Use a standard weave (over and under), a recycled paper bag or magazine and some glue to make an attractive upcycled place mat.
What you need:
- A paper bag, comic section of the newspaper OR a magazine (basically any paper product you want to recycle…even junk mail)
- PVA glue (even watered down glue is fine)
- A Gloss finish: a varnish or gloss Mod Podge.
- Sticky tape
- A piece of recycled cardboard (this is not part of the project but rather a stabiliser while weaving)
What to do:
- Unfold the paper bag so that it is at its biggest and original size, or, tear your pages out of the magazine/newspaper.
- Measure and cut 5 centimeter wide strips along the entire length of the bag (magazine or newspaper page).
- Working with one strip at a time,dampen the strip with water to remove any creases. Fold down .5 centimeter along one edge of the length of strip, as shown.
- Fold the opposite side so that it just overlaps the edge of the previous fold, as shown.
- OPTIONAL: With the iron set on high, iron the strips to dry and flatten them, and to strengthen the creases.
Or, flatten, smooth and crease with your fingers. Run a heavy object (a coffee cup or similar) along the folded paper to flatten into the folds as much as possible.
- Apply a thin line of glue along the .5 centimeter edge.
- OPTIONAL: Turn strip over (folded side down); iron strip smooth.
Or, place under a weighted press. I use a glass panel with books on top of it and leave the strips there for at least a half hour (the longer the better though).
- Repeat process to create a total of eleven 61 centimeter strips and seventeen 46 centimeter strips.
Weave and Construct your place mat
- With sticky tape, fix the longer strips to a piece of cardboard as shown.
- Weave (over and under) shorter strips through longer strips, alternating each strip, as shown; glue each strip and allow to dry.
- Remove the cardboard and tape; cut the ends of each strip to about 2 centimeters.
- If you want to, paint with an earth friendly paint and leave to dry. I do not paint as I like the rustic look of brown paper and the eclectic look of magazine and newspaper.
- Paint the front (and the back when front is dry) with your gloss sealer and allow to dry.
- Use it or give as a really cool gift.
Many thanks to the wonderful and resourceful FaveCrafts for their ideas and photographs: Brown Bag Placemat. Join their mail list for some really funky craft ideas.