Thursday, February 2, 2017

Crafting: Vintage Valentine Placemats (free printables)

Making Christmas placemats from old cards got me thinking about vintage Valentine's...  I thought placemats composed of old school valentines would be really cute. And so easy, as it turns out!

Because they are laminated they are easy to wipe off and perfect for a kids' table. My girls love reading the valentines on their mats and sharing the often silly greetings with the rest of is. Keeps them occupied, but these are also great conversation starters for adults. For instance, it was interesting to see the traditional role models reflected in these vintage cards. Some of these would never fly now!

Rather than finding or duplicating vintage valentines to print out, I found a bunch of free vintage images online and composed some layouts. I've got four different versions, each with unique valentines. If you'd like some vintage valentine placemats for yourself you can download these images (they are very large files!) and print them at 12"x18".  Costco photo conveniently prints images at that size. 

Then just laminate and trim, and enjoy!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Crafting: Holiday Card Placemats DIY

Have you found a use for that beautiful stack of Christmas cards? It seems such a shame to throw them away...  When I was a little girl my grandmother gifted our family a stack of placemats she'd made from holiday cards she's collected. On the reverse side you can see handwritten notes from the senders. They were from the old days when greeting cards were purchased in boxed sets and each addressed and signed by hand. I remember my mother struggling to find just the right Christmas card to send. I confess I miss those days a bit but, it's pretty great that we can now design our own perfect greeting cards and send and receive updated family photos. 

In any event, you may have a stack of holiday cards you can't part with. Or you may just enjoy the look of these kitchy placemats and want some of your own. In either case, I've got a quick how-to for you.

These placemats could be really cute, and entirely different looking made with pictures of your family and friends, but I wanted to duplicate the old school Christmas card look. So I ran out after Christmas and purchased some boxed cards on clearance. In addition I searched for vintage Christmas card images online and printed some of those on cardstock. 

The first step is to gather those cards and images and punch them out in circle shapes. I used a Martha Stewart Crafts Simple Circle Cutter tool and some Uchida circle punches in 2.5" and 3" sizes. I found that bigger is better so the circle cutting tool was really handy.

Once you have all your images cut out, the fun part begins! This is a great project to do with your kids! Have them sign and back the reverse side.

You'll need a 12"x18" sheet of paper as the background for this project. I used a finger painting paper pad, which was the perfect size.

I found it easiest to start with the bigger images, glue them down (glue sticks are perfect!) and then fill in with the smaller circles, but it's a good idea to try a layout first to plan your design.

You'll want to cover all the white space with your holiday card images but leave a scalloped oval shape overall.

The next step is to trim the background paper around the scalloped border.

Then laminate the placemats to protect them and make them easy to wipe off. I used a local school supply store but office supply stores also provide lamination. Or maybe you have your own laminator at home.

After laminating you'll need to trim the excess plastic close to the scalloped edges of each placemat. Be sure to leave about a 1/4" border to ensure the lamination stays sealed.

Now you're all set for next Christmas with some cute and slightly kitchy placemats!

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