These simple place mats are the perfect finish to a Christmas dinner table top. The white color of the birch is rustic, yet matches all the traditional red and green found at Christmas in the home. If you are lucky enough to have a birch tree in your yard or neighborhood, then these simper place mats will cost you very little. If not, then try visiting your local nursery, florist, or park and searching out some great birch twigs.
You can of course make this simple and elegant Christmas place mat out of any kind of twigs you find in the yard, I am just personally partial to how great the birch looks.
Now, to make these elegant Birch Christmas dinner place mats you will need:
Lots of birch twigs (about ¼ inch thick)
Miter box (optional)
Thin or small hand saw (not optional)
Canvas (about 2 yards for 6 placemats)
No Sew or fabric glue
Now, the first step is to buy your canvas. You can buy it at the local fabric store or even at the local art supply store. Generally they sell it by the yard.
Tip: If you are not into the look of canvas you can simply purchase some plain red, green, white, or brown premade place mats. They can be fabric or vinyl. If you have some old vinyl placemats you don’t like, then roll on a coat of primer and paint them in any color you want with an oil base paint.
If you use the canvas, then cut it out to size. Fold the rough edges in and flatten them in place with an iron. Use the no sew to secure them to the under side of the place mat.
Now, you need a ruler or tape measure for this simple placemat craft project. You could also simply half the birch twigs up to the mat and mark them with a fine black marker.
Now, you want to start by cutting four birch twigs the length of each side of you place mat. Take each end and miter it at a 90 degree angle. Now, run a bead of epoxy glue along the entire outside edge of the place mat. Set each twig in place just like a picture frame.
Tip: If you do not like to miter edges or do not have a miter box you can just cut straight edges. You need to establish a pattern with your birch twigs on the placemat though to make it look finished and professional I recommend going for a craftsman look. Have the left and right birch twigs run the full length of the placemat. Now, have the top and bottom horizontal piece but up to the left and right twigs on the inside. Continue this pattern as you work your way in.
Now, which ever pattern you chose, just continue it until you reach a rectangle in the inside of your place mat that is about 5 inches tall. Stop here.
Now, cut out birch twigs that are the same length as this rectangle. Start at the top of the rectangle and start gluing horizontal lines of birch twigs until the center is filled.
You are finished!
Now, if you are worried about food spilling on the Christmas birch placemats, then you can coat them with some matte clear acrylic spray paint. You do not want to add too much of a shine, leave them looking natural.
If you could not find birch twigs for this simple place mat and you do not like the color of the small braches you did find, then try painting the entire finished product in a solid red or green color for Christmas!!
Tip: When choosing you thins birch branches go for the straightest pieces. Avoid knobs or sand them off a little.