Crafty Blogs

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Kids Mats-erpieces!

I came across a brilliant new product the other day, which really excited me with its possibilities, only to discover that it's not yet available in Europe, (as with lots of these things, it originates in the US).  Basically it's whiteboard paint which enables you to paint a whole wall and use it as a canvas or noticeboard - something you can't really do with blackboard paint without making the whole room dark.  It's available in two different kinds from - professional (which takes a week to 'cure' once applied, and is solvent based, so is not really appropriate for a home environment) which is available here now, and the water-based CR8 paint, which isn't.  I am so frustrated!  Hopefully it will become available in the not too distant future, as there are quite a few places I can think of using it, aside from the obvious kids bedrooms.


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.

 And finally....

I saw this ad in the Financial Times this weekend - it was advertising their regular Mrs Moneypenny feature, ('10 years of our ultra straight-talking mother and businesswoman') but it just amused me, so I thought I'd share it.  The quality of the image isn't great, but hopefully you can read it!


  1. Oh I love that paint. By the time it gets over here the boys will be too old - ha

    We have art table mats too

  2. Can't wait until my little one is big enough to get into art & crafts. Maybe that whiteboard paint will be available by then!

  3. Wow, just discovered your site via BMB and it is fab. So many cool funky ideas. Definatley need to get an artwork folder and really hope the whiteboard paint makes it to the UK soon.

  4. Thanks for your encouraging comments! It's really early days yet, and I've got lots to learn, but I've also got lots of ideas for future posts!