If your good kitchen table is the only work table that you have in the house, how can you protect it and still do craft work or even light renovation?
You can purchase from stationary stores or art stores special rubber-like green mats specifically made for cutting paper. You actually cut into the surface and it has a tendency to re-seal. This allows you to use regular cutting knives, special round blade paper cutters, or specialized mat cutters, without worrying about scratching the table below.
For larger project where you will be scratching, painting, gluing and the like, take a piece of 1/8th or 1/4 inch Masonite that is about two inches wider and longer than the table itself. Then attach 1x3 trim to the soft rippled side of the Masonite. This side will sit on the table and protect it, the trim will frame it to the table, preventing it from slipping. Any spills will go off the edge and not get on the table, so if you are working with kids crafts you may need some protection on the floor. At least you know that your table is safe.