Title:
Interchangable portfolio display mat device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An interchangeable portfolio protective display mat device designed to display children's artwork or photographs in a self designed protected manner in a child's environment. The protective device includes a clear or transparent top section for viewing the enclosed materials within a double walled device with a recloseable mechanism and a slip resistant and/or bend resistant back side. The recloseable section is sized to allow for the insertion of included background and framing pages which are pre-designed or supplied in colors and with decorating devices for child or adult to customize their display materials.



Inventors:
Hesterberg, Cynthia W. (West Windsor, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/502703
Publication Date:
02/15/2007
Filing Date:
08/10/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G1/06
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Primary Examiner:
HOGE, GARY CHAPMAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, P.C. (PRINCETON, NJ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An interchangeable portfolio protective display mat comprising: a top sheet wherein at least part of said sheet is transparent; a bottom sheet of substantially the same shape and dimensions as the top sheet, wherein at least a portion of the perimeter of the bottom sheet is permanently affixed to the corresponding perimeter portion of the top sheet; a means for reclosably connecting the top and bottom sheet at a portion of the perimeter other than the portion that is permanently affixed; and a slip resistant backing adhered to at least a portion of the bottom sheet on the outer side of the sheet.

2. The display mat of claim 1 wherein the shape of the top and bottom sheet are rectangular.

3. The display mat of claim 2 where the bottom sheet is permanently affixed to the top sheet on at least one side of the rectangle.

4. The display mat of claim 2 where the bottom sheet is permanently affixed to the top sheet on three sides of the rectangle and the fourth side has the means for reclosably connecting the top and bottom sheet.

5. The display mat of claim 1 wherein the means for reclosably connecting the portion is water resistant.

6. The display mat of claim 1 further comprising a bend-resistant backing adhered to at least a portion of the bottom sheet on the outer side or comprising the bottom sheet.

7. The display mat of claim 1 further comprising a magnetic backing adhered to at least a portion of the bottom sheet on the outer side or comprising the bottom sheet.

8. The display mat of claim 1 where the bottom sheet is permanently affixed to the top sheet on three sides of the rectangle and the fourth side remains unconnected.

9. The display mat of claim 1 where the bottom sheet is permanently affixed to the top sheet on three sides of the rectangle and the fourth side can incorporate a means for recloseably connecting the top and bottom sheet on the back side.

10. The display mat of claim 1 where the back side incorporates a removable section sized to fit the display contents which can be recloseable connected to the bottom side.

11. The display mat of claim 1 where the top sheet overlays the bottom sheet on one or more sides in a removable manner and can be reattached.

12. The display mat of claim 1 wherein the bottom sheet is colored or transparent and can comprise the bottom and backing without additional backing material.

13. The display mat of claim 1 wherein the top sheet overlays the intended display materials without a bottom sheet.

14. The display mat of claim 1 wherein the top sheet comprises a frame and removable clear in all or part sheet and can have a bottom sheet attachable on one or more sides to the top frame in a removable manner.

15. The display mat of claim 2 further comprising a third sheet not attached to the top or bottom sheet and inserted in the pocket formed from the top and bottom sheet, wherein the third sheet is pre-designed or colored on one or both sides to form a background page.

16. The display mat of claim 2 further comprising a fourth sheet not attached to the top or bottom sheet and inserted in the pocket formed from the top and bottom sheet, wherein the fourth sheet is predesigned or colored on one or both sides and has a variable shaped section cut out of the inner portion of the third sheet to form a frame.

17. The display mat of claim 10 further comprising a fourth sheet not attached to the top or bottom sheet wherein the fourth sheet has a section cut out of the center in a shape to form a frame which can be inserted into the display device or affixed by permanent or removable mechanism to the outside of the device.

18. An interchangeable portfolio protective display mat kit comprising: an interchangeable portfolio protective display mat as described in claim 1; and one or more background sheets for insertion into the protective display mat, wherein the background sheet is pre-designed or colored on one or both sides and is not attached to the top or bottom sheets and forms a background page; and one or more frame sheets colored or pre-designed on one or both sides, wherein the frame sheet has a section cut out of the center in a shape to form a frame and is not attached to the top, bottom, or background sheets and forms a frame page with or without another colored or pre-designed sheet or affixed to the outside of the device; and a storage device in binder or other method wherein the sheets with or without protective cover can be stored.

19. The kit of claim 13 further comprising decorative cutout shapes or decorative images constructed from adhesive or non adhesive materials for decorating or personalizing the background or frame sheets.

20. The kit of claim 13 further comprising one or more additional supplies from the group consisting of cutout devices, punch-out devices, glue, glitter, paint, pencils, pens and other drawing or decorating materials for decorating the background or frame sheets.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/707,755, filed Aug. 12, 2005, the entirety of which is hereby incorporated by reference into this application.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a method and apparatus for children to display, in a protective cover, artwork, photographs, or other materials on a tabletop, wall, or other planar surface, or, more specifically, in an interchangeable manner with self designed pages for displaying new photographs, artwork or other materials.

2. Description of Related Art

Several products on the market are designed for framing children's photographs or artwork. Additionally, vinyl placemats have been designed for the purpose of decorating tables with permanent displays of wallpaper or other design materials. Although the above mentioned are all useful for their specific purpose, the need exists for a product specifically designed for children incorporating individual aspects of the prior products and some additional features into a protective, changeable display mat appropriate for children to display their artwork and materials.

At present no device exists which allows children to interchangeably display their artwork, photographs or other display materials on pre-designed and/or self designed colorful background pages with colored or self-decorated frames in a protected way in a kitchen environment; either at a table or on a refrigerator. The ability to use a portfolio display mat in this manner could help to build a child's confidence in their ability to create art, foster a desire to create unique display designs, increase their ability to work independently in addition to providing a positive environment for the child during mealtimes.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is designed specifically for children in that it incorporates an easy to reseal mechanism, a water resistant design to prevent damage to the contents from spills, a slip resistant and/or bend resistant surface to reduce spills and accidents caused by the portfolio sliding on the tabletop surface and bending of the device. Additionally, predesigned or colored background and framing pages and art materials allow for children to create their own decorative displays with their materials which can be inserted and removed from the portfolio display mat. In addition, a magnetic surface can be included on the back side to afford the possibility of storing or displaying the device on a magnetic surface such as a metal table or refrigerator.

The present invention provides a display mat that is water resistant, slip resistant and/or non-bending and/or magnetic protective device, which can incorporate colorful and artistic displays by children or adults of their artwork, photographs or other display materials in a reusable manner.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 and FIG. 1A show a top view of two embodiments of the interchangeable protective portfolio display mat.

FIG. 2, FIG. 2A and FIG. 2B show a back view of three embodiments of the interchangeable protective portfolio display mat.

FIG. 3 shows a top view of border page either colored without design for decorating by user, or with preprinted designs;

FIG. 3A shows a framing page either colored without design for decorating by user, or with preprinted designs.

Reference will now be made in greater detail to a preferred embodiment of the invention, an example of which is illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Wherever possible, the same reference numerals will be used throughout the drawings and the description to refer to the same or like parts.

FIG. 1 illustrates that the display mat of the present invention generally is comprised of two sheets of vinyl sealed on any of three of the sides (10). FIG. 1A displays an alternate embodiment. Vinyl is the preferred material for constructing the mat; however any transparent or clear material that repels water can be used and may be clear or transparent all or part of the top surface and may or may not include colored sections, border or frame section made of any material or print on the surface material (20).

FIG. 2 illustrates the bottom sheet can be any material clear or colored in all or part which can be affixed in a permanent or reattachable mechanism to the top sheet (30). The connection can be made by any conventional sealing method which seals the sides in a permanent fashion or alternatively can be made in any conventional mechanism which can be re-attachable. The fourth side remains unsealed to allow for inserting the preprinted design borders or frames into the pocket of the device. The fourth side incorporates a sealing mechanism (40) to allow the mat to be opened and closed so the contents of the device can be changed easily. The sealing mechanism, however, is not permanently sealable but is tight enough to contain the contents of the mat and prevent damage to the contents from food or liquid. The fourth side with the sealing mechanism can be on the top, bottom, right, left or back side.

FIG. 2A displays an alternate embodiment where more than one side contains the sealing mechanism. In an alternate embodiment all or a portion of the bottom sheet can be removed and reattached. (50) The reattaching mechanism can be any means known in the art for creating a re-closable seal. Preferred sealing means include re-closable plastic zippers such as profile separable fastener means, prefabricated separable fastener strip means, re-fastenable adhesive, Velcro, button closure or latch device, rubber or other self adhering material.

The shape of the mat need not be rectangular and any shape can be used, even for example, curved shapes. An important aspect is that a portion of the perimeter of the top sheet is affixed to form an area sized to contain the display materials and a portion of the bottom sheet can be re-closably connected to create a water resistant display of the contents.

FIG. 2B displays an alternate embodiment where the back side of the device which incorporates a slip resistant and/or bend resistant surface (60) across all or part of the back side designed to reduce the possibility of accidental movement of the device on a tabletop surface and/or bending of the device. The non slip surface prevents spills and prevents liquid or food from the device sliding or being pushed by a child. The non-slip and/or bend reducing surface could be adhered or incorporated onto the back of the mat, or in alternative embodiments the back of the mat is constructed with a non-slip and/or bend reducing rough material preferably rubber or cork but, alternatively plastic or any material which provides a back surface which is slip and/or bend resistant. In addition, a magnetic surface could also be incorporated to allow for the display or storage of the device on a metal table or vertical magnetic surface such as a refrigerator.

FIG. 3 illustrates the design pages of the kit of the present invention. The kit includes background (70) and/or framing pages (80) made preferably of colored heavy weight paper or cardstock material but alternatively any colored paper or other material which provides a colored or designable surface used for a background or framing of material to be displayed in the protective device.

FIG. 3A displays an alternate embodiment where framing pages would include a cut out section in variable size and shape (90) allowing for the display materials to be viewed.

The background and/or framing pages could be colored and/or pre-designed with generic or theme artwork. Background and framing pages could be colored and/or designed on one or both sides. Alternatively, or in addition, the kit could include art materials intended for the user to decorate or personalize colored background and/or framing pages without pre-designs or materials to be displayed in the protective device. Art materials could include: decorative cutout images (including stickers, paper cutout shapes, foam shapes or any shaped material which can be affixed for decorating purposes) with or without adhesive backing in either flat or raised dimensions, stamps, cutouts or punches or cutout or punch devices, glue, glitter, paint, pens, pencils or other drawing devices or other materials intended for the decoration or personalization of the background pages, framing pages or materials to be displayed inside the protective device.

It is to be understood that the above-described embodiments are illustrative of only a few of the many possible specific embodiments, which can represent applications of the principles of the invention. Numerous and varied other arrangements can be readily devised in accordance with these principles by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The display mat device provides a mechanism for children or adults to display their artwork or photographs or other display materials in a creative self designed manner, which also protects the display materials. A portfolio device for displaying children's or adult's artwork, photographs or other papers on a tabletop or other flat surface or magnetic wall surface is disclosed. In one aspect of the invention, an interchangeable portfolio protective display mat is disclosed. The display mat comprises a top sheet and a bottom sheet of substantially the same shape and dimensions as the top sheet. The top and bottom sheet are permanently fixed or sealed at least a portion of the outer perimeter of the top and bottom sheets to form a pocket. The top sheet is transparent or clear on at least a portion so that the contents of the pocket may be viewed. The display mat also contains a means for connecting the top and bottom sheet at a portion of the sheets at a position other than the portion that is permanently fixed so that the contents of the mat can be secured inside the pocket. The display mat also contains a slip resistant backing and/or bend resistant backing adhered to at least a portion of the bottom sheet on the outer side of the sheet. Alternatively, the bottom sheet can be constructed of slip resistant material or bend resistant material.

In one embodiment the portfolio device includes a rectangular, double walled, vinyl or similar material, mat sealed on three sides with a preferably water resistant resealable strip at the top, side, bottom or back and a slip reducing and/or bend reducing surface on all or part of the backside. In an alternative embodiment the device is sealed on four sides with a removable section on the back which can be reattached by resealable mechanism and provides for a water resistant top surface and overall design. In addition, the back side may include a magnetic surface to allow for attaching the device to a vertical magnetic surface. A series of preprinted or colored backgrounds and frames in a variety of colors and patterns are optionally included for children to decorate and use for mounting the pictures or framing the artwork. The inserts are sized to fit inside the portfolio device, which is sealed and can be displayed on a tabletop or magnetic wall surface by the creator. A page of instructions and ideas for using the backgrounds and frames and design materials may also be included.

In one embodiment, the device is supplied as a kit which additionally can provide a choice of design materials, colored or predesigned background or framed pages with the protective device and optional instructions and design ideas.

The transparent resealable mat of the current invention is preferably constructed of a clear vinyl top and clear or colored vinyl bottom sealed on three sides. Included is a resealable seal across the unsealed top, side, bottom or back dimension to allow the removal and/or insertion of design pages, drawings etc. The front side of the device is transparent or clear across the whole or a portion of the front to allow for display of the design pages. The backside has a slip resistant surface which reduces slipping on a table top surface and/or backing material which prevents bending of the device. The backing material is preferably cork or rubber but alternatively any material which is slip resistant and/or reduces bending of the device and covers all or part of the reverse side. Alternatively, the back side can include a magnetic surface which allows for adhering to a magnetic surface such as a refrigerator door. In an embodiment, a series of preprinted or colored border pages and frame pages sized to fit within the device such that they are displayed through the clear vinyl front accompany the device. In an alternative embodiment a frame page sized to frame the display mat is affixed to the outside of the mat in a permanent or reattachable manner.