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Big dinner party? With paper place mats, you're all set

December 3, 2010 |  6:00 am


Hosting a big holiday dinner? You can make an impression before the first course even hits the table. Inexpensive paper place mats are festive, funny or just plain cool. The one above from Bob's Your Uncle is part of series of "dubious recipes written by children." Each place mat has instructions for a different dish, such as potato salad (six potatoes, cheese, lettuce) and waffles (whose recipe starts with, "You get waffles from the freezer and ..."). We bought our set of 36 for $22 at Ige in L.A.


The map of Venice is from a set featuring Italian cities. The detailed street labeling and iconic landmark symbols are enough to stoke the honeymoon-in-Rome memories of a nostalgic aunt and uncle. A pack of 50 sells for $26 at Plastica in L.A.


The Perfect Setting Placemats feature Charla Steele's drawing for "etiquette training or elegant entertaining." They're $26 for a set of 50 from D.L. Rhein in L.A.,(323) 653-5590. Keeping reading for a few more shopping options ...

The kids alphabet place mat is part of an A-to-Z pad of 26 selling for $22 at Ige.

DIY types can make their own place mats. The red cardinals above and multihued dots below are actually made from specialty gift wrap purchased at the Paper Source; each sheet ($3.50 to $3.95) yielded two place mats.


-- Mary MacVean and Craig Nakano

Photo credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times


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