Thursday, 30 October 2014

Pressed leaves craft: Make placemats!

I'm very excited to share this space with Anne from Itty Bitty Love today!
Hello Grow Grow Grow readers!  I'm Anne, Montessori mama and writer of the blog Itty Bitty Love.  I live in the mountains of Montana with my husband, our two-year-old daughter, and our slightly crazy cattle dog.  Please stop by for a visit some time!
Autumn has certainly settled in around here.  The days are growing shorter and cooler, there is a dusting of snow on the mountains, and the trees have burst into golden hues - yellow, orange, red and brown.  My daughter Elise and I have been collecting handfuls of leaves on our walk each morning. Some have ended up on our nature table, but most we've pressed between the pages of a heavy book. 
A few days ago, I noticed that our heavy book was beginning to overflow with leaves, so I decided it was time to start putting those leaves to use!  Our dining room table was in need of some seasonal cheer, so Elise and I decided to make a few place mats with our pressed leaves and contact paper.   
If you've ever done a craft with a 2-year-old before, you'll know that they are far more interested in the process than the product.  I, on the other hand, am more of a product kind of person, so crafting with Elise causes me a fair amount of stress.  While I experienced moments of panic here and there, overall, this craft project ended up being developmentally appropriate for both of us!  ;)  
Elise thoroughly enjoyed the stickiness of the contact paper - which ended up being forgiving enough that I was able to move things around a bit as needed.  Of course, leaves were crushed and dog hair blew in from every direction, but once I stuck another piece of contact paper over the, the result was really lovely.  The best part?  Elise thinks her new, homemade place mat is really great.  She's been eating all her meals and snacks on it, and it's durable enough that we can wipe it clean.  I'm actually bravely thinking about carrying on and making a few more for each of our spots at the table!
Interested in making your own pressed leaf place mats? 
You'll need:
  • a selection of dry, pressed leaves
  • one piece of contact paper that is cut to the size of a place mat (ours is a 40 x 30 cm rectangle)
  • one piece of contact paper that is slightly larger than your desired shape (this will make it easier for sticking it to the first piece of contact paper)
  • scissors
          1. Peel the backing off of a place mat-sized piece of contact paper. Once the backing is off, the contact paper should lay flat and your child will be able to work on a table or the floor.
          2. Stick leaves to the contact paper, making sure that none overlap the edges.
          3. OK, this next part is kind of crucial. Start peeling the backing off the second piece of contact paper, but don't remove it entirely. Carefully line it up with the first piece of contact paper, and peel off the backing as you unroll it over the leaves.  
          4. Use scissors to even up the edges.  I cut the corners to make it look a little more professional.
          5. Enjoy your new place mat! 
Thank you Anne for this great idea! Elise looks very pleased indeed!
Please leave a comment to share your best pressed leaves crafts!


  1. Thanks, Elsa, for giving me the opportunity to guest post on Grow Grow Grow! It's so much fun being featured on one of my favorite blogs!!! x.

    1. Thank YOU, Anne! You are the one who did all the hard work!

  2. I love this idea. So simple... will have to try.

  3. Super la veste, on dirait un gros mouton la petite. Je veux la même pour Enola.

    Sinon ce serait une bonne idée de rajouter le nom des feuilles sur des petites étiquettes. Pour les invités qui verraient le set par exemple.


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