I had a really hard time finding placemats which were even ”plenty perfect” for my Holiday Tablescape. I found A LOT (and I mean A LOT!) of really sparkly, glamourous, beaded, fluffy, fussy, over the top fancy tabletop accessories in the stores. Oh my goodness – are we all living in a Dallas episode? Everyone seems to be having fancy, formal dinner parties. Go figure. To me, it just felt like a big ole cop out to go super fancy just because that is what is offered in the stores. I wanted something different. And subtle. When I get an idea of what I want in my head, it seems I can NEVER find it in the stores and I end up having to make it myself. Here I go again.
I found round rattan placemats at Pier One (only $4.99 each!!!) which almost went great with my Holiday Tablescape vision. They were rustic (being rattan and all) as well as delicate (with the scalloped edge). All they needed was a little somethun somethun. My dear friend, Ingid, (who also happens to be fabulous artist and jewelry designer as well as a great friend) suggested weaving something through the scalloped edge, and this is what I came up with.
This is one of those projects you can do anywhichway you want to – there is no right or wrong. I took the crystals from a bracelet I wasn’t wearing and used really thin wire to distribute the crystals randomly. Here is what I did, but, of course, you should can use this info and improvise something that works for you.
TIP: Start off by looping the wire through the back of the placemat and just twist it enough to keep it from pulling out. Tuck the pointy end back into the placemat to hide it and keep everyone’s fingers safe. Even though this is not an item which will be handled a lot, placemat injuries do occur without warning and safety is important. Take precautions.
TIP: Try to wrap your wire in the same direction tha the rattan is twisted. It will camoflage it so much better. In general, try to keep the wire as invisible as possible so that the crystals take center stage.
TIP: Twist the crystal on the wire to make it stand up a little and give it a little extra dimension. This also helps keep it from sliding around.
TIP: Wrap the wire on the back of the placemat as much as possible. Know where you want the crystals to end up as you are wrapping so you can plan ahead to hide the wire.
TIP: Work with about a foot of wire at a time. When you are close to the end of one length, try to end up near the inside of the placemat so hiding wire will be easier. Take your next length and just tie it to the wire you have been wrapping and tuck the ends into the woven part of the placemat. Again, taking all necessary precautions. If your wire is too thick to tie, you can just twist it together.
TIP: When you come around full circle, just loop the wire through the woven part of the placemat, twist to secure and then tuck the ends safely away. Here you have your custom-embellished elegantly rustic rattan and crystal beaded placemat…and no one else has one just like it!