Craft #6: Pocket Place Mats

Pottery Barn Kids inspired this project as well.  This VERY cute place mat (which was apparently popular since it is sold out on their website!), is selling for $28 on an Ebay Buy It Now auction.  It is a quilted turkey with a pocket on each side for napkin & silverware. 

Pottery Barn Kids Place Mat

Though I loved this, storing several quilted place mats that are only good for one month out of the year is not something that interested me (even if I could fork over $100 for a set of 4)!  So I started thinking about ot

her ways to make this fun little pocket place mat that would be more consumable.

When I started to create, I realized I was out of construction paper.  Instead, I used newspaper.  Not only did this make a good re-use of the newspaper, but it also gave it a nice texture, weight, and a unique look.

CRAFT NAME: Pocket Place Mat



  • newspaper
  • brown paper bag (grocery size, not lunch size)
  • paint in multiple colors
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Red & gold glitter puff paint


  1. Pull out 3 or 4 long sheets of newspaper.  Glue each sheet on top of the next one.  I choose a solid page ad for the top of my place mat that was mostly one color.
  2. Cut in two pieces (ours ended up being 10 1/2″ by 12″).Place mats
  3. On a brown paper bag, draw a turkey body & 4 feathers.  If you draw on the side of the bag with printing on it, your mess-ups won’t be visible when you flip it over!  I started with the circle and then added the feathers.  Our turkey’s body is about 6″ across and the feathers are about 4″ long and about 2-3″ wide at the widest point.


    You can see where I marked on the bag where the edge of the placemat would be so I could make sure my feathers would stick off the end. (Don't mind the paint on the bag--we used this to put the paint cans on when we painted our son's room!)

  4. Cut it all out as one piece.
  5. Place it on the place mat so the feathers are sticking off the edge (unless you don’t want them to) and the body is close enough to the edge that your turkey’s beak will need to be off the edge. DO NOT GLUE IT YET!  Mark with a pencil where you like it so you can put it back there when you get ready to glue it.  I placed the edge of the turkey about 1 1/2″ from the side and about an inch from the bottom.  Painting the turkey feathers
  6. Paint the feathers different colors.  I decided to make the pocket feather a little different, so I added dots to that one.  Allow to dry.  Flip it over and paint the top part of the back of the feathers (if your feathers are going to show over the top).
  7. Cut a triangle from the paper bag (to be the beak).  Make sure that you make the back longer than it should be because you need room to glue it onto the place mat.  Paint it beak colored on the front and the back.  When it dries, use a black marker or dark pencil to draw a line across the middle for the opening part of the beak.

    You may have to adjust the sizing on this to make it work for your turkey--and most people could draw one a LOT better than this!!

  8. Glue the turkey to the place mat.  I turned the turkey over and marked the pocket feather with a pencil mark.  Apply the glue all around the outline of the turkey except the pocket feather!  On the pocket feather, draw a glue line about 4 1/2″ or 5″ down (near the turkey’s body).  When you put your silverware in it, you don’t want it to fall all the way into the body of the turkey.  make sure the feathers on either side of the pocket are glued all the way around to make sure you only have a single feather pocket.
  9. Using a brown paint (we added a little bit of glitter paint to ours to make our turkey shiny), add the turkey’s head.  I used a 1″ foam brush and started right at the edge and made a circle by twisting the brush around.  Then, I added a “stem” for the neck.  Paint further down than you think you need to because you are going to cover that with the turkey.  You could use this template.
  10. When it dries, give him an eye & a waddle with the red glitter puff paint and add his feet with the gold puff paint.
  11. Glue the beak onto the backside of the place mat at the edge so it shows sticking off in front of the bird.
  12. When it dries completely, you can tuck your silverware and napkin into the pocket.



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