How to Make Cork-Backed Placemats

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Things You'll Need

  • Clear contact paper

  • Cork roll

  • Poster board or other sturdy paper

  • 4 11"x17" artwork

  • 4 11"x17" pieces of chip board

  • Rubber cement

  • Glue stick

  • scissors

  • Utility knife

  • Ruler

  • Pencil

Placemats help keep the table clean and attractive, especially if there are kids in the house. Making your own placemats can help you tie them into seasonal decor without having to purchase new ones every month.

Step 1

With your ruler and pencil measure an 11"x17" rectangle on your poster board and cut it out. This will be your template. You may wish to round the corners to give the placemat a less angular design.


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Step 2

Unroll the cork and lay your template on it and trace it with your pencil. Repeat four times. Do the same with your artwork and chip board so you can make sure they are all exactly the same size and shape. Use your utility knife to cut out the traced shapes from your chip board and cork.

Step 3

Using the glue stick, glue your each piece of artwork to a piece of chip board. You should have four rectangles. Peel the backing from a sheet of contact paper larger than the chipboard rectangles and carefully lay the chip board face down on it. Flip it over and smooth out any air bubbles. Repeat to cover the back of the chip board. Pinch all around the edge where the two pieces of contact paper meet to make sure it is sealed completely. Then trim the contact paper within 1/8 inch of the edge of the chip board.

Step 4

Brush a thin layer of rubber cement to the cork and a thin layer to the back of the chip board ensemble. Allow to set up for a few minutes until both layers become sticky. Carefully position the cork onto the back of the chip board. Set it aside and allow it to dry while you complete the other three placemats.

Allow to dry overnight then place them on your table.


You can arrange and glue old Christmas cards on the chip board for a festive holiday placemat. Make a larger place mat and glue a collage of a child's artwork to the chip board to make an activity mat for playing with clay. Rubber cement does not damage the cork, so you can peel the artwork off the cork mat and replace it with a new chip board and artwork combination later if you like.


Be careful when using a utility knife to not cut yourself on the material under the cork.


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