Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Autumn Leaf Place Mats

This is a project for a child to make in less than an hour with help from an adult. Autumn leaf place mats can be made for a special family meal; and doing so will allow a child to feel they have made a positive contribution. Walk outside together and collect colorful leaves on a sunny, fall afternoon. Make sure there is no dew on the leaves, and don't use leaves with parts that will crumble when handled.

You will need fall leaves, wax paper, a worn out T-shirt, an iron, and a hard, flat working space to complete this project. Set the iron to medium heat. You will need two rectangular pieces of evenly cut wax paper for each place mat. Lay the worn out T-shirt on a hard, flat surface. Kitchen counter tops that can take medium heat work well as an ironing surface. Lay a piece of the cut wax paper on top of the flat portion of the T-shirt. Now arrange the fall leaves, in a single layer, on the wax paper . Be sure that the leaves are at least 1 1/2 inches from all sides of the wax paper. Lay the second piece of wax paper on top of the leaves. Salt shakers or a heavy glass are good for holding the pieces of wax paper together until you begin to iron. Starting at one corner, iron the pieces of wax paper together with the medium heated iron. The leaves between the sheets of wax paper will flatten out as you iron over them. Leave the place mat laying flat for five minutes after ironing. You may need to trim the edges of the place mats with scissors to even them up when the ironing process is complete. Clean the bottom of the heated iron with paper toweling to take the built up wax off before using it on clothing.

The place mats can be used repeatedly, as long as they do not get liquids spilled on them. They make a great gift for grandparents from a child too. Remember that they will lose their bright leaf coloration after a few days. Enjoy them through several meal times.

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