top of page

How to Set a Table Placemat - Bring New Style to The Table

Table placemats not only bring a new approach to your day-to-day life but also allow you to showcase your table’s designs. But proper placement is necessary for this to work. That’s why many first-time users often wonder how to set a table placemat to bring your table and contents an aesthetic outlook.

Place the placemat in the center of the table setting, aligning it with the chair. Ensure the placemat is clean and flat, providing a protective and decorative base for the dinnerware. Add complementary accessories like napkins and centerpieces to complete the elegant table setting.

In general, you should set your table placemat underneath the plates and utensils. You can’t just blindly put table placemats upon utensils. There are quite a few caveats and factors that come into play when setting a table placemat. 

By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly how to do it.

Things You Should Consider

Before you go ahead and start planning how to set a table placemat, there are certain considerations that you will have to make.

How to Set a Table Placemat?
Table Placemat

Placement of the Table 

A crucial factor that comes into play when setting table placemats is the placement location of the table. 

This is due to the fact that the placement can decide what sort of style you will be going for, whether you will need extra weight on the placemat or should you place tablecloths, and other factors.

For example, if your table is placed outdoors, then you will have to check whether dust gathers regularly or not. 

This might prompt the use of certain types of table placemats like acrylic and plastic placemats instead of woven ones. 

If placed in a room, then you will have to consider the humidity and cooling before you select a placemat to set on the table. 

Design of Your Table

Next is the table design. Table placemats are used to bring out the beauty of your table more. Especially if you have a designer table. That being said, their placement settings will depend on how you want to showcase your table.

The ideal practice is to place the table placemats right ahead of the edge. But there are certain changes to make based on your table décor. 

If you have a rough edge then it is recommended to place them in a way that covers the edges. 

On the other hand, if you want to showcase certain designs on your table, then the placement will need to change according to that demand. 

Sometimes, you may have to fold the placemats for a better aesthetic output.

Inclusion of Additional Accessories

Tablecloths and table runners are the two most common accessories used with table placemats. 

If you are using tablecloths, then they will cover up the entire table, so you will need to place the mats in a manner that compliments the tablecloth.

On the other hand, table runners are usually run across the middle horizontally on large-sized tables. You can either go with the monochromic option or mix different colors that fill your design preference.

Occasionally, both tablecloths and table runners can be used with placemats. In that case, the placemats will have to be organized in a perfect manner, there will be less room to place them without harming the aesthetic.

Size of the Table Placemats

The size of the table placemats is crucial for setting them up. The size needs to be in proportion to the overall table length. It should be able to contain a plate and a glass relatively easily. 

Keep in mind that the placemats will be set apart from one another, so if they are too big and are getting connected, then you will have to opt for a smaller size.

Type of Table Placemats

There are three types of table placemats you will find in the market. All three have different style incorporation and setting them might require slight adjustments. 

Woven Table Placemats

The most well-known table placemats are arguably woven placemats. They are best suited for elegant settings. Compared to the other two types, they are quite expensive as they are hand-woven and utilize expensive threads. 


When setting them, there aren’t any cons that you will have to keep in mind. You can fold them up, let them hang on the sideways, and keep heated pots and plates without any worry. 

Moreover, while they are usually used for formal occasions, you can use them on a regular basis, the color or the quality won’t fade even after multiple cleaning attempts.

Plastic Placemats

For regular family meals, plastic placemats are the preferred option for many. They offer a comfortable feel while being on the inexpensive side. You will find them in various shapes and sizes.

A big drawback of these placemats is that they can’t be folded like their woven counterparts. So, this limits the number of styles you can incorporate on your table.

Too much heat can trigger the plastic to melt or alter the color. That being said, unless you are putting something over the placemat with extreme heat, it is a very unlikely scenario.

Acrylic Coated Placemats 

If you want to include a more creative flair of your choice, then you can go with placemats with acrylic coatings. It is similar to plastic placemats. However, the acrylic coating offers a bit of extra protection. 

They are best suited for semi-formal and informal occasions. As this type of placemat can be folded too, you might face a bit of a handicap. 

But you can work your way around it by going for perfect placements when setting the mats.

How to Set a Table Placemat: Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you are aware of all the considerations before setting up a table placemat. Here are the steps you need to follow to set them up perfectly -

Step 1 – Select A Placemat for the Occasion

Depending on the usage, table position, and atmosphere, you will need to choose a placemat design that suits your interior. 

If you are going to place them on a tablecloth cloth then make sure to complement the color scheme of the tablecloth. 

We recommend either going with a monochrome approach or a light and dark composition.

Step 2 – Position the Placemats

Next, you will proceed to place the placemat on the table. The idea is to center the placemat on the table in front of every chair. 

You need to give some free space for the attendees. Therefore, a gap of 1 inch or lower is preferred. 

Make sure to position the placemat evenly so there is no chance of them hanging off the edge of the table.

In certain scenarios, you may exempt this. Especially if you are going with tablecloth and table runner and plan to use woven placemats. For this instance, you should go for an angular position.

Position the placemat in a way so that a portion of it (preferably a triangle) is hanging from the edge of the table.

Step 3 – Place the Dinner Plates

Now we move on to the star of every table placemat, the dinner plates. Ensure that it is aligned to the center with evenly spread spaces around it.

Step 4 – Arrange the Utensils

Once the dinner plate is placed, you should start putting down the utensils on the placemat. Start with the fork. It should be placed to the left where the tines will be in an upward-facing position. 

The knife will go in the opposite direction and will be accompanied by the spoon. You may add other utensils from that position.

Keep in mind that all of these will be placed on the table placemat and shouldn’t be near the edge of the placemat. 

Step 5 – Setting up the Glassware

When you are done with the utensils, you will notice that there is an open space around the left side of the placemat. Any glassware you want to include in the dinner will go to that position.

If you are going to include drinking glasses, then it is a different situation. In this case, you will have to place it right above the knife.


Step 6 – Insert the Napkin

To finish up the outlook, you will need to place the napkin. Usually, you will place them on the left side above the fork. 

But if there is a shortage of open areas on the placemat, then you can go ahead and place the napkin on top of the dinner plate. You can incorporate various folding techniques multi-fold, windmills, or wings to bring more personality to your design.

Step 7 – Final Adjustments

Once you are done with the napkins, take a step back and look at your organization. See if everything is symmetrically arranged and looks visually appealing or not. 

If you like what you see, then you can go ahead and do the same for all the other open positions on the table.

You may also need to know how to place a rug in proper ways. Nothing to worry. Just click here and get your solution.

Final Thoughts

Table placemats are able to bring a profound aesthetic that isn’t achieved through regular organization. But to do so, you need to understand how to set a table placemat firsthand.

It is not just placing a piece of clothing under your dinner plate. They need to be folded and cleaned properly. 

You need to be meticulous and consider the table, outlook, placemat materials, and more.

So, be patient, follow the contents in this guide and you should be able to set up a table placemat perfectly in no time.

5 views0 comments


bottom of page