Tuesday, March 29, 2011

DIY Placemat Holder G-string style

As promised, here is the first tutorial in making your very own placemat holder.
What you will need:
Three suction hooks, strip of cloth, balloon stick (optional), textile glue, yarn
Tools: Scissors, cutter, needle and thread
Build time:
10 Minutes
First, take your placemat to determine the position of the hooks we’ll be using. Here, the distance recommended is between 4 to 5 inches from the top hook to the top edge of the placemat.
Cut to size a balloon stick. This is optional but recommended to avoid bunching up of the cloth
Using a textile glue or the old school needle and thread, loop the edge of the cloth over the balloon stick and secure. 
Here, I used the old school needle and thread.
Then run a yarn through the loop and tie a knot. This will hang to the topmost hook.
Flat on the table, stretch the cloth, put your placemat on top of the cloth and loop back on top of the placemat. About 2-3 inches below the edge of the palcemat is good. Cut the cloth and repeat the ballon stick insert step.
Cut a longer piece of yarn depending on the width of your placemat. Use a stick to push the yarn into the loop.
Here is the test fit. Almost there!
Now, proceed to your refrigerator, or any flat surface you desire and hang like so and position the other hooks.
Attach the yarn on the other edge as seen here, and Voila! You just made yourself an eco-friendly placemat holder!
Now get your placemat set and free up that drawer or counter top! Adjust accordingly. 
Save the Earth. Avoid using plastics.
Hope you enjoyed it and more to come from this inventor!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

History of the Placemat Holder

The placemat holder was born out of need. Eric, a father of one back in 1998, was renting a small apartment in Angeles, Pampanga. Being a small apartment as it was, storage space was a challenge to find. Particularly in the kitchen. The cupboards weren't enough, the counter tops weren't enough. Aside from the usual utensils, plates and glasses that are frequently used in the kitchen, he had these placemats to deal with. For lack of storage, he tried hanging these in a towel bar, but these were vinyl placemats and hanging them created a hump in the middle. This deformed the placemats and wore them out fast. Drying them after wiping them clean with a damp towel was also a challenge. Faced with this situation, he came up with a brilliant idea.

Thus, the placemat holder was born! Initially, he called it the placemat holster, as he likened it to a gun holster because it was designed for ease of putting in and getting the placemats out of it. He fashioned his prototype out of plywood and installed it in between the refrigerator and the countertop. It was designed to be installed on the refrigerator side not only for ease of finding it, but to take advantage of the heat coming from the appliance to help dry them as well.

Here is a sample of his notes of the original CONCEPT

Being Filipino, close family ties are a norm. Eric's brother-in-law, Orly, even decided to relocate his family 2 doors away from the apartment he was renting. His wife's Aunt also followed suit to relocate in the same subdivision he was in. Naturally, all relatives are treated to a tour of all three households when they come and visit. Of course, these people notice the contraption Eric has conceptualized. All immediate family members have seen this including those relatives visiting from the US.

Thirteen years after the concept was born, a similar placemat holder product surfaced in Florida. Eric finds out that the person who patented, produced and sold this product in the US market is among the people whom he has discussed the idea with. He is given no credit whatsoever.

A piece of advice to you, Eric, this is all your fault. You did not protect your idea. You should have patented it yourself. A word of caution to budding inventors and inventors alike, protect your intellectual properties. Do not be like Eric, and other thousands of inventors out there who had lost their ideas to someone else.

Moving on...

Being the originator of the concept, Eric has decided to share his other ideas regarding placemat holder designs, for free! After all, only the true inventor can best his own invention. Watch out for a series of DIY, eco-friendly placemat holders.