Two-Ingredient Tuesday: Leaves & Contact Paper = Fall Placemats

In anticipation of Thanksgiving, my kids create these simple-to-make placemats for all of our guests.

First, we take a bag and head outside for a nature walk.  We love wearing our cozy fleeces in the crisp autumn air!  This year, we walked around our neighborhood, gathering leaves.  Other years, we’ve gone out on hiking trials searching for colorful leaves. The conversation centered on the colors of the leaves.  We started with what colors my kids observed.  “Red, yellow, orange, green, purple leaves!” they exclaimed.  Oh…purple?  As it turns out, the dark red/maroon leaves actually look dark purple.  I find it so fun and inspiring when my kids observe something that I don’t.  Today, I learned that leaves turn purple!

Then, we stated to talk about why the leaves turn colors.  My 4.5 year old explained, “Because it’s fall, Mommy.”  How very true.  We talked about how, in the fall, it gets cooler and the sun doesn’t stay out as long.  So, the green color (chlorophyll), which likes warm weather and sun, goes away, and you can see yellow and red.

Back home, we selected leaves for each mat.  For each mat, we cut two pieces of Contact paper.  (We cut off ~12 inches from the roll for each piece.)

First, unpeel one piece and leave it sticky side up.  Add leaves to the sticky side.

After decorating it with leaves, add the other piece of Contact paper to sandwich the leaves.  Then, you have your placemat!

It also looks quite nice in the window.

We’re making 10 placemats for our Thanksgiving table.  The kids have started to do make patterns with the leaves, and add words on little pieces of paper to add to the mats.  My daughter is now expanding beyond leaves to include drawings and felt to make people/family placemats because she’s “thankful for her family.” We look forward to celebrating that and much more at Thanksgiving!


4 Replies to “Two-Ingredient Tuesday: Leaves & Contact Paper = Fall Placemats”

  1. So I tried making these on Saturday, and they were a total fail!!! How do you get them to look so perfect? I had such a hard time getting the two pieces to sandwich evenly and after I managed to stick them together, the parts where the leaves are just bubbled up and did not stick, so there’s a lot of air on both sides. 🙁 Very cool idea though!! I had been wanting to this since last Thanksgiving. 🙂

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