Sunday, 20 March 2011

Delicious Details - Place Mats

'Place Mat' is not the nicest combination of words in the English language - it remind me of plastic laminated things, not gorgeously pretty oh-so great for wedding things. But, stick with me and you might just change your mind.

You see, when a guest sits down at the table, their view is restricted, their world is suddenly limited to the things they can see. Designing a good looking table is one way to get the wow factor because guests have time to notice all that effort when they're actually sitting still for a while. But, there's more to tables than tablecentres so don't overlook the not-so-popular because, funnily enough, it's the unusual things that have a lot of impact precisely because they're a little out of the ordinary.

Placemats can add colour and interest, they can be useful and fun, they can be elegant or cute. Do with them as you wish and here are some ideas to get you started...

Above - The easy simplicity of this place mat is fabulous and is easy wedding DIY. The 'mat' is simply a square of 12"x12" scrapbook paper with a 'v' snipped in the top corner. This is then folded back and the guest's name is written on to make the mat do overtime as a place marker too. Scrapbook paper comes in every colour & pattern and if you're using it for a place card too, it's a really economical way to add colour & interest to your tabletop. Image - Martha Stewart

Above - Here's another example of using something unusual to do something fabulous. Take one tea towel and lay it over the table. How simple is that? I am such a fan of using every day things in new ways, I actually get a little giddy when I find things like this that shows how great a little lateral thinking can be. Image - Littlewing Studio

Above - This is a sweet little idea - table trivia printed onto place mats. Now, personally, I don't know I'd use this at at a sophisticated and elegant wedding breakfast itself but something like this would work really well at fun and informal event (smaller versions would make great drinks mats on the bar). Image - Lunar Ink

Above - If you're having a 'kids table', how fab would this be? Let's face it, adults at weddings get confused about what glass goes where and which order all that cutlery goes (work from the outside in!). You could design something like this yourself and get busy with the colour copier and yes, laminating them is probably a good idea! If you added each child's name to the design, they would also make great take home gifts. Image - Martha Stewart

Above - Love these chalkboard place mats (ideal if either the bride or groom is a teacher!) They're easy wedding DIY as well - get your local DIY shop to cut the plywood squares, paint them with chalkboard paint and then chalk on the names. No worries if you make a mistake and the 'chalk pens' that are available now would make for much neater writing! Image - Polka Dot Bride

Above - Ahhh, doilies. I bet you all were wondering how I'd got through a few days without mentioning them! A simple doily with the guest's name calligraphied on makes a great place mat/place marker combination. And you don't have to have the glass plate over the top - just lay them on the table 'naked' before dinner starts. I have to say, a cutlery bundle or napkin tied with lace would just finish this off perfectly. Image - Martha Stewart


  1. Some great ideas for placemats! You made such a good point about guest being able to take in your effort at the table because they are sitting still for a while. I think that more often than not, guests get bored because we don't put enough interesting things into our tables.
    I really liked the tea towels, it would have been perfect for a wedding I was at last summer.

  2. Thanks for the comment :-) I love the tea towel idea too - I think I'll be using that at summer bbqs as well!