A Crafty Mix


Newspaper Lead Story Custom Placemats – Easy & Budget Friendly

It’s the season for entertaining, so why not make your guests the stars of the show and create some custom placemats that show them just how special they really are.

Make your guests the stars of the show with these custom placemats - how to on the blog #DIYEntertaining #DIYHomeDecor #Placemats #tablesetting

These will only take a few minutes to put together once you’ve added the star factor. And they cost almost nothing to make. You’ll need a few empty beer boxes (any thick cardboard will also do), spray paint, modge and a story 😉  But I’ll get to the story in a bit. Let’s get those beer boxes ready first.

Making Custom Placemats

Cut the side off the beer boxes and spray or paint the back with whatever color spray paint you have on hand to hide the writing.

Make your guests the stars of the show with these custom placemats - how to on the blog

All you need

While you wait for the paint to dry, hop onto your computer to create a story. That’s what makes these placemats so special. Each guest features as the hero of the lead story in a old style printed newspaper.

Tips For Writing The Lead Story

Use the the third person, for example he said or she did and try to capture your guest’s personality. You only need about 150 words and a photo. You can even include a quote from someone they know well to fill up space. I found this lovely PowerPoint template that makes it so easy to convert what you’ve written into an old style newspaper article. For these custom placemats, I wrote a news article for eachof my kids.

My son, Calin is super intelligent (I’m his mom and I’m really not biased). When he’s not playing strategy games on his laptop, he’s researching weird facts about things most people haven’t even heard of. He’s off to Canada to study Psychology in a few days time and this momma is feeling all kinds of mixed emotions at the moment 🙁

My daughter, Talea J, is a mermaid. Her biggest dream is to marry meet Micheal Phelps and to qualify for the 2020 Olympic games. She trains between 4 and 6 hours everyday and she’s well on her way to achieving her dreams.

Finishing Off The Custom Placemats

After typing up the articles, I just printed them out and mod podged them onto the front, unpainted side of the cardboard. And to add to the old world look I added some crackle glaze. Mix some Burnt Umber and turps into the cracks to make them really pop,

Make your guests the stars of the show with these custom placemats - how to on the blog

Make your guests the stars of the show with these custom placemats - how to on the blog

All cracked up

Calin’s story is all about his space travels to Saturn.

Make your guests the stars of the show with these custom placemats - how to on the blog #DIYEntertaining #DIYHomeDecor #Placemats #tablesetting

Calin’s story

And Talea J won Gold and broke the World Record at the Olympics, just like she’s always wanted to.

Make your guests the stars of the show with these custom placemats - how to on the blog #DIYEntertaining #DIYHomeDecor #Placemats #tablesetting

Talea’s Story

The placemats fit perfectly with our low key decor style too.

Make your guests the stars of the show with these custom placemats - how to on the blog

Make your guests the stars of the show with these custom placemats - how to on the blog
Make your guests the stars of the show with these custom placemats - how to on the blog

We made those Christmas crackers last year and we’ll be reusing them again this year 😉

Make your guests the stars of the show with these custom placemats - how to on the blog

The Star of the show

The placemats are a huge amount of fun to make and your guests can take them with after the party too. We’ve made some for everyone and had quite a few chuckles making up stories about our guests. My mom’s newspaper story involves a strip club and a python, but I think she’d kill me if I put it on the blog. Let’s just say strip clubs will never be the same again 😉

If you like the idea don’t forget to pin it for later.

Make your guests the stars of the show with these custom placemats - how to on the blog #DIYEntertaining #DIYHomeDecor #Placemats #tablesetting

What are your plans for making your guests feel like superstars during this festive season? I’d love to hear all about it.

Oh before I forget, if you’d like to make something similar or prefer to buy rather than DIY, we’ve got you covered Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us come up with more unique DIY and craft ideas for you 😉

Firefly Craft Rustic Farmhouse Fringe Burlap Placemats 14' by 19', Set of 4
wellhouse Corn Straw Woven Placemats Round Rattan Placemats Braided Dining Table Mats Natural Handmade Table Placemat Insulation Pad(5.91',Pack of 4)
DII CAMZ38415 Mineral Middle Burlap Table Runner, 14x72, Center Stripe Gray

Sending love and blessings as always.

Made with love by a Crafty Mix




Categories:   Craft Tutorials, Home Decor Crafts, Quick & Easy Crafts


  • Posted: January 23, 2017 15:45

    Jas @All that's Jas

    You crack me up and your creativity blows my mind! What a brilliant and fun idea! Thanks for sharing!
    • Posted: January 24, 2017 08:18


      Thanks so much Jas, now if only we could serve one of those delicious dishes you're always creating then the party would be complete ;-)
  • Posted: January 21, 2017 13:17


    This is so cool. What fun dinner must have been with everyone reading their stories. Pinned
    • Posted: January 22, 2017 08:01


      Thank you Debra. It's good for a laugh and definitely gets the conversation flowing, especially if the guests don't know each other well ;-)
  • Posted: January 20, 2017 19:35


    So very cool!!!!!!!! Love it!
    • Posted: January 21, 2017 06:54


      Thanks Deborah, glad you liked it and they're so much fun to make once you figure out the story line
  • Posted: January 6, 2017 17:15


    That is a great idea! many greetings Uwe
    • Posted: January 8, 2017 08:35


      Thank you so much Uwe ;-)
  • Posted: January 5, 2017 01:00

    [email protected]

    How amazing, creative ad FUN are these? Love them for ay time of year. Love your layout too. It was easy to see your projects. So many are darling! Happy New year. Pinned for later...my kids and grandson would love this!
    • Posted: January 5, 2017 08:16


      Thank you so much Wendi and they really are loads of fun to make. Happy New year to you too ;-)
  • Posted: December 12, 2016 09:03


    Michelle those placemats are definetely the coolest on Earth!! I bet your friends are always excited when visiting you because they can't imagine your next surprise. I'd love to make some of this for our Christmas dinner, I think I need to get some crackle gel and practice with it, it gives the placemat a real old look. Congrats on your son for chasing his dreams.
    • Posted: December 12, 2016 10:11


      That's awesome Pili, I'm so glad you like them. I love using crackle gel, but any kind of cracking medium works fine too, just in case you can't find any ;-)
  • Posted: December 11, 2016 12:44


    This is such a great idea! Personalized gifts are the best and this one is even more special. Thanks for the tutorial!
    • Posted: December 12, 2016 03:39


      Thanks so much Zenda :D
  • Posted: December 10, 2016 10:22


    I really love this! I think it is great that you put the articles together as well. Such a unique idea which looks fabulous x
    • Posted: December 11, 2016 04:10


      I'm so glad you like it Yvonne. The articles are the fun bit and I can only imagine what you would write about your little monkeys :D
  • Posted: December 9, 2016 15:57

    Gina Soldano-Herrle

    This is such a sweet and thoughtful idea! I love it! The way they turned out looks amazing too! Right now I don't have a dining room table (tiny apartment). But, once we start using one I will have to bust out this idea! So cool!
    • Posted: December 9, 2016 16:03


      Thank you Gina and with all the beautiful stories you write, putting an article together for your guests will be a breeze
  • Posted: December 9, 2016 14:15


    What a clever idea! I love how your entire table looks! I LOVE your BLOG! Merry Christmas friend! karianne
    • Posted: December 9, 2016 15:04


      OMW KariAnne, I'm stunned. I love your blog too. Thank you <3
  • Posted: December 9, 2016 12:48

    Cathy Lawdanski

    Michelle - I love this so much! My grandson would love it if I did an article for him - but it's not just for the kids! Your tablescape is lovely.
    • Posted: December 9, 2016 13:30


      So glad you like them Cathy. It really is so much fun thinking of all the lovely things you can say about your guests and I'm sure your grandson will love every beautiful word his Gran writes about him
  • Posted: December 9, 2016 10:48

    Sadhna Grover

    Michelle , What a great idea of these placemats, and writing stories on it. They look awesome. I really like the idea that guests can take them if they want.
    • Posted: December 9, 2016 13:31


      Dhanyavaad my friend.
  • Posted: December 9, 2016 00:39


    Hi Michelle: This is the neatest craft idea. I don't know how you come up with these terrific new ideas all the time. This one would be really fun for a dinner party. The possibilities for laughter and interaction are endless. I am pinning this gem.
    • Posted: December 9, 2016 04:18


      Thanks so much for the pin Leanna, they're always a hit at dinner parties.
  • Posted: December 7, 2016 20:44


    What an amazing idea, I love this! Such a great way to make your guests feel special and start a conversation too! Your table setting is beautiful, and I just love it all...especially those wood stars! Hope you are having a wonderful week! Kimberley
    • Posted: December 8, 2016 04:41


      Thank you so much Kimberly ;-)
  • Posted: December 6, 2016 22:07


    Michelle you are so amazing! I love the idea and the stories, how sweet! Wow, your son is off to Canada, eh?? That is exciting, I'm sure he'll love taking that place mat and have breakfast, lunch and dinner and remember his sweet sweet momy all the time!! This is such a special gift and lovely for guests to find on their spots!
    • Posted: December 7, 2016 05:59


      Thank you Katrin <3 I'm going to miss him so much, but hopefully he'll come visit in their Spring break. I've started making him one that's a bit more permanent to use as a lap tray. I really hope I get it finished before he leaves.
  • Posted: December 6, 2016 21:53

    [email protected]_diem

    Amazing idea, indeed! I am blown off by your creativity! I can almost see the vibes and atmosphere at your dinner party 😊
    • Posted: December 7, 2016 06:03


      Thank you Ana, they're loads of fun. It's always so lovely seeing everyone's reaction to their placemats and when they pass them around so everyone else can have a good laugh too :D
  • Posted: December 6, 2016 19:45

    Sarah - Craft Invaders

    What a fabulous idea, they look stunning - you'd never believe they were made of cardboard.
    • Posted: December 7, 2016 06:04


      Thank you so much Sarah ;-)
  • Posted: December 6, 2016 18:26


    Michelle, this is such a fun idea!! I bet your kids just loved their placemats. I'm sure your mom will get a good laugh out of hers. ;) Thanks for sharing this wonderful idea!!
    • Posted: December 7, 2016 06:07


      She loved it Keri, she's got such a wicked sense of humor and she gave me some ideas about what to write about some of our other guests ;-)
  • Posted: December 6, 2016 16:36

    Mary-the boondocks blog

    Haha ! I can't believe you actually wrote that about your mother. If it was me I'd chase you out the door. But in all seriousness, I love this one of a kind gift. So personal and it reveals as much about the giver as it does about the receiver. The whole table setting is really gorgeous. And I know your son will remember his sweet mama who makes all these wonderful things for him.
    • Posted: December 6, 2016 17:04


      Oh Mary, not my Mom. She'll want to know why I didn't tell everyone about how she came down the pole - that's what scares me and I kinda ran out of article space for my mom's placemat ;-) I'd love you to meet her one day, she's one of a kind. Man the stories I can tell about my mom. My kids refer to her as their Crazy Ouma and they're right, she's crazy cool.
  • Posted: December 6, 2016 13:55


    Great idea. Need to get busy if I want to this for the Christmas table.
    • Posted: December 6, 2016 16:37


      LOL Anon, the first article did take a while, but once you get the hang of it, then it becomes so much fun. And just seeing the look on someone's face when they read what you've written is priceless and worth every second.

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