Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Kids Art Placemats + Delicious Black Bean Taco Recipe

I don't know about you, but keeping the kids busy while cooking dinner is a challenge pretty much every night! We try to use the television very sparingly and I have to admit that the time of day when they are most likely to get a "yes" when they ask for TV is right about the time I start chopping. Well, no more! Here is a tutorial on how to make fun placemats that the kids can colour and personalise every night while you're cooking and what's even better is that they can admire their work while they eat!

The placemats are quick to make, about 15 minutes from start to finish. So to start, gather your supplies (this is for one placemat, double the fabric for two):

  • Plastic placemat to use as a template
  • 2 x 40cm fabric squares. You can use plain white fabric for the 'drawing' side. I used Ikea's Tidny fabric since it has great line drawings prefect for colouring in!
  • 1 x 40cm square of medium weight iron-on interfacing
  • scissors or rotary cutter
  • thread
  • Fabric markers
Step 1: Using your plastic placemat as a template, cut out one rectangle of each fabric and one rectangle of the interfacing.

Step 2: With one of your fabric rectangles right side down, iron your interfacing onto it. Make sure that the shiny (glue) side of the interfacing is down so that it adheres to the fabric and not to your iron!

Step 3: Take both of your fabric rectangles (one with interfacing) and with right sides together, pin and sew around the edge. Make sure to leave about a 12cm opening for turning the fabric right side out.

Step 4: Turn the placemat right side out and press.

Step 5: Pin the opening closed that you used to turn the placemat right side out. 

Step 6: Sew around the entire edge of the placemat to close the opening and to give it a finished look.

Now it's time for the kids to have at it. I have to say that there was a lot of silence to follow other than the occasional "look mama". 
By the time the kids had coloured in about a quarter of the placemat, dinner was ready! 
Black Bean and Quinoa Tacos


1 package of dried black beans (black turtle beans) soaked and cooked or tinned black beans
1 cup cooked quinoa 
Taco seasoning (you can find a recipe here
Hard taco shells or corn tortillas
3 sautéed onions
1 package hard tofu -cubed 
2 tomatoes - chopped
1 bunch of coriander - coarsely chopped 
1 cup grated cheddar or tasty cheese
50g danish fetta 
1 container of light sour cream
1 container or mild salsa

This is a great dinner for serving family style and letting everyone build their own tacos. After mixing your black beans, quinoa and taco seasoning together. Place everything on the dinning table and let everyone get creative with a yummy, healthy and colourful dinner! 

The kids loved these tacos so much they asked for them again tonight!

Happy crafting and Bon Appétit!


  1. The tacos sound yummy! I will share the reiceipe.

    1. Thanks! There were really tasty. I guess they have to be for kids to like them ;)