How to Make Placemats by Weaving Paper Strips

Three Methods:Basic PlacematFancy PlacematCreate Your Own Chessboard

This is an easy craft project that can be done with small(er) children. It's also a fun way to prepare for any holiday meal because you can choose the colors based on the occasion.

Method 1
Basic Placemat

  1. 1
    Get inspired and choose materials. To get yourself started, you may want to visit a craft store. You can weave placemats out of ribbons, construction paper, heavier types of paper, and incorporate decorative materials like glitter, sequins, the sky is the limit. When you are done collecting supplies, be sure you have at least the basics - scissors, construction paper, glue, ruler, and laminating sheets if you want to preserve your placemats.
  2. 2
    Cut one inch (2.5 cm) wide strips of construction paper (your choice of colors). Start by cutting long strips in your chosen colors. For this tutorial, it is recommended that you cut 9 strips that are 12 inches in length. (Use the ruler.)
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    Cut the next batch of strips shorter than the first batch. Because you have 9 strips that are 1 inch wide, each strip in this next batch needs to be 9 inches long to create rectangle.
  4. 4
    Place the long strips horizontally and weave the short strips vertically.

    • Glue or tape the ends of horizontal strips to one of the vertical strips, alternating top and bottom attachments.
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    • Weave the remaining vertical strips, securing their ends to the top and bottom horizontal strips.
      Image titled Make Placemats by Weaving Paper Strips Step 2Bullet2
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    Trim the edges. Alternately, you can cut the strips a bit long to start with, and leave the ends sticking out a bit, on purpose.
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    Laminate if desired. You can cover this project with clear contact paper to protect it for longer use, whether or not you mat it.
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Method 2
Fancy Placemat

  1. 1
    Review the steps presented in Method One to be sure you are familiar with how to weave a placemat.
  2. 2
    Weave your placemat following the instructions in Method One.
  3. 3
    Decorate your placemat with craft supplies. Add glitter, stickers, drawings, or cut outs from magazines to create a collage.
  4. 4
    Laminate your placemat.

Method 3
Create Your Own Chessboard

  1. 1
    To create a chess board, choose two colors (light and dark choices are suggested for contrast) of construction paper or heavier material like felt or cardboard.
  2. 2
    Cut 8 strips of the light colored material where all the strips are 2 1/2 inches by 18 1/2 inches long.
  3. 3
    Repeat the cutting process for the dark colored material, creating the same number of strips with the same dimensions.
  4. 4
    Place the dark colored strips in a row, lining up the edges.
  5. 5
    Weave the strips as described in Method One.


  • A good thing to do to make this placemat last longer (as an alternative to contact paper) is to laminate it. This will protect it for a very long time and keep if from water damage, etc. A downside of this may be that the placemat would become slightly slippery.
  • Tape the strips temporarily while the glue dries.
  • This placemat can also double as a checkerboard!
  • These are quite pretty made from colored ribbon. You might want to stitch the perimeter instead of using glue on the ribbon.


  • Scissors are edged tools. They should not be handled like a toy, but are completely safe for people who are not abusing them.

Things You'll Need

  • Construction Paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Ruler

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