Thanksgiving and Placemats Go Hand-in-hand
Thanksgiving is a great holiday for placemats. Everyone is thinking about food and eating, so a placemat fits in perfectly. Placemats are a great project for the kids to tackle and have fun doing. Here are a few placemat project ideas that will get the kids into the holiday spirit for Turkey Day.All of these are simple and easy to make and require materials that can be found around the house or are cheap and easy to get. Adult supervision and assistance will be needed, but the kids won’t have much trouble whipping up these fun placemats.
Quick laminated placemat
Here’s a quick and easy placemat that the kids can do while they’re waiting for dinner to be ready. One or two adults will want to supervise this one. Provide construction paper in fall colors (red, brown, yellow, white) – one piece per child. Provide washable markers or crayons, fall or holiday-themed rubber stamps and stamp pads, and Thanksgiving and/or fall stickers. Have the kids write words or draw pictures to represent things they are thankful for. They should also write their name somewhere on the construction paper. Here’s where the adult help comes into play. Using clear contact paper, laminate each sheet of construction paper. This is easiest when you cut one long piece of contact paper that will fold in half to cover the construction paper. Peel the backing off of one half of the contact paper, then carefully place the construction paper onto the sticky contact paper. Make sure you are careful because you won’t be able to pull it back up. After pressing down the placemat, slowly peel off the rest of the backing then carefully press the contact paper down. Hold the end in one hand then gently run your other hand along the contact paper to make pressing it down easier. Now you have a laminated, personalized placemat that can be used for the coming feast.
Fall leaves placemat
Have the kids collect fresh fallen leaves – not the crunchy brown ones that have been laying on the ground for weeks. These should be freshly-fallen and still pliable – the more colorful, the better.Cut a length of clear contact paper (about 24-30 inches long), fold in half then peel the backing from one of the halves. Let the kids position leaves onto the sticky part of the contact paper, then carefully peel the rest of the backing away and press the two sides together.
Cut pieces of muslin or canvas fabric into placemat-sized pieces (roughly 12×16). Use pinking shears to cut around the edges or create a small hem using your sewing machine, craft glue or hot glue. Using acrylic craft paints in fall colors, let the kids make an impression of one hand on the placemat. Permanent markers can be used to create legs, gobbler, eyes and beak to turn the hand prints into turkeys. Using the permanent markers, let the kids decorate the edges with things they are thankful for.A fine coat of clear spray paint will protect the paint without stiffening the placemat too much.
Cut placemats from muslin or canvas, or use store bought, plain, light-colored placemats. Using fall stamps and acrylic craft paint, let the kids unleash their creativity. After the paint has dried, use clear spray paint to spray a thing protective coat over the placemat.
Fall impressions placemat
Use homemade muslin or canvas placemats, or store bought placemats.Collect a few leaves, up to four ears of Indian corn and some acrylic craft paint in fall colors (red, yellow, brown, orange). Carefully place the leaves randomly on the placemat. Roll pieces of tape into loops then place on the backside of the leaves (between the leaves and the placemat – to hold the leaves in place temporarily).Next, squirt some paint onto a paper plate – use as many plates as you have colors if you’d like. Roll an ear of corn in one color until the whole ear is covered, then gently roll the ear of corn onto a paper towel for blotting. Now you will roll the ear across the placemat. Do this will all of the colors if you’d like, or keep it simple with just one color. After you’ve finished with the corn, gently remove the leaves. Spray lightly with clear spray paint then allow to dry. Now you’ve got a unique fall placemat using natural materials for impressions.For a variation, use small gourds or pumpkins. Dip the bottoms in paint then stamp the placemat.Try one of these easy ideas for a fun Thanksgiving placemat the kids will enjoy creating.