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How to Make Thanksgiving Placemats

Thanksgiving is already just around the corner, and we’re getting ready by making sure our homes and especially our tables are ready for guests (or just a quaint family dinner!). We’re kicking off November with an easy and elegant placemat that is sure to impress anyone. 

This project started out as a $2 IKEA purchase and became a beautiful seasonal placemat that any table dressing would be lucky to have. We modified our Autumn Leaves pattern in order to create these. 


Materials needed for DIY Thanksgiving placemats

Step 1). Cut apart leaves

One of the advantages to adhesive stencils is how easy they are to cut. This allows you to move around different elements of your design. The leaves in this are arranged in a pattern, but we want to separate them so we can freely create our own pattern around the border.

Step 2). Mix paints

Fall paint colors

In order to emulate the colors of the leaves during autumn we mixed a few shades of orange, some red, and a dark brown/green. Regular acrylic paint works well for this project, especially because of the textured nature of the placemat fabric. 

Step 3). Place and paint

Each leaf will have to be placed and painted individually, but we guarantee it won’t take as long as it sounds! 

We started with a large leaf in one corner of the placemat. Dab the paint onto the stencil, leaving some areas with less paint than others for a more distressed look. 

Dabbing paint onto a leaf stencil

When one leaf is done, remove the stencil and place the next stencil beside it. Acrylic dries quickly, so there is no need to wait in between leaves. 

Removing leaf stencil from placemat

Alternate between large and small leaves, overlapping some to get a “piled” effect. Alternate the colors you use as well. Use the smallest leaves as filler between larger ones. We reused a few of the leaf designs around the border, so make sure you don’t immediately discard them after use. 

DIY Stenciled Thanksgiving place mat table setting

It’s as simple as that! These are so simple and fun to make that creating multiple placemats will go by in a flash. They’ll make great decor for your table, and you can match the colors and design to your home’s aesthetic as well. Thanksgiving is all about homemade, so be on the lookout for more stencil DIYs!

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