In my days of stalling (until fall was officially here) to bring out the leaves and pumpkins, I planned to make place mats with beautifully colored fall leaves. Every fall, I pine for fall coloring in our trees like we see up north. Since we don’t have the real thing here in the south, we can always DIY our own creations with colorful leaves. Bring ’em on, Dollar Tree!
I investigated the leaf and place mat stock at Dollar Tree.
Dollar Tree has plenty of miss-matched place mats in all shapes. If you can match the shape, don’t worry about the color if the center of your mats will be covered by plates. (An easy answer for round mats.)
I didn’t buy place mats at Dollar Tree that day. When I returned home, I found these mats from two years ago that I never painted as planned. You could also use paper plates or old chargers for attaching the leaves.
If memory serves (which sometimes it doesn’t!), I believe I found these mats at Ross on clearance – two sets of four equating to 50 cents each.
I collected two packs of leaves to begin and test.
I began by placing leaves as a trial but didn’t like the limited shapes in these first two packages.
I stopped at a different Dollar Tree the next day and picked up these yellow ones that look like October Glory Maple leaves. I know this because we had two young October Glory trees in our yard when we moved here. We killed the first one when the moving van rolled over the roots (I believe) and the other tree the following year when using weed killer for the lawn. :-/
Some leaves look more like an oak shape, and the added yellow spoke to me: Perfect. Varied shapes and colors are so interesting – like real life.
I protected the Mesquite wood island from hot glue with a large vinyl cutting board and began gluing.
Dob glue onto the place mat and then press each leaf over the glue. For some reason, it worked better that way rather than dobbing glue on the leaf itself and then pressing to the mat.
(Maybe my mats were too “hole-y”.)
Somehow, I wound up with one set of leaves that included four lacy ones. I decided not to use them for this project – maybe something else later, though. I do like the sparkle!
I varied the leaf colors, types, and directions for a natural “fallen leaves” look.
Three packs of leaves made four place mats. Pretty good deal!
It took thirty minutes to make four place mats. I decided to make all eight. It should be handy when having people here for Thanksgiving dinner. The more the merrier, I say. I love cooking a big Thanksgiving spread!
What do you think? Would you use these place mats often enough to merit your time and a little Dollar Tree investment?