OK so I know the title is really corny, but this week I thought I’d introduce another really simple, but useful way of using kids artwork to create laminated place mats or work mats. I should perhaps point out here that these are more for creating a wipe clean surface to contain mess, rather than for protecting from heat!
The very simplest idea, if you have an A3 or A4 piece of artwork, is simply to laminate it as it is. But if the original artwork is a non-standard size, then mounting it onto a sheet of coloured paper or card, will give you the correct dimensions, and add further creative potential. Using a thin card base results in a stiffer mat. The background can act as a frame for the artwork, or you could also experiment with patterned backgrounds such as those created by bubble prints or marbling (if you have any of those) or even commercially available papers if you don’t.
This is also quite a good way of using collage work, as long as it is flat enough to go through a laminator. Sequins, tissue paper, glitter, leaves etc. can all be used. For example you could easily create an autumn themed mat in this way
As well as artwork, you can also include handprints, or photos, or add your child’s ‘signature’ – all of these things help to personalise the finished mat.
Instead of using a single artwork for a mat, you could create a composite image from different elements or motifs cut from several different artworks, as I did with this one. Alternatively you could crop a larger painting and create your own decorative frame, to create a mat full of ‘bling’ like this one.