Arts & Crafts

Fall Leaves Placemat

Fall Leaves Placemat
Photo by: Linda O

Linda O Submitted by: Linda O

A nature walk to observe and collect colorful fall leaves provides material for a craft that utilizes fine motor skills, math and principals of art to create a useful placemat.

110 minutes
24 - 60 months
Group size
1 - 4 tots


  • 1 piece Cardboard (Lightweight cardboard or heavyweight art paper)
  • 2 pieces Contact paper (Clear)
  • 1 Ruler
  • 1 bottle Glue
  • 1 bunch Dried leaves
  • 1 Brick (Weight for drying leaves)
  • 4 Paper Towels
  • 1 Cookie sheets


  1. Begin with a nature walk or a garden tour.
  2. Discuss the change in seasons and how deciduous trees lose their leaves.
  3. Have your child collect colorful leaves.
  4. Place leaves, in a single-layer, on sheets of paper towels. Cover with more paper towels and a brick to eliminate curling as leaves dry.
  5. Either allow the leaves to dry for 10 days, or place leaves on a cookie sheet in a low temperature (200') oven for 90 minutes.
  6. Select placemat foundation material (cardboard or art paper) and cut to desired size.
  7. Cut one piece of clear contact paper the same size as foundation piece. This will be the final backing.
  8. Cut a second piece of clear contact-paper 2" wider all the way around. This will be the cover.
  9. Cut the corners from contact-paper cover.
  10. Have your child write their name and the date on the cardboard.
  11. Have your child arrange their leaves to cover the cardboard or create pattern on the cardboard.
  12. Secure leaves with a tiny spot of craft glue so they don't shift.
  13. Peel backing from cover sheet of clear contact-paper.
  14. Assist your child in carefully placing the contact paper over the leaf covered cardboard.
  15. Have your child press to secure.
  16. Flip the cardboard and secure the 2" borders onto the back.
  17. Peel backing from the clear-contact paper cut for the back of the placemat and attach.
  18. Enjoy using your beautiful new placemat!
For younger children, pre-cut materials and provide assistance for attaching contact paper.
Older children can be involved with the measurements, cutting and contact paper application. Count how many leaves are on the placemat.

Original Source

Linda O

Developmental skills