How to Crochet an Affordable Doily into a Stunning Placemat

crochet doily placemat

There are some beautiful affordable paper and cotton doilies out there that have tremendous detail to their design. However, I don’t really use little doilies all that much so I wanted to find a way to add to the existing doily to create something a little bit more interesting. I put my hook and yarn to work and created a crochet placemat using the doily as the center starting piece. It was so much fun!

The Materials

dadvid tutera casual elegance

I was inspired to create this project because I’m part of a campaign for the David Tutera Casual Elegance collection, which is available exclusively at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. For my efforts I received a huge box of amazing supplies, including the doily that I used in this project. There were actually a lot of other great products in the box, too, though including burlap and lace ribbon, candy tins, LED lights, votive wraps, napkin wraps and more.

The David Tutera Casual Elegance Collection is a collection of bridal crafts in neutral colors and materials. They are designed to be used to add personalize touches and rustic charm and a vintage spirit to the modern wedding. You can use the item to add personal touches to a wedding. Plus they can easily be personalized. Since the items are in neutral colors you can use personalization to work in your own wedding color scheme as you craft.

What I think is fun about this collection, though, is that even though it’s designed for crafty weddings the materials can be used for many different events and projects as well. The placemat that I’ve made here could definitely be used on the tables at a wedding but they could also be used in any home for everyday decor or holidays and special occasions.

How to Crochet an Affordable Doily into a Stunning Placemat

crochet around doily

Of all of the materials in the box I was especially drawn to the David Tutera doily. The doily has a great detailed design to it that I really liked. I can see how a set of these would be used at any wedding, but I wanted to do something more with it. I thought that if I added my own simple crochet rounds to the doily then it would create a great large placemat. It’s a pretty easy project and you could add these handcrafted placemats to all of the tables at your wedding reception to give a great personalized feeling to the space. You could even keep going and make the doily-placemat larger and have full tablecloths for your reception!

I’ll show you now how I made this placemat but I’d encourage you to use this tutorial as just a guide and turst your own creativity to create the crochet placemats that are right for your wedding, event or home.

Step One

Join your yarn to your doily. The great thing about the David Tutera Doily is that the last round of it is a series of very open loops so you can easily just knot your yarn directly to any loop to get started.

david tutera doily

Step Two

Single crochet in each loop around. When you get to the end of the row slipknot the last stitch to the first stitch to finish the round.

single crochet yarn

yarn doily tutorial

Step Three

Begin to crochet your second round. This is where you have a lot of room for creative freedom. You’ll see that I chose to use very tall stitches in this tutorial. My first round is a set of treble crochets and then the following rounds are going to be double trebles and then triple trebles. However, you don’t have to choose tall stitches. You can choose any stitch you want at all. In fact, you could do this placemat without knowing any crochet stitch other than the single crochet stitch. Note that at the beginning of the round you’ll need to do a chain stitch as the first stitch; so in my example I did a chain of four to serve as the first treble crochet of the round.

placemat tutorial

Note, you will need to increase in each round. If you just crochet one stitch in each stitch around and do that for many rounds then you’ll end up creating a bag instead of a placemat that opens up widely. I didn’t increase dramatically on my placemat because I knew that I would only be making a few rounds so my increase choices wouldn’t have a huge effect. As you can see in the photos here I just did two stitches in every tenth stitch around in the first round. In the following rounds I did an increase of two stitches in every fifth stitch. However, if you are going be making a lot of rounds in the project then you’ll want to be more methodical about your increases so that you maintain a perfect circle. The most traditional method of increasing for a single is to start by crocheting two stitches in every stitch then in the next round do one, two, one, two (so for example I’d do my double crochet in the first stitch of the round and then two doubles in the second stitch, one double in the third, etc.) and then in the next round you do one, one, two and then the next round one, one, one, two and continue increasing in this manner.

placemat tutorial

Step Four

Continue making your rounds with your chosen stitches and stitch increases. At the end of each round use a slipknot to join the round together. Do this until the placemat is the size that you want. Since I was using tall stitches and making a placemat (not a big tablecloth) I only needed to do three rounds.

placemat tutorial

Step Five

Create a finishing edge. A crochet project looks a lot better when you finish it with an interesting edge. For my edge I chose to do a shell-shaped ruffle. I did this by doing a single crochet, double crochet, single crochet in each of the stitches around. The shell is created by the single, double, single shape and the ruffle is created because I’m crocheting three stitches in each stitch around. However, you could choose many different edgings from a very simple reverse single crochet stitch around to a detailed edging from one of your favorite edging pattern books. The choice is yours!

crochet ruffled edge placemat

I had a lot of fun crocheting this project. I think that it offers a great way to use some simple, basic crochet skills to create a placemat that’s still very detailed thatnks to the design of the David Tutera doily in the center. You could easily work this in any yarn and in any color scheme; I obviously just worked with a single color of yarn but you could change colors in each round to make a more colorful piece. This is a practical and affordable way to create placemats or tablecloths for your wedding or even just for your home.

See What Others Are Making

There are a lot of other amazing bloggers participating in this campaign with posts going live for the next ten days. Check out what they are making:

Visit The Maker

Learn more about Darice Crafts and David Tutera and see other great DIY wedding inspiration on:




Gold Paper that Reminds me of Ruth Asawa Wire Crochet Sculptures

Last week I shared a mention about seeing the Ruth Asawa sculptures here in Japantown. I also mentioned that what I really love from this artist is her crochet wire sculpture work, which I’ve seen in person at the DeYoung Museum.

Unrelated to this … last week the 2Modern blog shared some crochet wallpaper.

crochet inspired wallpaper

They explain:

“This glamorous, vaguely exotic wallpaper pattern by Karla Pruitt, enriched by the texture of hand-drawn crosshatch marks, was actually inspired by an antique wooden chair inherited from her grandmother.”

The funny thing is that this gold wallpaper inspired by a wooden chair actually reminds me of the crochet metal sculpture work of Ruth Asawa. Take a look:



My Work Space in a Community Art Project

I’ve mentioned previously that I enjoy participating in the community art projects that are hosted by Art House Co-Op / The Sketchbook Project. I recently participated in one where more than 600 of us submitted images of our work spaces.

About This Community Art Project

encyclopedia of work spaces

From their description of the project:

“We remember those weighty volumes, spines all aligned on the shelf to complete the set from A-Z. Inside you could learn about people, things, and places from all corners of the world. Each entry in the Encyclopedia of Series is collection of images on a given subject. This is a visual encyclopedia of where the world goes to work.”

Crochet Corner

crochet work space

I shared the crochet-covered relaxation corner in my room. It’s a comfortable space for reading, journaling, organizing papers and of course crocheting.

Other People’s Work Spaces

I loved seeing the work spaces that other people decided to share for this project! A few of my favorites:

work spaces art project

work spaces art project

work spaces art project

work spaces art project

work spaces art project

See everyone’s work spaces on Flickr or on The Sketchbook Project website.


Like Crochet? Enter My Big Giveaway!

This post is a notice for those of you who follow this personal blog but aren’t following my crochet blog. I’m currently running a 12 Days of Crochet Christmas Giveaway over on Crochet Concupiscence. You can enter each day to win a variety of prizes including vintage and new patterns, crochet books and magazines, yarn and and a yarn swift, crochet hooks and more. Additionally, the top three people with the most total entries will each get a signed copy of my book, Crochet Saved My Life.

Visit my Crochet Giveaways page to see the current prizes up for grabs.


Craft Social Mug Rugs Swap

Earlier this month I participated in the Second Annual Craft Social Swap via Swapbot. I hadn’t done a swap in awhile and I’d never made a mug rug, which is what we were swapping, so I thought it was a good swap to participate in.

I have just received my cute mug rug, along with an additional coffee cup cozy, from my swap partner so I thought I’d share it here.

And here’s a look at the two crochet mug rugs that I sent to my swap partner:

Have you ever made a mug rug? Using what craft?


C is for Crochet

For today’s A-Z Blogging Challenge post I’m going with crochet for the letter C and I’m doing something different – a post with little words and lots of pictures. If you like crochet check out my crochet blog at

All of the crochet work pictured here is my own:

Made for Scarves for Special Olympics

Squares that will eventually become a blanket

First Blanket I crocheted. Mom has it now.

Purse made from recycled sweater.

My crochet laundry bag with the old storebought one behind it

Do you crochet?


Like Crochet? Me Too.

I’ve gotten a little bit obsessed about crochet lately and I wanted to share some of my stuff with you.

First, the writing. My crochet blog is called Crochet Concupiscence. That’s where I write about crochet news, fashion, interviews, artists, quotes, contests and more. One of the posts from that site, 25 Yarn and Crochet Apps, was recently included in a blog carnival over at Mental Mosaic. Another, about crochet artist Shauna Richardson, was included in a blog carnival at Greenwick Press.

I have also done crochet-related guest posts on The Shopping Mom, GoCrochet and Budget Dream Weddings. Crochet articles that I’ve written on HubPages include 5 Examples of Extreme Crochet, 20 Ways to Save Money on Crochet and 10 Crochet Words You May Not Know.

And now for the pictures of some of my own crochet work:

Do you crochet?


Ambitious Project: Artist Crochets a Yurt

I started crocheting at Thanksgiving and have learned that this is a terrific art form that you can use to make almost anything. However, it would not occur to me to crochet a yurt. It did, however, occur to artist Kate Pokorny who is planning to do exactly that and detailing the project on her blog, Yurt Alert.

A yurt, for those who aren’t sure, is a nomadic dwelling used by Mongolian people. However, it’s something that’s become increasingly popular as a design option in the modern world, especially among high-tech minded green-thinking traveler types.

Pokorny is taking the traditional idea of the yurt and instead of going more high-tech is going back to an even more basic design option. Traditional yurts have an inner structure covered with felt. Pokorny’s yurt will be made entirely from crocheted wool, needing no internal structure. Her goal is to use locally-sourced wool and to hand-crochet a large-scale dome which will end up being a yurt that can be lived in.

Creative idea. Way beyond anything I ever plan to do with crochet but cool to learn about, isn’t it?


Tips for Girls with No Time to Sew

Most of us like to be involved in DIY craft projects when we can. At the very least, we like to be able to dress up our own clothing or make some of our own accessories now and then. But let’s face it, sometimes being crafty takes a back seat to practicality. There just isn’t always time to do things like sew.

For those of you looking to pull your look together without having to mess around with needle and thread, here are a few tips:

· Button Guns – These craft toys are inexpensive and can be efficient in a bind. Toss it in to your purse and the next time you have a button pop off, you can use your button gun to put it back on quickly.

· Fabric Tape – Have a pair of pants that you want shortened but don’t have the time to hem them? Next time you’re at the store, pick yourself up a roll of toupee tape. Stick the tape on the hem edge of the pants you’re shortening, turning it up so the leg sticks to itself and voila – you’re all set!

· No-sew Snaps – Use these instead of buttons to tighten clothes where they need to be tightened or loosen your look with some decorative picks.

· Patches – With the right choice in designs, fabric patches never go out of style. Rather than getting the sew-on kind, use the self-adhesive ones to jazz up your jeans.

And if you want to make things but sewing isn’t working out for you then I’d recommend trying crochet. I’m still working on learning to sew but it frustrates me a lot. In contrast, I’m finding crocheting to be super easy. I even made that cute little neck warmer recently. :)