Ceiling paint used in sparse amounts drys really fast so after you have painted 32 shims (I made four place mats) the first eight are ready for tying.  I measure the length of twine needed by laying my twine across the slats.  I leave a couple of inches at the end, then I add three more lengths of the area I will be tying.  In others words with twine in each hand, pull in taunt from top to bottom as shown and then do that three more times, but the first measure has a little 2″ at the end.

With me?

Take your length of twine, place ends together and find the center of  the twine, place that center fold over the top slat and tie as shown. I laid my slats so the thickest part of the shim is at the top left corner which will be where I begin to tie the twine.  I don’t knot just tie like the first step of tying a shoe string.  Then place the second slat on top of the twine that lays at the bottom of the tie.  This helps the place mat to lie flat.

Then take the other piece of twine and come over the top of the slat.  Your second slat end should be the tapered end, then next will be the thicker end and so on.

Continue until you’re at the end the just tie a knot then move to the other side (right side)  repeating the same steps as on the left side. This side is much easier to do because the shims (slats) don’t move freely on the other side, so this side will go much quicker.

Once your done you can do what you like with the extra twine.  I chose to tie bows, but you can leave as is or add some beads or clip.  It’s your call.

Now if you live in Texas like me, you can see how some blue paint on the left side with a white star and some red paint on the top four slats would make an awesome Texas Flag…


a square field of blue with stars in the top left corner, alternate red and white slats and you could have a replica of the US Flag.  Now that perfectly placed hole in the slat could be used to hang your awesome flag.

DIY White Washed Place Mats or you can just leave it white and put it on your table and have a lovely beginning to your patriotic tablescape!

White Washed Place MatRed, White Washed & Blue!

Linking to:

My Romantic Home

The Charm of Home

French Country Cottage

At the Picket Fence

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

Funky Junk Interiors: SNS #88

Not So Simple Housewife


8 thoughts on “red, white washed & blue… [DIY Place Mats]

  1. Well, you pulled it off for sure! That is FABULOUS! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the plates too! Happy 4th of July!

    Back Porch Blessings,

  2. Cindi these are beautiful! I just bought a bunch of shims to make boxes with, this would be another great use for them! Nice thinking!

  3. I love this idea! WHat a great way to make a placemat! I think I might have to tuck this away for the future! I’m visiting over from funkyjunkinteriors. I’m hosting my first ever blog party and its all 4th of July-all Red, White, and Blue! I’d love for you to link up and share with me!

    Hope to see you over at my place soon!

  4. These are fantastic! I love what you did to make these place mats. They would look great for a lot of table settings. Thanks for linking this up to Home Sweet Home! Have a great 4th weekend!

  5. Love the shim placemats. How wide are your shims? They look wider than what we saw in Lowe’s. Thanks.

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