Straw is the material of choice when making a mat for Kwanzaa, but fabric is an acceptable alternative. You can incorporate this medium into a specially designed mat that is sure to become a family heirloom. You might want to make a mat to hold the Kwanzaa symbols on the table and then let each family member design his or her own personal place mat.
Before using iron-on vinyl you should test it on a piece of the material you are using. The vinyl worked fine on burlap and felt, but it may not work as well on more delicate fabrics. You should use a dry iron on medium temperature. The usual ironing time is about six to eight minutes, but may vary according to the manufacturer's directions. Be sure always to use the protective paper shiny-side down in between the iron and the vinyl, or the vinyl will melt onto your iron.
Level: Moderately easy
Time involved: One to two hours
- Iron-on vinyl
- One piece each of red, green, black, and yellow felt
- Fabric glue
- Bag of red felt letters
- Red, green, and black yarn
- Iron and ironing board
Cut the burlap and two pieces of the vinyl into rectangles that are 12 x 18 inches.
Cut out seven candles that are 7 x 1 inch—three from the green felt, one from the black felt, and three from the red felt. Place these candles equally spaced in the center of the mat in the following order: three green, one black, and three red. Glue these candles to the burlap with fabric glue. Cut out seven 1 1/2 x 1 inch flames from the yellow felt, and glue the flames onto the top of the candles.
Cut an oval base out of the black felt that is 12 x 2 inches and glue this to the bottom of the candles. Glue the felt letters forming the word “Unity” on top of this base.
Cut two strands of each color of yarn (red, black, and green) 18 inches long and two strands of each color of yarn 12 inches long. Glue a red, a green, and a black piece of yarn around the edges of the mat to form a border.
Follow the directions on the vinyl package to iron the vinyl onto the back of the mat. Repeat this process on the front of the mat.
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