As discussed earlier, this time of year makes me feel like the only way to set a table is with a tablecloth and napkins.... napkins made of fabric (as opposed to wodges of paper towel). Which means I have a heap of placemats lurking in my kitchen linen drawer (the swine, they confuse and enrage me by pretending to be tea towels)
Here are a few things to do with placemats that aren't well, using them as placemats...
1. Sew them end to end to make a table runner... sure, it's not such departure from their original use but it looks completely different
2. Make seat cushion pads. your placemats(probably) match your dining room/breakfast bar/corner of the sitting room decor anyway and they are pretty much the perfect size. Either make slip covers for chair pads you already have or
- sew up three side's
- jam them full of wadding and sew up the end.
- a few mock tuft's (see ModHomeEcTeachers super-useful post) will top the stuffing squishing around when you sit down.
- sewing two bits of ribbon into that last seam will let you tie them to your chair too.
3. Got Grammies antique table linens or just love the pattern of your placemats? Pop them in a frame for instant 'art'.
4. Make a reusable shopping bag. This works great with more robust placemats, I have some outdoor ones that are practically indestructible and waterproof. Sew two together then add some store bought handles and there we have it, one more way to beat the plastic bags. there's a tutorial here
5. Store napkins. Lay a set of napkins flat on top of a placemat, roll the mat up, then tie a bit o string (or ribbon if you're feeling fancy) around the roll. Pop the lot back into the drawer and voila, the napkins don't need re-ironing if you're having iron-the-napkins style company and they don't get the opportunity to masquerade as tea-towels and make you cross. win win.
Adapted form the list here