Looking for a way to lighten your leaf load this fall? Before you break out the rake, make sure to grab a few leaves for this simple and stunning Thanksgiving DIY project!
What you’ll need:
- metallic spray paint
- Mod Podge
- sponge brush
- cinnamon sticks
- gift tags
Before you start crafting away, the first step in this project is to select your leaves. I tried to find freshly fallen leaves that were still strong and flexible and had an almost leather-like texture. I also tried to pick leaves that were mostly intact and similar in size to one another.
Once I’d picked enough leaves for my place cards (plus a few extra for backup) I brought them inside, washed them with a damp paper towel, and patted them dry. Then, I laid them flat in the pages of a book to press overnight.
Once the leaves are flattened, it’s time to start making them pretty! I made little rolls of tape to stick the leaves onto sheets of newspaper. I brought the sheets outside and sprayed the leaves with copper paint. The type of paint I used only took 15 minutes to dry, then I flipped the leaves and painted the other side as well.
Some of the paint did come off onto the tape, so try to press the leaves down very lightly and hope for a not-so-windy day. But if you do lose a little paint like I did, it’s not a big deal. I just sprayed those leaves with an extra coat.
Since I did this project several weeks before Thanksgiving, I wasn’t sure how the leaves were going to hold up. To add some durability, I used a sponge brush to add a thin layer of Mod Podge to the leaves. The Mod Podge did not change the finish on the leaves or affect the metallic quality of the paint, so I would definitely recommend taking this last little step to ensure your leaves will last.
While I think these leaves look stunning, they don’t function well as place cards without a few final touches. I used thin twine to tie a cinnamon stick and name tag to each leaf, then finished them off with a little bow.
I put my finished leaves in the center of my plates for a charming and unique place setting. Here’s a sneak peek at how they look on my Thanksgiving table!
I can’t wait to show you how these place settings and my DIY bottles come together to create a rustic, yet elegant, Thanksgiving tablescape. Stay tuned for more Thanksgiving inspiration later this week!