If you're planning a dinner party and looking for a dead simple idea to dress up your table and wow your guests, how about some tile placemats? You can get accent tile in tons of different styles and colors to match whatever tableware you're using.
I created this little tablescape for the Street of Dreams dining room and picked the stone pebble tile for an organic look. The muted, neutral colors blended really nicely with the concrete table top and the pottery plates, handmade by my friend Careen Stoll of Luscious Porcelain.
The trick is to use mosaics that come on a mesh backing that holds them together if you were going to use them for a backsplash or something. They frequently come in a 12 x 12" sheet.
Here's the tile I picked out from Home Depot, still in the package. (Incidentally, these were $11.98/square foot, I think. Notice I didn't say they were cheap, but we were going for the cool factor here!)
And here's the front and back of a sample of some glass tile I had in my stash, just so you can see what the mesh looks like. (And wouldn't glass tile make a stunning placemat?!)
So your whole project can be as easy peasy as taking the sheet of tile out of the package and plopping it on the table!
BUT WAIT. Before you go flitting off to the tile store, measure your dinner plate. Or take one with you to make sure it will fit on a 12 x 12 inch sheet of tile. My plates were an oval and slightly bigger than 12 inches around, and I had a little improvising to do to make the placemats larger.
So I bought a few extra sheets of tile that I could pull apart, and then started by hot gluing the full tile sheets to some felt squares from Michaels that I cut to the size I wanted. (I would have done this anyway to protect the table top from scratches.)
(I decided to glued them to the felt from the front about halfway into the project, but they could easily be glued from the back to start with and then turned over.)
Then I pulled some individual stones from the extra sheets and glued them down close together around the edges to fill up the felt square. Afterwards, trim around the edges of the stones to cut off the ugly mesh and any extra felt that's sticking out. And NOW you're REALLY ready to plop them down on the table.
I used a gray felt to match the concrete table top, or you could also use white to disguise the mesh a little better. But not a lot of it shows once you've put the plates and silverware and napkins down.
Here's the finished product. If you look closely you can just barely see the edges of the felt. All that cutting may seem like a bit of fussy work, but if you cut the felt out from underneath the stones so you don't see the edges, it doesn't have to be pretty.
And if you're interested in these way cool agate style napkin rings, they came from Pier 1.
So what do you think? Wanna try this nifty placemat idea for yourself? Send me photos of your project - - I'd love to see what you come up with!
Get a hold of me if you'd like a little help decorating for your next dinner party or event. I make house calls. :-D