From photos and drawings to family crests. From family rules to family vacation wish lists. Create a family motto. Reinforce your goals as a family. It’s all up to you. You can take a look at our samples for ideas and also our link list.

For ease in printing, you will begin with an 11 x 17 inch base. Actual printing area will be smaller to allow for the grip edge of a printer or copier, so leave about 1/4 inch boarder all the way around. You can place content through an Excel spreadsheet (not very flexible) or a layout program such as inDesign or Quark (most flexible). If you do not have access to these programs, you can cut and paste art and text and apply to a preprinted 11 x 17 themed base from a craft store. These usually can be found in the scrap booking area.

If you’ve created your placemats in Excel, InDesign or Quark, they will be ready to print on 11 x 17 stock. Choose the heaviest paper that your color printer can handle. If you have created your placemat by hand, you can take your artwork to any Kinko’s or similar store and make a color copy or scan the image for digital output on the color copier or color printer. Again use the heaviest stock recommended. If your placemat utilizes three dimensional objects (such as a small souvenir trinket) you will need to make a photograph. Many photo labs will take high resolution shots on a copy stand for a reasonable fee. That photo will then need to be placed in Excel, InDesign or Quark for color copy output.

Plastic lamination is critical for a placemat. You can get it done inexpensively at a Kinko’s or similar store.

Note the links on our links page for more info on how to make placemats.