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Tutorial: Make 1960s Place mats

Friday, January 23, 2015


1960s foil and tissue paper place mats vintage kids craft from va voom vintage

On Tuesday afternoon, the kids and I made some really fun 1960s place mats that I found in one of my vintage craft magazines. This a great no-sew project for a rainy day and even better when little ones can help too! I think we'll have to make different sets for each of the holidays. Wouldn't these be cute as Easter eggs or Christmas trees?


1/2 yard clear vinyl
roll of clear contact paper
roll of aluminum foil
bottle white school glue
colorful tissue paper
4 sheets construction paper 12 by 17inches


Cut the vinyl into 12 by 18 inch rectangles. I got 4 place mats from a 1/2 yard
Cut the foil into 11.5 by 17.5 inch rectangles. The average width of foil is about 12 inches
Cut contact paper into 12 by 18 inch rectangles

Cut colorful tissue paper into various shapes. You can do squares, circles, strips...the kids had me cut out fish and all kinds of things. If you have paper punches or fun scissors for scrap booking, this is a great time to use them! We just used regular scissors and pinking shears. I separated the colors into separate dishes to make it easy and less of a mess

vintage pyrex bowls full of colorful tissue paper


gently crumple your foil into a ball, then unfold and flatten out. Rhys got a little too excited with his foil ball crumpling so we had to re-do. No big deal, there's plenty of foil in the roll. We had fun pounding the foil flat with our palms.

scissors cutting foil

ball of aluminum foil

crumpled up aluminum foil


In a plastic cup or dish, mix glue and water so its very thin. Using an inexpensive paint brush, paint glue on the non-shiny side of the foil



arrange shapes of tissue however you like. Overlapping colors will show through, which can create a really neat effect.


tissue fish on foil


Experiment with geometric shapes and uneven lines for a kitchy retro look

When you're done with your tissue, lay them flat to dry for several hours.

To finish

trim a little bit off the edges of the place mats. I trimmed about a half inch on each side. Don't you love the bacon and eggs?

bacon and eggs vintage 1960s place mat


lay the place mat face down on the table.

peel the backing off the contact paper and lay sticky side down on the back of the place mat. The contact paper is slightly larger than the finished place mat so you should have about an inch border all the way around the place mat. This border is really helpful in not getting bubbles in your contact paper. If you stick the border to the table, all you have to do is pull the roll towards you as you encase the place mat.



peel the place mat off the table and flip over, face side up

bacon and eggs vintage 1960s place mat


next, very carefully and slowly apply the vinyl to the top. Press the sticky contact paper to the vinyl, sealing the edges. Its hard to see but there's vinyl on top


Trim off the excess border and you're done!



They're pretty silly but most mid century craft decor is and they're really fun to make!

1960s foil and tissue paper place mats vintage kids craft from va voom vintage

5 Responses to “Tutorial: Make 1960s Place mats”

  1. Oooh, that is really cute! Granted, I need a table before I move on to placemats, but this is definitely one to bookmark.

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  2. ZOMG. I've been trying to figure out how to do something special with my girl scout troop situpons, and your placemat tutorial could be totally adapted to make some extra-special situpons!
    I normally love your site, but now I really LOVE your site!

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    Replies
    1. hah! Thank you!! I thought about Girl Scouts while I was doing this too because my sister in law is a troop leader. I'll be doing a lot more kid-friendly vintage crafts coming up. My kids love doing these kinds of things and I love to craft with them!

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  3. What a fun way to brighten the day. :)

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  4. Super fun! I think this would be such a great idea to make with kids if one has a Girl Guide, Girl Scout, or Boy Scout troop - perhaps mats with a camping or badge work related theme. Thanks for sharing this cool craft with us, dear gal.

    ♥ Jessica

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