By Noreen Doll.
A fall leaf placemat is another nice way to preserve leaf color. This placemat is 11 1/2 by 17 1/2 inches.
The only difficult thing about it is that you have to work fast to keep the leaves from continuing to change until they are brown.
This placemat I made is over 10 years old, and you can see that it retains a surprising amount of color.
How to Make a Fall Leaf Placemat.
The first thing you need to do is to dry the leaves. To do this quickly, iron them between 2 sheets of wax paper.
1. Heat your iron to the Cotton setting.
2. On a hard surface, lay out an old cotton sheet folded into several layers.
3. Lay a piece of waxed paper on the sheet and lay out your leaves in a single layer with a little space between them to allow them to spread as they’re flattened.
4. Put a second piece of waxed paper over the leaves, being careful not to move them too much.
5. Set the iron down on the leaves in one corner, lifting the iron up to move it. Leave the iron on the leaves long enough to allow the wax to melt into the leaves – a few seconds.
6. After you’ve done all the leaves, carefully turn the waxed paper sandwich over and iron the other side.
7. I turned the sandwich back over and ironed the first side again, making sure each leaf was well ironed and the wax was completely melted off the paper and onto the leaves.
8. Lay the sandwich aside to cool while you finish ironing the rest of your leaves.
9. Gently remove the leaves from the waxed paper sheets and they are ready to use for placemats.
How to Finish the Fall Leaf Placemats.
I took my leaves to an Office Supply Store and had them laminated there.
They used a heat laminator with thicker plastic, and it made a nice, sturdy placemat.
They gave me the sheets to arrange the leaves on, and then ran it through the laminator.
When I had these leaves laminated 10 years ago, I didn’t know how to dry them quickly, and they were laminated without drying first.
There are lots of air gaps in them, and you can see where there is moisture, so I would definitely dry the leaves first if I were to make more.
To make a set of leaf coasters, keep enough space between the leaves to allow you to cut the laminated leaves into individual 4 or 5 inch squares – with one leaf on each square.
You could try doing this with a Xyron, but the finished sheets would definitely be thinner and more flexible.
Since I had these laminated more than 10 years ago, the heat sealed ones may now be thinner, as well.
The placemat photos are of the same placemat with different backgrounds. It was difficult to photograph and I was trying to make it more visible.