I was browsing Pier One online for inspiration for fall. I saw the Faux Maple Leaves Place Mats and loved the look but didn’t want to spend $6 for each place mat. Could I make one from dollar store leaves?
I got 5 branches of leaves from Dollar Tree. I see online that they have bags of leaves, but I didn’t find that in the store.
I choose maple leaf branches and cut the leaves off the plastic twigs and branch. Some maple leaf branches have smaller leaves. If you choose all small leaf branches, you will need more than 5 bunches. The leaves are more vibrant than Pier One’s but I like the colors. It will be perfect in October with black plates. I considered making place mats like Pier One’s and tried laying out the leaves on cloth. The leaves have a plastic spine and do not glue well. I decided I would sew them together. I don’t have a machine and don’t really think a machine would work well with the plastic spines. I got a charger and lined the leaves around the charger. I put a plate on top and it looked great. I decided to just make a ring of leaves for a “faux place mat” look.
The first ring took a while as I was playing with the leaves to come up with a pattern. Choose a color or colors you want to showcase. For the first ring, I choose red as primary, orange as secondary, and green as the bottom layer for background. For the second ring, I choose green as primary, orange as secondary and red as second layer background. Large primary leaves have two secondary or second layer leaves on each side beneath the primary.
If you wanted to do all one color or just two colors that would work but you would need more than 5 branches of leaves for 4 “faux place mat” rings.
- 5 bunches of maple leaves from dollar store (or more depending on size of leaves)
- charger for sizing of ring
- needle and dark thread
- Cut leaves off bunches
- Place around rim of charger in a pleasing pattern
- Have edges of leaves hang over side of charger
- Pin in sections to form circle
- Use dark thread and needle to sew a running seam underneath leaves
- Make tiny stitches on top on dark shadowing of leaves
- Periodically check that you are making a circular shape by placing on charger
- I found that sewing sections decreased the number of thread tangles on leaf points
- Sew sections together
- You can use it on top of a charger or without a charger
- Place plate in middle of ring and enjoy
- If a leaf is stained or damaged, sew a new leaf on top of old one (I did that and it works)
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