Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Painted Placemats

quatrefoil, chevron, and stenciled painted placemats

This is kind of a combination of a couple of projects I've seen on Pinterest (here and here) and have been putting off for no good reason.  Can I tell you that after completing this project I have so much more respect for all those people who have stenciled quatrefoil on walls and canvases and trays and pretty much anything bigger than a napkin!  It takes FOREVER.  Oh my god FOREVER. 

Alright, so on to the reason you're here, right?  You want to make these bad boys and I don't blame you; they're instant class for your dining room table.

For this project I used some old wrinkly (because someone left them in the washer for 2 days straight after Thanksgiving) IKEA placemats I had taking up space in a drawer in our guest room.  I don't know why we store our placemats in the guest room, just seemed like the right spot when we first moved in and I can't move them now.

In addition to placemats, you'll also need this totally awesome and totally free quatrefoil stencil from Tatertots and Jello.  Can I suggest printing it out on some super-thick cardstock and not flimsy copy paper because that's what's loaded into your printer and you're too lazy to go look for something else?  I can't say for sure, but that may cause headaches and swear words and then giving up and printing it on a manila folder.  Again, can't say for sure.

Alright, so you have your placemats, you have your stencil, get some craft or fabric paint, some paint brushes and something to trace your stencil with.  Also, get some decent background noise for this project, you are going to want something to distract you from the hours of filling in little circles.

Quatrefoil Painted Placemat Supplies

Not pictured above is this bad mamma-jamma:

This type of brush is killer for getting in the round edges of the quatrefoil stencil and it saves a boatload of time.
Get to tracing!  If this is your first time using a stencil like this, make sure to always line the stencil up from the center.  Take it from me, don't trace this thing end to end or your quatrefoil will not align properly.  This may also have something to do with the fact that I printed this on a manila folder and had to glue it together...

quatrefoil painted placemat how to stencil

Once you've traced the entire placemat, you can paint!  Start filling in the larger spaces working from the top of your placemat to the bottom.

quatrefoil painted placemats filled in

Quatrefoil painted placemats don't be like me

Don't be like me and think you're being awesome and fill in the tiny, round, plus sign-looking things.  This is not awesome and will result in you getting orange paint all over your arms.

Keep tracing and painting and tracing and painting for what feels like days until you end up with something like this!

Quatrefoil Painted Placemat Finished Product

Quatrefoil Painted Placemat Finished Product - another angle

If you get sick of quatrefoil and want some instant gratification, you can stencil some letters onto your placemat instead.  I stenciled the word EAT onto the bottom of this one.  This took me all of 45 seconds and that includes rinsing out the brush when I was done.

Painted Placemats - E

Painted Placemats - EA
You get the idea here, don't you?
If you happen to go outside the lines of your quatrefoil or any other stencil, as long as you're using craft paint you can use soap and water on an old toothbrush to remove it. 
Chevron is all the rage these days, so I figured I'd do a free-hand chevron patterned placemat as well.  I know there are ways you can calculate so that every chevron strip is the same, but I was lazy, so I free handed it.

In the end, these placemats are really forgiving and are going to look awesome no matter what you decide to do, so do whatever you think you'll like best.

Quatrefoil Painted Placemat with dishes and silverware

 Background Noise for This Project:  The Inbetweeners (UK Version):  Season 1, Episodes 1-6

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