Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Walk in the Woods = New Place Mats

We are now somewhat settled in our new home. We have been enjoying the beautiful weather as we explore our new surroundings. Yesterday we took a little walk along a little path at a picnic/ camping area in town. We went with the intention of simply taking a stroll, but before we knew it, we were collecting leaves and getting to know the native flora. Of course, we couldn't simply collect the leaves, we had to make something, so... instead of purchasing much needed place mats for our temporary quarters, we decided to make them.

I am a huge fan of clear contact paper as for the under 5 crowd. We are always using it for something--sun catchers, stained glass windows, bookmarks, cardboard house windows, fishbowls--you get the idea! It is great to use as a collage medium for the youngest artists because all they have to do is place something on the sticky paper and it will stay put--no glue needed. You can find it with the drawer lining paper in most grocery or box stores.

Decide how big you want your place mats to be and cut 2 sheets of contact paper for each place mat. Tape the non sticky side on to your workspace. You can tape it right onto a window or glass door. Notice that we were working in the bathroom of our one room temporary home because Waylon was napping on the bed!
Once it is taped down, peel the paper off to reveal the sticky side. Start arranging your leaves, tissue paper, or other flat materials. When the design is complete, peel the paper off the second sheet and stick the sticky sides together, sandwiching the the leaves inside. Be careful here, make sure you have it where you want it because it will not come apart easily. Now, peel off the tape and trim the edges.

We were able to talk about and identify the different leaves. This is great to do in the fall and can be adapted for any season.


  1. I do like this idea. However, we have never used place mats at any of our residences - permanent or temporary! Maybe it's time to start.

  2. So glad you're back – did you notice you made the Crafty Crow today? I can't believe how big and different both kids look already! We'll definitely do these placemats in some form, we use placemats all the time.