picnic lunch mat

Photograph © John Gruen

Picnic-tastic Lunch Mats
Designed by Rebecca Yaker

Prepare to enjoy a lovely outdoor meal on these very stylish picnic-ready place mats! They’re perfectly portable — just slip your utensils right into the pocket. And don’t worry about losing your napkin on those breezy days, because there’s a handy spot for that, too!


  • 1 yard of 44″ or 45″ fabric
  • 1 spool of coordinating thread
  • Finished dimensions — each place mat is 11″x 15″ (1 yard of fabric makes 4)
  • Seam allowance —  ½” unless otherwise specified

1. Measure, Mark, and Cut
With right sides together, fold your fabric in half lengthwise, aligning the selvages. Measure and mark the following pattern pieces directly on the wrong side of your fabric, then cut them out:

  • Place mat  22″ wide, 16″ tall (cut 4)
  • Pocket  7″ wide, 4″ tall (cut 4)
  • Napkin holder  2″ wide, 4″ tall (cut 4)

Note: Place “tall” dimensions along the grainline of your fabric.

cutting layout

Cutting layout

2. Make the Place Mats
With right sides together, fold a place mat in half, matching short ends. Stitch around all three raw edges, leaving a 4½” opening along long edge for turning. Clip the corners, and turn right side out. Neatly turn the raw edges at the opening to the inside; press. Topstitch around all four sides of place mat, stitching the turning opening closed as you go. Do the same for the three remaining place mats.

3. Make the Pockets
On the top edge of a pocket piece, make a narrow ½” double-fold hem. Topstitch.

Fold and press the napkin holders as you would to make double-fold bias tape. Topstitch along both long edges.

Position napkin holder on pocket, 2″ down from the top hemmed edge, aligning raw edges. Baste in place along sides. Press the three raw edges of the pocket (and attached napkin holder) ½” to the wrong side. Place on the right side of place mat, 1″ from edge, and 1″ up from the bottom. Topstitch around bottom and side edges, leaving top open to insert utensils.

Repeat these steps for remaining three place mats.

Rebecca Yaker

Rebecca Yaker began sewing at age five. After eight years of designing apparel for two of America’s largest retailers, Rebecca started her own design business,… See Bio

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