The latest craze in our house is DIY placemats, using the children’s art to create unique place settings for our table.

by Cathy

When the children have a friend coming to tea they like to make a special placemat just for the guest, to welcome them to the meal and for them to take home with them afterwards.

These DIY placemats are very easy to make so however young your children are they could give them a try. Here’s how we make them, with ideas to adapt them to suit your kids and the seasons.


Make your placemat by using pens and pencils to draw a design on a piece of cardstock. My kids like to make a personalized one for each person, decorated with drawings of the person themselves and some of their favorite things.

You could also make seasonal sets for Easter, Christmas or Thanksgiving. Or match them to what your kids are learning about and make an Egyptian set, some times tables or include Bible verses.

It’s also a good way to re-use art that your kids have drawn or painted.

Once the design is complete we pop the cardstock in a plastic pouch and put it through our laminating machine (here’s a laminating machine we like). Alternatively you could use contact paper on both sides of the cardstock. This strengthens the placemat, protects it from any spills and allows you to wipe the mats clean after each meal. (affiliate links)

The child-made placemats bring such a welcoming touch to mealtimes and have been know to encourage dawdling kids to hurry to the dinner table to see the latest creations! You can make smaller ones for cup holders or create a set to give as a gift to a grandparent.

To complete the place setting use this idea to make napkins using your child’s drawing on fabric and add a decorated jam jar candle holder as a centerpiece. Of course, you could also turn the front of your refrigerator into a chalkboard for another place for artistic creativity.