Plastic Canvas Challenge: Raffia DIY Placemats

If “plastic canvas” makes you think of yarn and tissue box covers, then get ready for something different.  When the design team was challenged to create a project with plastic canvas, I started looking for alternate materials to use with the canvas.  It turns out that raffia and plastic canvas work beautifully together! My end result was natural artisan style DIY placemats!

DIY Placemats with Plastic Canvas and Raffia - Crafts UnleashedAs you can tell, I opted to make plastic canvas place mats with raffia.  I stuck with a simple chevron design, but you could easily adapt this for other designs.  You could dye the raffia for more color, too.  I liked the natural tones so I left mine as is.  I love how it looks with my tiki party glasses!

DIY Placemats with Plastic Canvas and Raffia - Crafts UnleashedSupplies needed to make your own plastic canvas DIY placemats:

Step 1:  Wrap the edges of the plastic canvas oval with raffia.  I wrapped a small piece of washi tape around the end of the raffia to keep it from fraying.

DIY Placemats with Plastic Canvas and Raffia - Crafts UnleashedStep 2:  Starting in the center, begin creating lines on the canvas to create a chevron pattern.  The scaler really helps with this part!  Make the pattern as large as you want.  One of my placemat’s lines are 17 holes long.  The other’s lines are 25 holes long.

DIY Placemats with Plastic Canvas and Raffia - Crafts UnleashedTip:  When starting and ending a string of raffia, leave a “tail” that you can tuck in.  Tying the raffia is unsightly, and this helps create a more seamless appearance.

DIY Placemats with Plastic Canvas and Raffia - Crafts UnleashedStep 3:  When the center zigzag row is complete, start on the row above or below it.  Continue until the mat is full.

DIY Placemats with Plastic Canvas and Raffia - Crafts UnleashedI’m thrilled with the end result.  I’ve finished 2 1/2 mats so far…my goal is to make 6 and have a complete set!  It’s time consuming but well worth the effort, I think.  If you want to start with a smaller project, I think raffia coasters would look awesome.  Or, maybe a bracelet?

DIY Placemats with Plastic Canvas and Raffia - Crafts UnleashedWhat would you create with raffia and plastic canvas?

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About Morena

Morena Hockley is the crafty mind behind the tutorials at She loves to share ideas for projects that are fast, frugal, and fabulous: easy on time and money, and great to look at! Morena is a stay at home mom to four young children, and crafting is what helps her maintain her sanity. It’s a wonderful outlet and it’s how she gets her “me” time. In a past life, Morena was an elementary school teacher and an assistant principal. She misses teaching, so her blog is in a sense a virtual classroom. Make sure to swing by and check out Morena’s Corner!


  1. I am starting to gather supplies and was trying to determine how much I will need. How much Raffia did it take to make all 6?


  2. such a cool idea and great execution.



  4. Amazing! You really transformed the plastic canvas.

  5. Kristina says:

    Really nice! I definitely don’t have the patience for that, but they look great!

  6. Olá!!
    Ficou sensacional e surpreendente!!

  7. A-mazing!! I love this… I’m sure it took quite some time, but what a fabulous outcome!!! xo

  8. NUH-UH — you MADE that?!?!? Plastic Canvas WINNER!!!

  9. Adrianne Surian says:

    These turned out really cool! I love the raffia instead of the traditional yarn!


  1. […] I dig it. I think I’d dig it even more done with handspun yarn. But either way, I want some of these for the studio. Super easy, and how durable must it be, made from plastic canvas? […]

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