How to Make: French Label Placemats

The most popular images on The Graphics Fairy always involve typography – specifically French labels. Last week Karen shared this beautiful graphic last week, I knew it would be beautiful on place mats.

For this project you will need:
Fabric – 2 pieces cut 14 inches by 19 inches PER place mat
cotton balls
a TONER based print
an object to rub the print (I use a small screwdriver)
a sewing machine
an iron & ironing board

Take your two pieces of fabric and pin them face side together. I use a 100% cotton duck cloth fabric. Stitch around 3 sides of the place mat with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

Turn it out and iron the seams flat (kind of like a pillow case).
On the unstitched side, turn in a 1/2 inch seam and iron it down.
Sew up the ironed seam and around the other three sides for a finished place mat.

Once your place mat is finished, place your print image side down where you’d like to transfer it. This method will only work with a TONER based printer – I went to the post office and made a copy of my printed image. If it has lettering, make sure it is the reverse image.

Wet a cotton ball with Citrasolve and wipe over the whole image. Give it a few seconds to activate the toner before the next step.

Rub, rub, RUB the paper to transfer the toner from the paper to the fabric. I used pins to hold the paper in place to keep it from shifting. A small, plastic screw driver works well for me, using the end of the handle to slide over the paper without tearing it. You want to press firmly and rub smoothly.

Once you have the image all transferred, then let it dry for 24 hours. When it’s completely dry, then heat set the image with an iron. After setting the image, you can wash the place mat on the gentle cycle and dry on low heat.

And that’s it! Of course, you could easily use pre-made place mats, and do them all in just a few minutes.

See ya next week for another graphic tutorial. In the mean time I’d love to see you over on my blog at The Shabby Creek Cottage!


  1. gracias por el bello grafico y por el sencillo tutorial



  2. Vivo en Argentina y no hay aquí Citrasolv, que es similar, desde ya muchas gracias!!1!

  3. Wonderful! Thanks so much!

  4. I did try this but the image completely washed out after one gentle wash.

  5. Very lovely!

  6. Merci beaucoup pour ces tutoriels, et ses belles images, merci pour votre générosité!!!!!!bisous

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