Thursday, June 20, 2013

DIY High Chair Placemat

It's no secret that I like old-fashioned furniture.  Lucite will never have a place in this house.  (Nothing against Lucite, it just ain't my thang.)  And while I can appreciate the appeal of easy-to-clean, low-maintenance, un-dingable plastic furniture for babies and small children, I couldn't get behind a plastic high chair in a dining room that's 1890s architecture meets 1940s furniture.  So I love the hand-made oak chair my parents found at a random Rural King.  

(I'm pretty sure there's a retired gentleman who works part-time at the store and they let him sell his baby furniture on the side.  He sells out within hours of setting up his "shop" every time.  How cute is that?)

The only downside--babies are incredibly messy eaters.  Seriously--they have pretty much zilch for table manners and their dexterity is nothing to write home about, and it makes for some messy meals.  The wood tray of my lovely high chair was getting downright sticky every second meal or so.  Not that you can't clean the tray, but it's more of a chore than a wipe-clean surface would be.

So I made an easy-to-clean, DIY solution!  And you can easily finish in one nap-time.

You'll need:

Clear contact paper  
A piece of fabric 
Velcro dots
Pinking shears

That's it!  The only thing I bought was contact paper.  You need such a small amount of fabric that you probably have an unused scrap sitting in your stash, or an old clothing item that could be repurposed.  (You could also use pretty paper, like scrapbooking paper, and even create a fun collage.  The result won't be quite as flexible as fabric, though.)


Drape the fabric over the tray.  Cut to size.  (Yes, you could make a paper pattern and trace it out for perfect results.  We're going for usable and quick, not perfect here.)

Trim down about a half inch to an inch.  (You need the contact paper to adhere to itself along the edges, so the fabric needs to be smaller than the tray.)


Cut two pieces of contact paper (with backing) to the right length for the fabric.

Peel the backing off the contact paper.  This is the hardest part of this project.

Lay the fabric flat on one piece of contact paper.  Smooth it out and pick off any cat hairs that may have found their way onto the fabric during this process.  Lay the other piece of contact paper on top, sandwiching the fabric, sticky sides together.

You can get away with some finagling once the paper goes together, but not much.  Once you have it like you want it, smooth and press the paper together to adhere it completely.

Trim the sandwich to size, giving yourself a half inch to an inch of clear border.  (I used pinking shears for all steps of this project because I liked the look of pinked edges.  Other decorative scissors would be fun to experiment with, too.  Or you can go plain.)


Attach velcro dots to about four points on the tray, and to corresponding spots on the mat.  

That's it! So easy you can knock it out in a naptime, and very cost-effective, too. 

Time: About twenty minutes
Cost: $5.50 for the roll of contact paper.  I had the other supplies on hand.  Plus--this roll is huge!  I foresee many more contact papered projects.


Anonymous said...

"pick off any cat hairs you find on the fabric"...hilarious, and so true! Love this idea, btw. Though, my high chair has plastic on it already, which of course, you would know. :) But this idea is very versatile, since you are indeed correct with the whole babies are messy thang. Love it!

Great Healing and Deliverance said...

What a great idea! I may have to do this too... love the prints.

Have you seen Sell My Home Today Dallas said...

Thank you!
This is the best tutorial on the process I have found – and the result is stunning!