February 12th, 2013 posted by Susie Tilton
For my birthday, my sister gave me a yard of chalkboard fabric. Hmmm a very interesting concept. A natural transition from chalkboard paint and chalkboard contact paper, but what to do with it? My own kids are a little big for it, but I have a great idea for young children. Whenever we would go out to eat, I was always a little grossed out putting food directly on the table. Plates would become flying discs, napkins would get damp and nasty, why not make it a placemat? I thought the best option was to take a pre-made placemat, and simply adhere the chalkboard fabric to one side. This way, we have one side for entertainment purposes; tic tac toe, letters and numbers, doodles, and the other serves as a perfectly clean place to put the food. Even a child old enough to eat off real plates would enjoy a cut throat game of tic tac toe!
Of course the placemat could be made entirely from scratch, but this way will take about…5 minutes. I have a placemat I paid about $2 for, chalkboard fabric (available all over the internet for about $10 yard), and some Velcro. By using Velcro to adhere the chalkboard fabric to the placemat, you can peel off the chalkboard and toss the placemat in the washer.
If you make this project
Cut the chalkboard fabric the same size as the placemat, and cut 4 strips about 4 inches long of the Velcro, I buy it with an adhesive backing. I will stick the sticky (loopy) Velcro side to the back of the chalkboard fabric and sew the soft side of the Velcro to the edges of the chalkboard fabric. The loopy side of Velcro is the side that sticks to everything. It is best to keep that on the chalkboard half. Make sure both sides of the Velcro are lined up! Roll up the placemat and stick it in that “going out to eat bag” with the other staples, and don’t forget the chalk! Regular chalk wipes off neatly with a damp cloth. Chalk “markers” give a cleaner line, but take a little elbow grease to remove. Another great idea for the chalkboard fabric is for any time the kids are eating at their own table at home, like a birthday party or even a holiday dinner where the adults get the dining room and the kids get sent to the kitchen. Make a long runner out of the chalkboard fabric for the kids. They can make their name cards on it, play games, and draw pictures. When dinner is over the fabric can be reused, cut into pieces or saved until the next holiday! But do note, the chalkboard fabric needs to be cured, which is easily done by taking a piece of chalk lengthwise and covering the entire board with chalk. Wipe off with a damp cloth and dry and then do it again. Your cloth is cured! It also sewn easily although I recommend a heavy duty needle and thread. However, the cut edges of the fabric do not fray, so it is perfect for a no sew craft.