I don’t know about you, but it kills me every time I buy an item that comes in a sturdy plastic zippy bag, because the bag ultimately goes to waste. I always save them for what I promise myself will be “the perfect reuse”: travel bags for delicates, toy organizers or protectors for future craft projects. Alas, my recycle road is often paved with only good intentions. More often than not, these bags end up crumpled at the bottom of a drawer, which ultimately leads to their trash-can demise. But not this time, my crafty compadres. These quickie, cute placemats guarantee to keep both our tables and our consciences clean. Have your students collect bags at home, or bring in all the ones you’ve saved yourself. Then gather student-made artwork from past projects and put your resources to use.
Materials & Tools
(for each child)
- 1 empty bedspread bag
- 1 piece of artwork
- craft glue
- Modge Podge (a sealing finish available at most craft stores)
- sponge brush
- wrapping paper
Remove the zipper from the bag by cutting along the seams so that you are left with flat pieces of plastic to work with.
Cut out two 11″ x 17″ pieces of plastic. Glue around the edge of one piece of plastic, layer on the artwork and then place the second piece of plastic on top. The glue will show through, but don’t worry–the next step will hide it.
Create cutouts from old wrapping paper. I used leftover robot paper from the holidays. The number of cutouts you’ll need to frame your mat will vary depnding on their individual sizes and shapes.
Glue the cutouts around the perimeter of the mat. Using the sponge brush, apply a thin layer of Modge Podge over the entire front of the mat, using your fingers to smooth cutouts when necessary. Let it dry overnight before using.
|Artwork idea! Get your students involved in the creative process by asking them to draw pictures of their favorite foods, their families eating together or even a place setting, which they can use as a template for practicing their table etiquette.|