It’s the season for entertaining, so why not make your guests feel extra special with their own lead story custom placemats.

Make your guest feel extra special with these fun DIY lead story placemats. They're budget-friendly and easy to customise. #DIYPlacemats #ACraftyMix #RecycledBoxes

They’re budget-friendly and only take a few minutes to put together once you’ve added the star factor.

Make your guest feel extra special with these fun DIY lead story placemats. They're budget-friendly and easy to customise. #DIYPlacemats #ACraftyMix #RecycledBoxes

And when the party is done, they can take them home as gifts.  

Make your guest feel extra special with these fun DIY lead story placemats. They're budget-friendly and easy to customise. #DIYPlacemats #ACraftyMix #RecycledBoxes

Okay, before we get to the tutorial be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!

What you need

You’ll need a few empty beer boxes (any thick cardboard will also do), spray paint, mod podge, and a story 😉  But I’ll get to the story in a bit.

Cut the sides off the beer boxes

Let’s get those beer boxes ready first.

Making Lead Story Custom Placemats

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

Paint the beer box bottoms in a color of your choice. I used antique gold

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 an old-style printed newspaper.

Tips For Writing The Lead Story

Use 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 the space. I found this lovely PowerPoint template that makes it so easy to convert what you’ve written into an old-style newspaper article.

sample of the old newspaper headlines

For these custom placemats, I wrote a news article for each of my kids. My Dinosaur-loving 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, and this momma is feeling all kinds of mixed emotions at the moment 🙁

My son's story placemat

My daughter, Talea J, is a mermaid. Her biggest dream is to marry meet Micheal Phelps and qualify for the 2024 Olympic games. She trains between 4 and 6 hours every day, and she’s well on her way to achieving her dreams.

My daughter's story placemat

Finishing Off The Lead Story Placemats

After typing up the articles, I just printed them out and mod podged them onto the front, unpainted side of the cardboard.

Mod Podge the stories onto the cardboard

And to add to the old-world look, I applied some crackle glaze after the mod podged had dried. To make those cracks really pop you can apply a homemade stain over the top. To make the stain, mix some Burnt Umber oil paint and turps in a small bowl.

Mix a little burnt umber with turps to create a home made stain

The mixture should be quite runny. Apply the stain with a paintbrush and then rub it in with a kitchen towel.

Apply the home made stain to the placemats

The lead story custom placemats fit perfectly with our low-key decor style too.

Make your guest feel extra special with these fun DIY lead story placemats. They're budget-friendly and easy to customise. #DIYPlacemats #ACraftyMix #RecycledBoxes

And they’re a huge amount of fun to make, and your guests can take them home after the party too.

Make your guest feel extra special with these fun DIY lead story placemats. They're budget-friendly and easy to customise. #DIYPlacemats #ACraftyMix #RecycledBoxes

We’ve made some for everyone and had quite a few chuckles making up stories about our guests.

Make your guest feel extra special with these fun DIY lead story placemats. They're budget-friendly and easy to customise. #DIYPlacemats #ACraftyMix #RecycledBoxes

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 😉

Make your guest feel extra special with these fun DIY lead story placemats. They're budget-friendly and easy to customise. #DIYPlacemats #ACraftyMix #RecycledBoxes

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

If you like the idea of making lead story custom placemats, don’t forget to pin it for later.

Make your guest feel extra special with these fun DIY lead story custom placemats. They're budget-friendly and easy to customise. #DIYPlacemats #ACraftyMix #RecycledBoxes

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

Make your guest feel extra special with these fun DIY lead story custom placemats. They're budget-friendly and easy to customise. #DIYPlacemats #ACraftyMix #RecycledBoxes

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 😉

Sale Juvale 24 Sheets 8.5x11 Corrugated Cardboard Backing, Inserts for Dividers, Packing, Mailing, Crafts (Brown)
Mod Podge Decoupage Starter Kit, Gloss and Matte Medium with 3 Pixiss Foam Brushes, Waterproof for Puzzles, Wood and More
FolkArt Medium (8 Ounce), 696 Crackle

Or if you prefer to buy rather than DIY, then perhaps these will appeal.

Home Brilliant Linen Placemats Set of 4 Heat Resistant Dining Table Cloth Place Mats Kitchen Table Mats Summer Placemats Table Decor, Natural Linen
Sale VHC Brands, Burlap Black Check, Cotton, 12x18, Fringed, Placemat, Set of 6, Black
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Sending love and blessings as always.

Made with love by a Crafty Mix