How to create hand painted place mats with your toddler – mess free {Tutorial}

I am so excited to be able to post this Tutorial finally! I had to wait till my package with these place mats would arrive at home in Germany! I made two of them for my parents, so that they have a hand painted picture from Elliott.

This a perfect gift for Christmas or just for any occasion. And the bonus is that its mess free! At least your toddle won’t have paint all of him and you don’t need to worry, that they will eat the paint.

Here are the things you need:

  • Fabric, preferable white or light colors
  • Fusilbe Fabric, preferable white
  • Quilting tape
  • fabric color
  • a big transparent plastic bag
  • a toddler
  • optional tape

    Tutorial

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Here are the steps:

1. Cut your white fabric about an inch bigger than the place mat. Don’t cut the fusible fabric yet. I pre-washed the fabric before I cut it, so there will be not as much shrinkage. Once you apply the fabric color the shrinkage is different than beforehand and I ended up cutting certain sides a little more than others, so having an extra inch is good and you have add the quilting tape around it too, so you will lose some anyway.

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2. Take the plastic bags and insert fabric color, lots of it, try to spread it on one side. I then carefully insert the fabric. 1 plastic bag per 1 place mat. You will not be able to have the fabric not touching the color, when you insert it, don’t worry about it. Then take tape and close the plastic bag, so that no color can get out! Wear gloves the color might touch you and it’s a pain to get it off.

3. Either you tape one side of the plastic bag to the table or you just hand it to you toddler and let him or her play with it. I just gave the bag to Elliott and he just played around with it and had fun! Sometimes there are tiny holes in the bags, so make sure your little one wears something old you don’t mind to have spots on. The color won’t wash out.

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step 3 on turorial

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3. Once he is done, take a pair of scissors and cut the the bag open. I didn’t wear gloves, but i should have!!!
Then unfold fabric and let it dry. Again, have something laying underneath, so you don’t have coloring everywhere.

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4. I washed my fabric once the paint completely dried and I ended up putting it in the dryer. This way the excessive paint would be gone.

5. After I took it ouf of the dryer I ironed the painted fabric. Be careful because the coloring will transfer to the iron. Just place damp old kitchen towel on the fabric and then iron it.

6. I laid the painted fabric on the fusible fabric and cut around it. You can measure it, but my fabric was so off and not straight anymore, that I just “eye-measured” it. Then I ironed the fusible fabric on the painted fabric. Both of the right and the left side of the fabric had a lot of paint on, I just decided to go with the side which looked prettier and had more space colored. Please turn off your steam when you iron the fusible fabric and the painted fabric together.

7. Once the mat cooled down I took both of my mats and cut them the exact same size. From washing and drying the fabric shrinked on certain sides more than on others.

8. After cutting the mats, I sewed the quilting tape on the mats. There are tons of tutorials on how to do the corners in case you have never done it before! It does need a little practice and I have to say, mine are not completely flawless, but that’s the beauty of handmade things.

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9. Iron just slightly over the corners, borders and you are done!!

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