I realize many parts of the country already have been at least dusted with, if not buried in snow, and by now the beautifully colored leaves are long gone, but…
I have a really easy fall craft that parents can do with their children: pressed leaf placemats.
These remind me of the leaf pressings we would do in Girl Scouts – where you seal pretty leaves between two pieces of waxed paper. Anyone else remember making those in Scouts or in school?
Well, this is an easier (no iron necessary!), littler-kid-friendly version!
First, we went on a walk around the neighborhood and collected leaves of all types, sizes and colors, as long as they were not torn and not too brittle.
Next, we cut out a piece of Contact paper to the size of a placemat, peeled off the backing, and laid it out on the table sticky side up; we held it in place using painter’s tape.
Then, we helped the girls place leaves face up and face down all over the sticky paper. Anna and Elise were about 15 months when we did this craft, so they picked up leaves and held onto them; they didn’t really lay them neatly on the paper. We guided their little hands, though, and managed to lay out about a dozen leaves on each placemat.
Last, we cut out a second piece of Contact paper, exactly the same size, peeled off the backing, and laid it on top of the first piece, sticky side down – sandwiching the leaves between the adhesive sides of the Contact paper.
I opted to sew double-fold bias tape around the placemats to give them a nice, finished look – and, in part, to match our existing placemats, which are a rich brick red color. I used this tutorial to sew the bias tape with mitered corners.
It is not at all necessary, but it sure makes for a polished look with relatively little effort.
These placemats were a great addition to our Thanksgiving table and would be lovely for everyday use in the fall months.