It needs to be something that would be super easy to wipe off, clean, and be able to handle a lot of abuse. Vinyl was the perfect answer. It's inexpensive, heavy duty, and met my easy-to-clean criteria. I paired it with another great textile--oilcloth--and it turned out exactly how I imagined!
• clear plastic vinyl (You can buy this by the yard at any fabric store. There are several different weights, varying in price. I purchased a medium weight vinyl, and spent around $4, which was enough for 8 placemats.)
• paper template
• spray adhesive
1. Cut your vinyl to the size you want your placemat to be.
I made mine 18 inches wide, and 11 inches tall.
2. Print out a template for the monograms. I wanted a thick font, so it would be easier to cut out, so I used smiley monster, sized to 400.
5. Spray the adhesive on top of the letter, and the oilcloth, then press face down onto placemat. Turn the placemat back over to the front side, and press firmly to seal. Now your monogram is protected on both sides--the plastic vinyl on the front, and the oilcloth on the back.
That's it! Super simple, darling, and practical!