DIY Personalized Placemat for Kids

I'm a kind of proud of this little project I did for the kids. I came up with it all on my own (with no help from Pinterest!). I did get some design ideas from a few websites selling placemats for a whopping $14 - $18. I don't know about you, but that's way too much to spend on something my kid is just going to smear food all over. With a little time and a trip to Staples, you can make one for under $5.

I used Inkscape to do the design. Microsoft Word or OpenOffice would probably work just as well. Just create a document that's 11 x 17, put in your child's name and the letters of the alphabet in all different fonts, add a border or two and you have the beginnings of cute little placemat.
The next step is to print the document. Since my printer doesn't print documents this large, I decided to use Staples Copy & Print for my copy and printing needs. It's easy to upload your files from home and pick them up in the store. They were just under $2 for each sheet. You can also have them laminated in the store, too. But since I still have a neat little laminator in my possession, I decided to do the laminating myself.

About that laminating... It wouldn't be a Crafting by Katie without a few "learn from my mistakes." Number 1 -- get the right size laminating pouches. I used the 3 mil size (because it's all I had and I was too cheap and lazy to go out a few days before Christmas). It worked fine but it's a pretty flimsy placemat. The 5 mil size is probably the better way to go. Number 2 -- when the instructions for the laminator say to wait for a minute before removing the page from the pouch, do as you're told. I was just a little too impatient to see how it all turned out and one of the sheets got a little wrinkled.

But I still think they turned out pretty cool, if I do say so myself! My kids are going to love messing these up eating their meals off them.
If you'd like to make your own placemat and want the SVG file to use as a template, send me an email and I'll send it to you. If you've got a Finley or a Grady all the hard work is done for you!

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