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Good day everyone, and welcome to another Edition of “Scrappin’ Green!” In this edition, we feature Scrapbooker’s Club House member and August 2008 Guest Designer Lee Brehon, who brings us some fun and inexpensive ideas for recycling second-hand vinyl placemats. Since we definitely want to keep plastic and vinyl out of landfill sites, ways to reuse items made from these products are timely. Please pop in to Scrapbooker’s Club House anytime to share YOUR recycling/reusing projects with us. You’re ALWAYS welcome! Now, read on for some fabulous recycling ideas from Lee!

“Adding Punch with Placemats”
By Lee Brehon

Looking for an inexpensive and fun way to make a mini-album or add some punch to your projects!?
I found a solution to do that and save a ton of money!!! Additionally, I am recycling plastic and vinyl.

I love to go on little scavenger hunts for items that will work into my scrapbooking projects and this fun idea literally screamed at me from the shelf: “TAKE ME HOME AND REUSE ME!” So, I did. This is what I came up with!!!

What you are looking at are old plastic and vinyl table placemats from Value Village (a second-hand store). These placemats come in an array of beautiful colors, shapes and designs. You can find different colors of this plastic at an office supply store. (But, trust me when I say it is very expensive!!!!)

Here’s a photo of the placemat going through the die-cut machine.

The following pictures will show you some of the items I cut out. Beautiful!!

For this example, I put together a retro mini-album and even had a couple of shapes left over to use as embellishments. Here is one of the mini albums I created using a vinyl placemat~

1. Unfinished retro mini-album: Photobucket

2. Inside pages of retro mini-album: Photobucket

Here is an example of a gorgeous placemat already cut. The large sunshine shown here is going to be a mini-album for the kids. Photobucket

Note: I actually cut two covers (front and back) from one placemat that measures 6″X 5″. (This would depend on the design of course!)

The “HOHOHO” card and birthday card shown below were cut from a Christmas-themed vinyl placemat and a harvest-themed placemat.


Here’s a closeup of the Christmas card lettering cut from a placemat~


Here is the birthday card:


You could also use the shape of the placemat as a template to use over and over again. Here’s a large plastic template I cut from a placemat to reuse for this very purpose!


Here’s a ribbon holder I made from the placemats. I am going to reuse placemat-plastic to make more of these. The squares measure 2″X 2″ and I used a sharp blade to cut the horizontal lines. This is so worth the time to make: my ribbon all hangs and is very easy to see. You will get approx. 35 squares from one placemat.


A whole placemat design can be incorporated into a LO. These would make an excellent, inexpensive project supply for a large group, because they are often sold in a set of 4-6 placemats. This means you can get a lot of bang for your buck!

Additionally, I just know that the VINYL placemats will make excellent die-cut shapes that have dimension!!!!!!!! WOW!!! Does this offer some great possibilities???

I hope you will find some other great ways to use this otherwise disregarded household item on your next project. As you can see the recycling possiblities are endless and the savings could be huge! Go ahead and try this! Please come back soon and share your ideas with us in the comments section.

Please NOTE: I tried cutting the placemats on a home die-cutting machine, but it didn’t work so well with the thicker vinyl, but it worked well with the thinner clear vinyl.


Comments on: "Scrappin’ Green~ Tips for Eco-Friendly Memory Keeping" (5)

  1. Nicole Drewniak said:

    Holy smokes, LEe! Super article and so many great ideas!!

  2. Fantastic article Lee! I would have never thought of repurposing placemats for sb’ng!! TYFS!!

  3. Fabulous idea, Lee.

  4. Great article Lee – I have placemats at home that just don’t suit my decor anymore. These are going to make awesome mini album covers!!

  5. What an awesome idea!!!! I Can’t wait to make some minis out of placemats!!!

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