How to Make Placemats for Christmas


Christmas placemats add a festive touch to the holiday table. You can create a variety of reusable placemats for a holiday party, to give as gifts to family or friends, or to use at home. Recycle Christmas wrapping paper or use wallpaper, poster board, construction paper, craft paper or even fabric as the base. Have the kids color pictures and add embellishments using cutouts from recycled Christmas cards and magazines, photographs, stickers and glitter. Make a variety of designs or follow a specific theme, such as the "12 Days of Christmas." Finished placemats wipe clean and are reversible.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper, poster board or fabric for base
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Old Christmas cards and magazines
  • Photos (optional)
  • Stickers (optional)
  • Crayons or markers
  • Glue or glue stick
  • Glitter
  • Clear contact paper
  • Decorative edge scissors (optional)
  • Cut paper, poster board or fabric to the size desired for the Christmas placemats. Limit the vertical measurement (height) to 17 inches or less. Standard placemats commonly measure approximately 14 by 19 inches while large placemats may measure up to 17 by 23 inches.

  • Decorate the placemats. Make a collage with cutouts from old Christmas cards, magazines or photos and glue into place, or color with crayons or markers. Add stickers or glitter, if desired.

  • Set the decorated placemats aside and let each dry thoroughly.

  • Decorate the reverse side, if desired, and let dry.

  • Cut a piece of clear contact paper two inches longer than the placemat. Peel back two inches of the backing paper and fold flat. Carefully affix the sticky side of the clear contact paper to one end of the placemat front, centering the contact paper so that it extends at least 1/2-inch beyond the top and bottom of the placemat and overlaps the edge by one inch.

  • Peel away the rest of the backing with one hand while simultaneously smoothing the contact paper into place with the other.

  • Cut a second piece of clear contact paper two inches longer than the placemat and affix it smoothly to the reverse side of the placemat.

  • Smooth both sides again and press the edges firmly together.

  • Neatly trim all four edges of the clear contact paper to 1/4- to 1/2-inch outside the edge of the decorated placemat. Use decorative edge scissors, if desired.

Tips & Warnings

  • Christmas placemats made by children make great gifts, especially for grandparents.
  • Personalize Christmas placemats for each family member.
  • Get twice the use from placemats by decorating the reverse side for another holiday, such as Thanksgiving.
  • Cut the placemat base square, round or oval instead of rectangular.
  • Make placemats for pets, as well.
  • Standard contact paper is 18 inches wide. For adequate coverage, make sure that each placemat base measures a maximum of 17 inches in one direction.

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  • Photo Credit craft a card! image by Shirley Hirst from
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