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Personalize Your Table with a Photo Frame Placemat

By Jonathan Fong ; Updated August 23, 2018
Photo frame placemats

Photo frame placemats made of cork will put a smile on the face of your dinner guests. The placemats feature slots on the left and right sides where photos can slide in. A matching napkin ring serves as a personalized place card holder.

Cut cork to size

Create the placemat shape. Cut a piece of cork to your desired placemat size. Most placemats are around 12 inches x 18 inches. You can purchase rolls of cork at office supply stores. The cork is thin and easy to cut with a hobby knife.

Cut openings along the edges

Cut openings along the edges. Use a ruler and hobby knife and cut openings along the edges for the photos. You can make as many as you want, but keep in mind that the photos will be most visible along the edges. You can make them the same size or vary them.

Glue plastic sheets to cover the openings

Glue plastic sheets to cover the openings. On the back side, glue a piece of clear plastic that covers the photo openings. For this project, see what plastic you have around the house that you can upcycle, or you can purchase at an office supply store.

Glue card stock on top of the plastic

Glue cardstock on top of the plastic. To create pockets that the photos will sit in, glue pieces of heavy cardstock on the back, on top of the clear plastic. The glue should only be applied on the sides and bottom of each piece of cardstock. Do not glue the top edge, as that will be where the photo is inserted.

Insert your photos

Insert your photos. Cut your photos to fit within the frame openings. Slide them in between the cardstock and clear plastic. When you turn the placemat around, your photos will be displayed. The clear plastic protects the photos in case of accidental spills.

Matching photo napkin ring

Make the matching napkin ring. Personalizing the napkin rings with photographs is a fun, creative substitute for place cards. Cut a 2 inch x 6-inch piece of decorative cardstock, form a loop, and staple the ends together. Create a picture frame opening in the middle with a 1-inch circular hole punch. Glue a larger piece of cork behind the opening to hold the photo.

Tip

Because the cork is rolled up, it will not lay flat when you first open the package. After you cut the cork, place it under a heavy object to flatten it.

You can reinforce the plastic and cardstock on back with some duct tape. Just remember not to tape shut the top of the cardstock pieces – you will need them open to slide in your photos.

Warning

Use caution when using a hobby knife. Cutting unfamiliar materials like cork and plastic can be tricky, so go slowly and watch your fingers.

About the Author

Jonathan Fong is the author of three books: "Walls that Wow," "Flowers that Wow," and "Parties that Wow." He currently hosts the web series "Style With A Smile."