Roll-up Reversible Place Mat Tutorial

Back to School is right around the corner (or already here for some of you…) which means it’s time to think about school lunches! Sara from made-by-Sara is here today with a tutorial for this darling roll-up placement! I know my kids would think this was super special! You could even make one in laminated cotton for easy clean up 🙂 And come next summer they are perfect for picnics!

Roll-Up Reversible Place Mat Tutorial


Hi everyone! Sara here! For my first contributor’s blog post I thought I would share a tutorial on a sewing project other than… clothes! I have been trying to balance my sewing time between clothes and other sewing projects, but clothes always seem to win. Which, I have to say, is the reason my kids have a much nicer wardrobe than me. 🙂

I live in a country with about 300 days of sun (am I lucky or what? 🙂 ) so we get to spend a lot of time outside. And all the kids love it! On weekends thousands of people just go outside for a picnic or a barbecue. 🙂 Either having a meal on a fancy table or eating outside I love linens on a tabletop or even on a picnic mat.  So I thought this was the perfect project to take with us when eating out. And I am sure it will also be very useful at school lunch!


  • 1 piece cotton woven 12,5”x18,5”
  • 1 piece cotton woven 6”x9”
  • 1 piece oilcloth 12,5”x18,5”
  • 24” bias tape
  • 8,5” bias tape or 1 piece cotton woven 1”x8,5”

Step 1 – Preparing the closing ties

Grab the 24” piece of bias tape.

Open up one end of the bias tape. Fold in the end about 1/4”. Repeat on the other end.

Refold the bias tape (the longer edges) and fold again.

Edgestitch (at 1/8”) both ends and length (all the way from top to bottom), closing the tie.

Set aside.

Step 2 – Preparing the pocket

Grab the 6”x9” piece. Fold RST (right sides together) and stitch all around leaving a 1” opening at the bottom (to turn right side out (RSO)).

Clip corners. Turn RSO and gently poke out the corners.

Press flat and set aside.

Step 3 – Preparing the napkin ring 

Grab the 8,5” of bias tape or the 1”x8,5” piece of cotton woven.

Open the bias tape at both (smaller) edges and stitch RST. You now have a ring.

Turn RSO and fold the bias tape to the inside along both upper and lower crease. Press flat.

Edgestitch (at 1/8”) on both upper and lower edge. You now have a small strap.

Set aside.

Step 4 – Assembling main side of place mat

Now you will sew the pocket and the napkin ring to the main side of the place mat (the 12,5”x18,5” cotton woven piece).

First, place the pocket about 1 1/4” to the right edge and 1” from the bottom. Pin and stitch at 1/8” around the sides and bottom, pivoting at both corners.

Then, place the small strap for the napkin ring where desired on the left side of main fabric at 3/4” from the side. (I have positioned mine at about 4” from the bottom but next time I will place it at center side). Pin and stitch at 1/8” from the edge on both sides.

Step 5 – Joining both sides of reversible mat

Place both sides (the main side and the oilcloth piece) of the place mat RST.

On the right side, place the ties strap folded in half (so you would have two ties of about 12” each) at the center of the right side (this will be the side with the napkin ring). Make sure the ties are between both layers (to the inside). Pin to keep toes in place.

Pin all around and stitch at 1/4” leaving a 3” opening at the bottom for turning right sides out. Stitch back and forth several times over the ties.

Clip all four corners and turn RSO (make sure you poke out the corners). Press the main side (make sure to fold in both seams on the opening and be careful not to iron the oilcloth! Let’s say I know this from experience… 😉 ).

Topstitch at 1/4” (or edgestitch at 1/8” if you prefer) all around the edge of the place mat, pivoting at each corner. (This step will close the bottom opening).

Done! Add some silverware and a napkin, roll it over and close with the colorful ties.

Enjoy your new place mat on your next picnic or snack at the playground or even when eating on a shopping mall or at a restaurant. Add some fun appliqué or your kid’s initials and I bet he/she will be so happy and proud at school’s lunch!

We would love that you would share with us your creations based on this tutorial. Leave a link to your blog and I will make sure to have a look!

Happy sewing!

7 Responses

  1. So cute! I love it! What a nice idea for Christhmas (yeaaah I know its only september, but I like to plan in advance)!
    Tks for the tutorial Sara!

  2. These are so cute!
    I’ve sewed several (5) placemats for each member of our family as a project a couple of years ago when I started sewing – they were very much loved, but they sure need to be replaced (Guess which tutorial I will be using?)

  3. Clever clever you Sara! Kids would LOVE this!! Our fall is starting soon-ish and we can finally be outside again without melting – can’t wait!

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