Today I would like to share one of my more clever ideas (if I do say so myself). I made some lovely fabric placemats which can be very easily washed with a wet cloth and soap (or your favorite cleaning agent--tho I don't recommend bleach, since it will discolor your fabric), or by rinsing briefly under weakly flowing water (warning: water that is too hot or a high pressure will melt the mod podge and can cause spotting).
To begin this project you will need a few supplies (most of which I usually have on hand). If you are wondering, I got this nice floral patterned quarter and the cardstock from Walmart, but if you have a spare piece of fabric, that will work too.
I use fabric shears (danka dear mother), and regular craft scissors (don't ever cut paper with your fabric shears!). Measure out the desired width of your placemat (I recommend tracing with a ruler so that you will not have crooked edges like I do) and cut the cardstock. Use your measured cardstock to cut down the fat quarter, leaving an inch or so of fabric as a border (you can use more or less, or cover the whole piece of cardstock, depending on your tastes--this will be the back of the placemat.
I used pages from a magazine to add extra support to my placemat. I thought that the waxy pages might help to protect the paper from water damage. I am not sure that it actually works, but hey---it doesn't hurt! If your fabric is especially thin, you may want to use an extra piece of cardstock so that you cannot see the magazine through the fabric (or you could just skip this bit). If you've decided to proceed, use a paintbrush and some mod podge to stick the magazine to the cardstock. Then place the cardstock, magazine side down on the wrong side of the fabric. The excess mod podge on the magazine will adhere it to the fabric (don't worry if its not, we will be adding more mod podge later).
Cover the whole piece of cardstock with mod podge. Fold the edges of your fabric border around the cardstock; add more mod podge on top of the fabric. Try to smooth out any wrinkles with your fingers. You will notice that my raw edges left a few strings, but not to fear--if you've been careful and have trim neat edges, this won't be an issue, if not--try to push the strings into the edges of the border to hide them (you will need to do this before the glue dries). Allow the back of the placemat to dry before proceeding (otherwise you will get junk stuck to it).
Once your back is dry, cover the whole front of the placemat with mod podge. You can use a paper towel or a large brush to cover more area quicker. Smooth out wrinkles with your fingers. Allow the whole mat to dry before attempting to use or handle it...and that's it. You're done! The placemat will be stiff, but flexible, with a water resistant, easy to clean surface (and they're awfully pretty!)