The Creative Mama » inspiring art, encouraging women

Christmas Card Placemats

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it seems we are fast forwarding into thoughts of Christmas.  Before having children I knew there were a few traditions and memory makers from my own childhood that I wanted to share when the time came to have a family of our own…the Christmas Eve meal, Christmas storybooks passed down from my mom and these Christmas card placemats.  Yes, I know.  Placemats seem kind of trivial in the whole scheme of the holiday season, but some of my best meals and memories as a girl were made eating off these DIY placemats originally made by my mom.  My brother and I each had our favorite and there was something quite comforting about seeing them pulled out year, after year.  Asking what part of the world they came from and who was the sender.  Now, with a family of my own, my boys doing the same, asking who sent each card, telling me which are their favorites and why, learning about family and friends from all across the country.

My original placemats are now showing some wear and tear.  After 8 years of use, I guess that’s expected.  I’m thinking for my next set I may use photographs of past family Christmas’.  However you might choose to make them I hope you enjoy them as much as we have each year.

What you’ll need…

Posterboard—one sheet yields 2 placemats

A placemat for a template

Old Christmas cards or photographs (preferably copies as you will laminate or cover with contact paper)

Contact paper (you can also go the easy route and laminate)


Double sided tape or a glue stick

To begin take a placemat that you already have around and use it as a guide to measure and mark your placemat size on the posterboard.  Measure and cut as many as you need.

Take your stack of Christmas cards and begin arranging them on your poster board/placemat cut outs.  This is a bit like solving a puzzle, and may take a few tries.  Don’t be afraid to overlap.

Once you have a layout you like glue (or use double sided tape) your cards to the poster board.  This will prevent them from slipping when you go to cover with contact paper or laminate.

Finish off the placemat by covering with clear contact paper (both front and back) or have them laminated (they may last longer this way).

Repeat these steps for each placemat until you have one for everyone at your table.

About Alison

Alison Bickel lives in the heart of the Midwest where, along with her husband, they raise their three boys. Whether it’s in the garden, the kitchen or tagging along on her boys’ latest adventure she looks for the simple beauty in everyday from behind her lens. The photography bug bit her in sixth grade, upon getting her first camera, a Kodak Disk. She has been chasing light and subjects ever since. On her blog, ‘This Homemade Life,’ Alison shares tales of mothering, her passion for vegetarian cooking and obsession with farmer’s markets.

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