Can I be real for a minute? I absolutely adore my boys. I truly do, with all of my heart. They are busy, curious, tenacious, and strong willed. They are also sweet, affectionate, kind and funny.
All of their amazing qualities aside, I sometimes find myself thinking “This is why we can’t have nice things”. My boys can be rough on our belongings. They love to jump, climb, push, pull and explore in all the ways that you can imagine little boys would. I love that they are curious, imaginative, and adventurous. The curiosity tends to mean that our home looks like a tornado has swept through daily!
The evidence of their love for cars and trucks takes over our family room floor daily. My sofa cushions, accent pillows, and throw blankets are almost alway askew. Objects get disassembled (ahem, broken) on a regular basis. It comes with the territory of having young children (3 under 4.5 years old in our household!). With that said, I try to be realistic about the types of things I buy at this period of our lives, with the expectation that they are very likely to get dropped, ripped, taken apart, and spilled on.
So today I am sharing with you a super easy DIY project for making your own placemats! Sure, I would love to get some gorgeous cloth printed ones from Pier 1 Imports, but at this point in our lives there is no point. Keeping them looking nice would be futile and they would quickly become covered in yogurt and stained with spaghetti sauce.
The placemats that I have made in this tutorial are low-maintenance and easy to clean. Most importantly, they are very inexpensive to make so it’s not a huge loss if one (or all) get destroyed. The idea came to me while shopping at Walmart last week, after seeing some rolls of easyLiner shelf and drawer liners on display. The liners are typically used to line the bottoms of cupboards, shelves, and drawers which makes them durable and easy to clean. They come in a variety of colours and patterns and cost $6 a roll. Lightbulb moment!
1. A roll of easyLiner Smooth Top shelf liners
3. Measuring tape or a placemat that you already own
4. Optional: Glue gun and ribbon
1. Roll out the liner with the back side facing up (I photographed it with the back side facing down to show better in the picture). Using a measuring tape or placemat, measure the length of the placemat (or 19″) and mark a straight line with a pen.
2. Cut across the line that you measured to cut out the placemats.
3. Repeat 5 more times to use the entire roll, or until your desired number of placemats is achieved.
4. Optional fourth step: To add more of a design/esthetic element, add ribbon to the outside edges of the placemats using a glue gun.
There you have it! A set of 6 placemats for about $1 a piece. Allow your kids to use these bad boys guilt-free, for everything from eating on, colouring on, and making messy arts and crafts. They wash up easily with a cloth and warm soapy water, and dry quickly.
Depending on how much you want to perk them up, you can easily use them for your hosting needs as well! You’re welcome!
For fun, here is a little feature of my 2 year old’s most recent art project! At least he choose one of my favourite colours, right?