Monday, May 4, 2009

For the love of laminating machines

I've been a busy bee working on new fabric designs and on some consulting projects, but I was able to carve out a few hours this last weekend to make something fun with my fabrics!
Since I moved from NY back to Austin I've been living in this tiny lilliputian sized apartment. And since my dining room table is now cutting/sewing central, I eat a majority of meals sitting on my couch using my ottoman as my dining surface. (I know, very classy!) So I've been meaning to get some of those plastic placemats to keep things neat and tidy. And I have these great lacquered trays that I wanted to line with something pretty. And then I realized...Hey! I can make my own placemats and liners and use my Birdies on Chairs and Comfy Chairs fabric! It was easy peasy!
For 4 placemats:
-Cut (4) pieces of front fabric 11" x 17-1/2"
-Cut (4) pieces of coordinating back fabric 11" x 17-1/2" (I used a Kona cotton in Cactus which is a perfect coordinate for the greens in my fabric
-Cut (4) pieces of fusible webbing 11" x 17-1/2"
Follow the directions on the fusible webbing to attach it to the wrong side of the back fabric. You'll be ironing it to the wrong side of your back fabric.

Then put the front fabric on top of the fusible webbing and iron that down. You should be laying the wrong side of the front fabric ontop of the fusible webbing.

You should now have a 3 layer sandwich that's all fused together. (See...told you it was easy!)

Trim everything to 10-1/2" x 17" so all 3 layers are squared up. When I made mine, I wish I had put some simple decorative stitching around the edge to give a little something extra to the project. And I probably would apply some Fray Check to the edges as well... I had some thread escapees.

Now...carefully transport everything to the laminating store. Make sure you take some little scissors with you so you can trim away any little loose threads.

Feed your fabric sandwiches into the laminating machine. Trim away the excess plastic, leaving a 1/2" edge to make sure everything stays laminated. If you can get access to one of those guillotine cutter things you can cut a nice, neat edge. Ta da! Super cute, super easy! And super tidy!

Tip: Instead of taking your placemats to Kinko's (who charge a few $ for each sheet), find a teacher's supply store. Mine here in Austin only charged $.80 per linear foot. For all 6 of my pieces, I paid less than $6.00. Love that!

And many thanks to Margaret for letting me shoot my placemats on her nice sewing center-free dining table. ;)