Placemats are an inexpensive way to jazz up your dining table. Create your own placemats for daily use or make special ones for holidays or other special occasions. Instead of the standard fabric placemat, create your own designs from paper and photographs and seal them inside waterproof contact paper. These placemats wipe clean after use and are durable enough to last through many uses without any damage. Choose pictures that match the occasion or your decor, or make a set of placemats as a gift for someone special.
Cut a 13-by-20-inch rectangle out of coloured paper. Use posterboard or heavyweight decorative scrapbooking paper.
Position one or more pictures on the rectangle and arrange them as desired. Once you find a suitable arrangement, glue the pictures to the paper with white craft glue.
Embellish the paper around the photographs. Use stamps, stickers, markers, ribbon or other flat embellishments. Attach fabric embellishments with double-sided tape and glue paper embellishments with white glue.
Cut two lengths of clear contact paper that are 1/2 inch longer and wider than the placemat. Peel the backing off one sheet of contact paper and smooth it onto the front of the placemat, forcing out any air bubbles as you stick it in place. Attach the second sheet of contact paper to the back of the placemat.
Cut off the overhanging edge of contact paper from the placemat using decorative-edge scissors. Cut only the contact paper, not the enclosed placemat, otherwise moisture will seep in through the edges and ruin the paper when you clean the placemat.
Use a colour copier to photocopy pictures for the placemats so you can keep the originals. Design your placemat on your computer and print it onto cardstock. Use the cardstock for the placemat. There is no need to glue it to posterboard.