I needed a lot of place mats for not a lot of money, so homemade burlap was the way to go. I got 8 yards of burlap from Hobby Lobby using a 40% off coupon for right at $20.00.
I pulled threads to square up the fabric, definitely worth the time as the fabric was stretched crooked on the bolt. Begin by pulling one of the first threads that extend all the way across the bottom of the the fabric out completely.
The space created by the pulled thread serves as a guide for cutting. Below you can see how crooked the bottom edge was as cut from the store.
Then measure up 18" from the now straight bottom edge and pull another thread (below), and cut using the pulled thread space as a guide.
After cutting the 18" strip as shown above, I turned the fabric, cut off the manufactured edge, then pulled threads every 14" and cut as above to create three 14"x18" pieces per strip.
I used two layers to make the mats heavier weight. I sewed the two layers together using a blanket stitch on my sewing machine. After sewing the pieces together, I pulled all the loose threads of burlap from the edges to create the fringe around the border.
Before stenciling I threw the mats in the dryer on low heat for about 20 minutes to get all of the loose fibers out.
I had an "H" stencil already, so I used it to stencil on the corner with black acrylic paint mixed with a fabric medium. It looked a little too plain with just the H, so I printed "Est. 1993" (our marriage year) on paper, and made a stencil by cutting the text out of a transparency sheet with an exacto knife. It worked perfectly, 24 place mats for a little more than $20.00!