Make re-usable DIY placemats for kids to color while they’re at the dinner table.
Hey y’all – today I’m sharing a tutorial for a kids placemat. These are sure to keep the little ones occupied while you cook and/or serve up the food.
So I have two issues when it comes to dinner with little boys. One is that by the time it’s time for me to make dinner, they are often D.O.N.E. and all they want to do is fight with each other or get in my way. The other is that when dinner is finally made and served, they are a mess. So I put my thinking cap on and this is what I came up with to help with both problems.
This way, they have something to do before dinner that does not involve contact with their brother, and then the placemats (which are washable) catch a lot of the crumbs before the floor does.
Want to make your own? You’ll need:
- Fabric with drawings. I used this Ikea fabric, but it’s not available online. You could also draw your own with Sharpies on canvas.
- Heat n’ Bond Thermoweb (affiliate link) I ordered mine online, but I think the big chain fabric stores carry it as well.
- Backing fabric. I used some scrap denim I had from the fireplace bumper we made years ago.
Cut your artwork fabric and the vinyl to 18″x14″ rectangles. The backing fabric should be 16″x 20″.
Iron the vinyl to your artwork fabric following the package instructions.
Iron all edges of your backing fabric 1″ to the wrong side.
At each corner, you’ll see a square made by the iron marks. Fold that square diagonally, then cut it off on the diagonal. Center you vinyl covered artwork in the middle of your placemat and fold the corners onto it as shown below. The point of the corner of the artwork fabric is touching the fold of the denim.
Fold the raw edges of your backing fabric so they touch the raw edges of the artwork fabric.
Fold the edges again, this time onto the artwork fabric, forming mitered corners.
Stitch in place around all 4 sides of the placemat.
And you’re done! Get those dry erase markers out (make sure each kid has a set so they won’t fight) and cook dinner while they color.
I’d like to take a moment to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about these placemats.
- What if I can’t find similar fabric?
- I think it would work just as well to draw (or trace) doodles onto white canvas fabric with sharpie.
- Do these really wash well?
- I have washed mine in the washing machine a couple times. I don’t put them in the dryer. The vinyl has gotten a little wrinkled in places, but still works really well. For most cleaning I wipe them down with a damp paper towel and only wash if the back side is starting to get really dirty for some reason.
- Do these work with regular washable markers?
- I haven’t tried it, but I don’t see why not.
- Could I use overhead pens on these?
- Again, haven’t tried it, but I don’t see why not.
- Does the marker smudge onto the kids hands?
- Yup, if their hands drag in it. But since their hands are washable too, we just do that.