Holiday Table Mats with Crochet and Buttons





Holiday Table Mats with Crochet and Buttons


Thompson, Suzann and Frederick, Ella




17.5 x 11 inches, each; around 3 x 4 inches


Over the years, people who knew my love for knitting, crochet, and sewing entrusted me with related supplies they no longer needed, or those they inherited from loved ones and were unlikely to use.

When it came time to craft these holiday table mats, my received button collection came in handy. The plan was to use holiday-themed crochet applique to embellish a pair of shaggy felt rectangles.

I crocheted corrugated leaves, inspired by similar leaves in Irish Crochet lace. Crocheted with red yarn and arranged in a wide circle with stems pointing inward, the corrugated leaves made a pretty good approximation of a poinsettia flower. That was appropriate, because live poinsettia petals are specialized leaves. I tried adding crocheted green leaves, because poinsettias have those as well. No matter how I arranged them, they overwhelmed the red "petals." The piece needed green though, so I added green buttons, which probably came from the estate of one of my aunts.

A slightly altered, crocheted fern frond made a reasonable Christmas tree. My then five-year-old daughter Ella helped me choose the best red buttons to decorate the tree. Ella wanted to decorate her own tree mat, so we found a crocheted leaf, sewed it to a scrap of felt, and sewed button ornaments on it. Unfortunately, I could find only a very small photo of Ella's holiday mat.

The edges of the shaggy felt were wavy. Since the felt was synthetic, I was reluctant to press it with a hot iron. The edges needed a trim or something else to weigh them down and flatten them.

My sister-in-law's sister, Sharon, had worked in a fabric store and collected several half-gallon tubs of buttons. Sharon decided she would never use them all, so she passed them along to me. With a trove of buttons like hers, I could afford to be extravagant. I sewed a solid line of buttons just inside the edges of each holiday table mat. That flattened the edges.

I am grateful that people thought of me when they had sewing, knitting, and crochet supplies they didn't need. Naturally, I couldn't keep everything, so I passed along items I wouldn't use in a thoughtful and respectful way.


Suzann Thompson


suzannthompson, “Holiday Table Mats with Crochet and Buttons,” Center for Knit and Crochet Digital Repository, accessed May 25, 2024,