DIY Mess-Free, Pretty Placemats

"SON! Don't. Touch. Your placemat."

This was totally me as soon as our Mason joined us at the table from his high chair. He is by far our messiest eater as he doesn't stop squirming for one second at the table. For a while I had used those circular woven placemats that you can get for cheap at Target because they're versatile enough to use year-round.

See, not too shabby. Not like, 'oh my gosh, where did you get those placemats?!', but not bad. Yep, these were doing us just fine. As long as no one touched them with dirty hands, dropped food on them, or spilled their milk... I was always telling our little guy to stop touching his placemat. I mean, of all things!

One day we got home from church and were hit by a wretched smell as soon as we walked in our home. I checked the kitchen and all the rooms, but it got better the further I got from the dining room. It was in the dining room. I always wipe down the table and floor after every meal because, you know, kids; so I was kind of dumbstruck. Then I found the culprit - the placemats! Even though I wiped them down after every meal, they stank so bad. It was time to move on to kid-mess worthy placemats.

After a discouraging search for decent looking plastic placemats, I turned to the age old art of lamination. I've actually never had anything laminated in my life! It was quite exciting, indeed.

I took a quick trip to PaperSource and came home with two sheets, (20x28), of this:

To make four placemats, all I had to do was tear these in half and then get all four sheets laminated!

Since all the edges were uneven and frayed, I tore each large sheet in half rather than cut with scissors:

Then I took my four sheets to a FedEx print shop and had each piece laminated. When I picked them up I had placemats!

Gotta loooooove that plastic! In a few years I'll be moving on to pretty fabric placemats, or none at all! But for now, I appreciate this totally kid-friendly alternative.

And guess what? Yesterday at lunch Mason dropped peanut butter from his apple on his placemat. And I smiled, wiped it with my finger, ate it myself, and kissed his chubby cheek. Any little thing that brings a bit more peace to these chaotic, messy days, I'm game. :) 

Carpe the mess!

Thank you all for stopping by! XO