Words of late artist Frank Howell...I totally relate!

"There are few days off and no retirement from this entanglement of knowledge, passion and vision that will be molded and converted into creative expression. There are no guarantees of acceptance, understanding or reward, but...the noise inside the mind never ceases. I will paint today, tonight and for as many tomorrows as I am given..." Words of the late artist Frank Howell...

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Perfect Place Mats for FREE

I had been searching for the perfect place mats for my table...I wanted them to be woven of grass or reed- something natural.  I needed eight.  I had been sort of keeping my eyes open for something that would work for a couple of months now.  I had found some, but they were not exactly what I wanted...and they were $7 each.  I couldn't justify spending $56 on something that wasn't exactly what I wanted.  So, I've just waited.

Fast forward to cleaning out the storage shed-
I found a bunch of things that I had forgotten about, along with some trash and projects materials that I no longer wanted.  But, when I came across this roll of leftover material from our porch job, I put it aside to think...it's probably just trash, but it just seemed too good to throw out- then those wheels in my head started turning. 

The porch job last summer consisted of covering the interior wall studs below the screening with woven reed garden fencing, cut to fit.  I believe the size was something like 60" tall to start with, and I cut strips to fit the wall below, and then more for the ceiling.


I had this strip left after the job; I rolled it up and stuck it in the shed.

I wonder if I could make place mats from this...let me measure.

It measured 14"- I measured some place mats from the kitchen and they measure 14" x 20". So, the 14" measurement is perfect...now let me see if I can get eight from the roll.  I rolled it out to measure...

It measured 185" from one end to the other.  185 divided by eight is 23.12".  So, that works out too!  I even have enough to make them a generous 21" wide instead of 20".

I took them upstairs to my studio, and began to measure out the pieces.  I measured 22" each and cut the wires at that point.  This will give me an extra inch to secure the ends by twisting the wires that hold it all together.  

After cutting the wires, I removed a couple of reeds from each end.  

Then, I twisted the wires a couple of times each, and bent them around to the back side.

I called it finished at this point, but I'm not worried about scratches to my table.  If that is a concern to you, it could be fixed by dropping a bit of melted hot glue to the ends of the wires. That would prevent any scratching to surfaces or skin.

This was my leftover material after I finished all eight place mats!

And, here they are...ready to go down to the kitchen!

...and, before those wheels in my head started turning, I actually considered throwing it in the trash.  I'm glad I didn't.  I love my new FREE place mats...I just saved myself around $50!

This woven reed garden fencing can be found in rolls at garden centers during the spring and summer.  I found mine at Lowe's, for around $25 per roll.  

Thanks for checking in to see what was going on in my world.  I love having you!



  1. Judy,
    Great way to use the leftovers...they look great and they are FREE!!! I have used this stuff as headboards in one of our beach condos, years ago and I still a roll of it.


    1. I just noticed that I never responded to this comment, Linda. I'm so sorry! I would love to see a pic of the headboards- Sounds perfect for the beach.

  2. Great idea!! So fun to find new uses for things we already have :)

    1. Thank you Laurel, and I appreciate you taking time to leave a comment!

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