File this craft under ‘As easy as it gets.’ You don’t need to draw, have nice handwriting or be crafty at all to create cute and personalized placemats. It’s a good project for a rainy day, special occasions or when you want to make something fast and functional.
Now that Brady’s sitting at the dinner table, he gets a placemat. And because things get messy, it has to be wipeable. And cheap. But sturdy enough to handle a toddler.
Let me introduce you to laminated card stock. I picked up some fun 12″x12″ card stock paper at my craft store (in the scrapbooking section) for just 59 cents a sheet. Then I took it to Kinko’s, where they laminated them for $3.00 apiece. (Note: If you choose 8.5″x11″ paper, it’s just $1.99 to laminate). By the time you’re home from your errands, you have brand new placemats. I love a good turnkey project!
Kinko’s did a great job with the lamination, as they’ve held up well with meals and clean up (one was even submerged in water and is no worse for wear). Just wipe them down after a meal, and they’re ready to go again. I’m hoping to get a few months out of them, but they were cheap enough that I don’t really care if they get ruined with use.
I took the lazy route by laminating ready-made card stock paper, but you could go the extra mile by making placemats with:
- A photo collage
- Your child’s artwork
- A comic book page
- Birthday/holiday cards taped together
- Decorated card stock with names or pictures for a vacation or guest visit
- Holiday decor theme – a cheap way to decorate your kitchen table for the season…not just for kids!
You could even treat them like dry erase boards with mazes, empty tic-tac-toe boards or letters of the child’s name to practice writing on. A dry erase marker wipes right off. Lots of options, lots of fun, little work and low cost. Who doesn’t love that?