Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Glitter :: Clear Vinyl Placemat Tutorial

They say 'a little glitter never hurts' and I think that might be true!  Unless you get glitter in your eyes, its not hard to be happy when you see it.  

It wasn't long ago when my daughter came home from her best friends house with her very own glitter-tastic placemat.  Truth is, that was over 20 years ago.  Carrying on the tradition of crafting with friends, Britt and I introduced her God-Child Vincent, to the joy of glitter a few months back.  

In sharing with you, I'm hoping you will introduce a child to the fun and joy of crafting. Quality time well spent!

Where do you find clear vinyl?  It's readily available at Joann Fabrics, or online fabric shops such as  If neither of those are an option, consider a clear vinyl shower curtain! You can get different weights or gauges whether you are buying by the yard or buying a shower curtain.  

I've used 8 gauge, 12 gauge and recently 20 gauge.  The 20 gauge is much thicker than I thought it would be and frankly too thick in my opinion.  I recommend 12-14 gauge.  

The three main supplies needed for these placemats are clear vinyl, 'bling' such as glitter, confetti, sequins and thread.

Start by cutting your vinyl.  Cut two (2) 12" x 17" rectangles.  They say size doesn't matter...and 'they' would be right!  You can make them any size you wish.  

Cutting vinyl can be a little tricky.  It slips, slides, sticks to the ruler and it's hard to see. But don't let that stop you!  I line an edge on my cutting mat and carefully lay the ruler on top using the lines on the mat.  Using your rotary cutter, cut your vinyl rectangles one at a time.  

One bonus of the clear, you can easily see when you have your ruler lined up.  

Vinyl is sticky and will stick to your sewing foot or sewing machine table.  You don't need to buy special accessories or gadgets, instead with a couple tips and tricks you can use what you have!  

If you have a teflon foot, like the white one on the left, you certainly will want to use that. Otherwise put a piece of masking or painters tape on the bottom of your regular foot and it will work just as well.

Tape a piece of tissue paper on your sewing machine table prior to sewing the vinyl.  This will keep the vinyl from sticking.  I tried it for the first time and can say it works like a charm!

Lay the two (2) pieces of vinyl together lining up the sides.  Take your time and try not to get frustrated!  Vinyl is sticky and you may need to adjust it a couple times.  Clip around all sides. Whatever you do, don't use pins!

Lining up the side of the foot with the side of the placemat, stitch around all sides leaving at least a 5" opening.  Increasing your stitch length to 2.6-2.8 helps.  Backstitch at the beginning and end.  


It needs to be big enough for your hand to fit through.  I would suggest taking a scrap of vinyl and do a little practice stitching.  You can then decide what stitch length to use and feel how the vinyl sews. 

Now the fun begins!!  Grab your sparkle supply!  

Some of the bling will slide easily in between both pieces, some will stick like glue!  What I do works for me, but use your expertise or judgment when inserting the glitter.  I put some in my hand, insert it through the opening and wiggle it into the corners.  And repeat some more.  

Add as much or little as you like.  Disclaimer:  you will have glitter, confetti and sequins everywhere!!

When you have it just the way you like, sew up the opening.  Just to make sure none of the glitter escapes and because I like the look better, I stitch another line around the entire placemat. Again I use the edge of the vinyl as my guide with my foot, but I adjust the needle by moving it to the right.  You could even add a pretty decorative stitch.   

The very last thing I do is trim the corners round.  And that is that!  It's fun, festive and kids will love it!  And, it cleans up with the wipe of a rag after each meal!

How fun is that?!  If you have any experience with vinyl and have your own tips or tricks, please share!  Were all looking for things that will make our sewing experience easier.

Good luck and if you happen to make one or two...I'd love to see them!


  1. What a clever placemat full of fun things to look at! I have been wondering about how you get all the glitter into the corners - looks like a fun if somewhat messy job. :)

  2. Hope you share this with Molli Sparkles. Never worked with vinyl. But you know me - there is always a glitter of naughtiness in my eyes :-)
    Hope you had a great holiday, fireworks and all.

  3. because the glitter pieces stick so well to vinyl and vinyl sticks so well to itself, and clips won't mar vinyl why not just spread glitter where you want it on the bottom layer of vinyl, then lay top layer over that and use clips to hold the whole sandwich together, then take to sewing machine and sew one neat continuous stitch around whole outside??? you won't have more then a couple of pieces of glitter escaping while you are moving it thru the sewing process.

  4. I will try this....I don't know when but it will happen :)

  5. I was thinking you could put 'stuff' in through a tube/funnel, then I read ittehgaps comment - worth a try :)

  6. Ooh! How about some glycerin inside and then little fingers could move things around like a game. Or a maze drawn on to slide things around on the inside. Or. .. And all you need to do is figure out how to stop the leaks :) In any case, this is so creative, as usual.

  7. I've been wanting to make some of these. I love the fabric you chose.


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