These jolly and colourful mats can be adapted for different uses. Smaller ones, for example, would make lovely table mats, and larger mats could be used to sit on at the park or beach.
You will need:
- Coloured card or paper
- Glitter, sequins, or other odds and ends for decoration
- Laminator and laminating pouches, or clear sticky back plastic
1. Cut out equal length strips of coloured paper or card. If you are using sticky back plastic rather than laminating, card rather than paper will work best as it will make the mat stronger. To make a table mat, the strips should be 30 cm x 4 cm in size.
2. To make the frame, lay one strip of coloured card or paper horizontally on the work surface.
3. Now glue some vertical strips to the horizontal strip. These need to be attached at equal distances apart. (See image below: the blue strip is the original strip, the red strips are those that are added). This will be the frame.
4. Next take a strip of different coloured card or paper. Glue it to the vertical strip furthest left on the frame (number 1 in above image), below the original horizontal strip, touching but not overlapping. The strip that you are adding should stretch horizontally across the frame from left to right.
5. To start weaving, work this new horizontal strip under the second vertical strip and then over the next vertical strip. Repeat weaving the strip under and over the vertical strips until you reach the final vertical strip on the right hand side of the frame (number 5 in above image).
6. Secure the end of the strip in place with glue.
7. Repeat steps 4-6 until you reach the bottom of the frame. To create a nice pattern, remember to alternate weaving one row under then over, and the next over then under.
8. Once you have finished weaving, secure any loose edges using glue.
9. Now add decorations to the mat to personalise it (optional).
10. To finish the mat, laminate or seal it in sticky back plastic. This makes the mat stronger, but also means that it is waterproof and can be wiped clean. If you are using a laminator, place the mat inside a laminator pouch and then run it through the laminator. If you are using sticky back plastic, apply it to both the front and back of the mat.