Homemade Placemats & Coasters
Candy sneaks into every holiday nowadays. Just because Halloween has been forgotten for another year, it doesn’t mean candy is out of the picture quite yet. Thanksgiving brought chocolate turkeys to the dining room table, and now, bags of Christmas candy line store shelves almost as much as they do at Valentine’s Day. If you’re looking for a way to distract kids from eating too much candy, try this simple craft, and see if it serves as a healthy reminder each time they sit down to eat.
First, check out your pantry. It’s full of craft materials just waiting to be put to good use. By saving empty bags and wrappers from your favorite healthy foods, you’ll not only minimize waste but create fun, colorful placemats too.
Empty food bags and wrappers
Self-adhesive laminating sheets (office supply stores have varying sizes)
Cut food bags so each one lies open and flat; wipe out any crumbs. Cut bags into strips, making sure each strip is equal in width and length. This determines the size of your placemat or coaster. If you want longer strips than what the size of a bag allows, use clear tape to connect two strips together, making them one long strip. Keep in mind, both sides of the placemat will be seen through the laminate so make them equally interesting.
12 – 14” strips for placemats and 4 – 5” strips for coasters work well.
Once you have between 20 and 30 strips, lay out a piece of laminate cut to the size you want your placemat to be and start weaving strips together (under and over, under and over) directly on the laminate, until each strip is woven and the placemat takes shape. The colors and words on the bags and wrappers will create new designs of their own as they get mixed in with other bags and wrappers. Make it playful!
When you finish weaving your strips, fold or cut any uneven edges to create a squared off shape around the perimeter of the placemat. Place a second piece of laminate, cut the same size as the first, on top of your design and seal it. Voila! Now your kids are ready to enjoy their tofu salad on a homemade placemat.
To get even more creative, check out different weaving designs online like the one below. Although bags weren’t used for this design, you can see how the pattern will change the look of your placemat. It takes a little more work but the end result will be worth it. Have fun!