placemat1

I’ve been doing all this painting and coloring with Gigi.  I finally figured out what to do with all of it. Placemats.

placematgrid1

It’s really simple. Anything goes, and they’re great for gifts.  It did take me some trial and error to figure out the best way to do it though, so here are some tips.

1.  Stick with 11×17 paper of any kind.   Kinkos sells this awesome plastic type mat they use for binding notebooks.  It only comes in black unfortunately but it gives a great weight to the placemats and costs less than a dollar.  You’ll have to trim the paper only slightly to give a little edge to the placemat. The one pictured above is pre- figuring this out.

2.  You can do your own laminating at kinkos.  It’s nice and thick and has rounded corners, which is nice.  Use pictures, washi tape, masking tape, paints, crayons, whatever.  But don’t go too thick on anything because the laminating machine doesn’t like that.

3.  I added Gigi’s name to her art work in stickers and then photocopied it to make a little insignia on the back.  It’s a really nice touch that I’m excited to use on other projects she makes.

placematcoloring

4.  If you have a toddler like me, you might want to do different layers in stages to keep their attention.  First we worked with crayons.  Next session we added tape and stickers.  I tried to do it all in one go the first time but she wasn’t having it.

gigiplacematpainting

I used foil paper from Michaels for the placemat pictured above.  I put paint dots all over the foil and Gigi got to paint the foil with the brush.

Gigi is at an age (20 months) where she understands when she has made something.  She runs to our back room, points to her painting on the wall and yells out her name.  Now she’s doing it with the placemats.  For me, this is what it’s all about.  Seeing that smile as she points to her art is magic.