We made these beautiful autumn placemats from a large sized piece of felt and some fall leaves we had previously purchased at the dollar store. I say we because this was my daughters inspiration and my implementation.. We were both amazed at how gorgeous it turned out. It can be used alone or for a Thanksgiving dinner or fall event. They are so inexpensive guests could even take them home and use them as doilies. If you’d like another fun idea using these same leaves, check out our Gratitude Jar which is a lovely decor item plus a perfect Thanksgiving activity. And if you do happen to use this for Thanksgiving, grab our free Thanksgiving Leftovers Labels.
Autumn Placemats Supplies
NOTES: I used a 12″ x 18″ piece of thin stiff felt I already had and made a 12″ circle for the base. It took approximately 55 2″ to 3″ leaves to cover it.
- Fall Leaves
- Large Felt This was the best deal Amazon had but it’s a variety of colors.I I suggest purchasing locally if you can.
- Glue Gun
Free Leaf Placecards
This is all you need for your leafy placemat. I had a mixture of leaf types from different packages and it ended up looking great!
I wanted to use as much of the felt sheet as I could so I tested several large plates and as it turned out my deviled egg platter was exactly 12″ wide and perfect. I turned it upside down and traced my circle on.
Cut out your circle.
Starting on the outside, use a small dot of glue at the center base of each leaf and glue them on, overlapping just enough so none of the felt shows through.
Once you finish one circle, move to the next inner circle.
You don’t want the leaves to lay completely flat so remember to just use one dot of glue.
Continue as before, overlapping each leaf just enough to make sure the felt does not show through.
You will eventually work your way to the center at which point you will only needed one to three leaves to cover it. NOTE: If you find there any spots where the felt does indeed show through, just cut a leaf down and glue a piece of it behind the other leaves and over the spot just enough to cover it. I had to do that on three spots. Works perfectly!
This is the finished placemat! It could also be used as a doily.
It’s nicely finished on the back also. A set of these would make a lovely gift. FYI, both plates and the pumpkin also came from the Dollar store!
Being thankful can be difficult when life gets in the way and the daily grind gets us down. Even teens and kids get stressed out with school and chores. Our Gratitude Tokens can help! Well, we have two printable versions that work for adults, teens and kids alike to help everyone remember the wonderful things in their life on those days when they forget. You can make either a “Let Gratitude Grow Flower” or a “Here Comes the Sun”. Print them, fill out the answer on the back and put them on a string, key chain, or ribbon. Then get your token to remind you just how lucky you are when you need it most! If you’d like more gratitude ideas check our very popular Encourage Thankfulness with Gratitude Stones and our A Thankful Heart, A 30 Day Gratitude Challenge, also with awesome printables!
Being Thankful Reminder Token Supplies
- Printables Below
- Small hole punch I prefer a 1/8″ size for string. A regular size will work but the hole may need to be punched a bit further up into the petal or raindrop.
- String or Chain or Key Ring that snaps open
- White Cardstock This is what I keep in stock at home. Its 110 lb very bright so its heavy. You can buy smaller packs that are not quite as heavy though I do like heavier weight cardstock for this type for project.
Free Token Printables
The packet also comes with a page each of blanks in case you want to come up with your own questions.
NOTE: There are 30 questions, one for each day of the month, should you decide to make it a month long activity. It can also be done for an evening activity. younger children can be helped. You can use all or just some of the questions. Write the short answer to each of the statements on the back of each petal or raindrop. Then when you or others are having a bad day you pull out the gratitude token to remind yourself how wonderful your life truly is.
Cut out the petals or raindrops.
Punch holes where shown.
If you have an awl it can help you line up smaller holes for putting string into.
Write the answers to the questions on the back of each petal or drop.
Whenever you are having a bad day bring our your cards and look through them.
Burden baskets come from various Native American culture. They were used for gathering crops and once a woman returned home she would hang her basket on the front door. Native American’s consider their home a sacred space and the basket was a symbol that visitors were to leave all worries, anger and other negative emotions in the basket before entering in order to protect the space. The saying “leave your burdens at the door” originated from these baskets.
Burden Basket Supplies
- Small roundish basket to fit on an 8×10 plaque (4″ or 5″ high) You can find these easily at thrift stores!
- 8×10 wood plaque
- Sharpie Paint Pens OPTIONAL I used them for the smaller triangles to make nice lines.)
- Mod Podge
- Sawtooth Picture Hangers OPTIONAL
- Embroidery Floss (OPTIONAL if desired to wrap feathers)
- Hot Glue
- Printable poem below
You can get the poem in various forms included in our free download below.
Gather your supplies. We cut the handles of the basket we found. It was 4.5″ tall afterwards.
Our 8×10 plaque was purchased at Hobby Lobby. Even at regular price they are inexpensive. Michael’s and some Walmart’s carry them also.
You can paint your plaque however you like. We went with a tribal geometric design and marked off the plaque where we would paint.
Measure each side area and paint the colors of your choice.
Using paint with a little added water, paint triangles onto the basket.
Cut out the poem that you choose.
Mod Podge the poem on and then over the entire plaque.
A paint pen can help get straighter edges depending on the surface of your basket.
Use a sufficient amount of hot glue to affix the basket to the plaque below the poem.
Our first choice would have been longer feathers with darker tips but this is all we could find. We used some very watered down paint to paint the tips of them. They turned out fine!
We held them together with a tiny dab of hot glue, then wrapped them with embroidery thread.
We keep these sawtooth hangers to use for plaques. All you do is hammer them in!
Hang your plaque on your front door or beside it where everyone can see before they enter in.
Quickly & inexpensively decorate your door or walls with this darling owl burlap wreath! All you need is a little burlap material & one side of an 8″ embroidery hoop! We decorated it with our Whimsical Wood Slice Owls. They are so easy to make, you could make one for each season!
If you’re looking for other simple wreath ideas, check out our Inexpensive Fall Wreath!
Burlap Wreath Supplies
- 8″ Wood Embroidery Hoop
- Burlap Material (not too thick so it can be tied easily)
- Hot Glue Gun
- Ribbon for hanging, 1/2″ Wide
- Material scissors OR a Rotary Cutter (Makes it go much faster!)
OPTIONAL DECOR FOR THE BURLAP WREATH
You can decorate the wreath however you like or use our specific idea below.
- Small rectangle piece of wood 3.5 x 2.5 (for sign)
- Wood Slice Owl Decor with Whoo Goes there Sign (3″ slice)
- Twig 8 to 10″ about 1/2″ thick
- A few fake leaves
- Paint for wood
- Mod Podge for label.
This is all you need for the basic wreath itself. (And you only need one of the rings!)
Cut approximately 35 1″ burlap strips approximately 12″ long. We trimmed ours an inch or two after completion so the burlap would stick out more.
I started with regular sewing scissors then pulled out my rotary cutter. Much faster if you have one!
You may be able to use less or need more of the strips, depending on the type of burlap you use.
Take a strip and fold it over as shown, under the hoop.
Pull the bottom two ends through the loop.
Cinch the strip up.
This is how it should look.
Repeat the process with each strip, pushing them close together as you go.
Trim the strings that show on the inside. The outside strings are supposed to show.
Make a whimsical owl and gather an 8″ stick, a few artificial leaves and your plaque, printed sign and ribbon for hanging.
Glue three leaves onto your stick, or as many as you wish, then glue your stick to the bottom of the wreath, aligning it so that the owl can site just behind it, glued to the inner wreath itself and appear to be sitting on the stick.
Carefully place your stick across the bottom of the wreath. Attach leaves. Using a large amount of hot glue, glue the bottom of the owl so that it sits just behind the stick, nestled on the inside of the wreath itself.
Again, the owl is not glued to the stick itself but onto the inner wreath just behind it.
To give the owl a bit more stability you can glue part of a tongue depressor to the back of the owl and the wreath itself.
Add a few leaves around the wreath.
Attach a ribbon for hanging.
Paint your wood plaque.
Cut out the downloaded label and Mod Podge it on.
Attach it to a piece of burlap and hang it to the top of your wreath.
Make this easy & inexpensive fall wreath with some wood slices, hot glue and cardboard. Then you can glue on a few artificial flowers or greenery you might have. We used our Five Minute Felt Flowers. If you enjoy wood slice projects you’ll also love our Wood Slice DIY Room Decor.
Fall Wreath Supplies
- Wood Slices (Ours were approximately 3″ or so in diameter.)
- Hot Glue
- Utility Knife
- Cardboard Piece to use as base
- Any decor you want to glue on or our 5 Minute Felt Flowers
Cut or buy wood discs. The ones shown are about 3″ in diameter.
Lay them out ahead of time to determine the size and pieces you will need.
Cut a cardboard ring to glue your discs onto. Make sure it does not stick out around the wood.
Hot glue your discs into place one layer at a time using a large gob of glue.
Overlap them as shown for the second layer.
Make sure the top pieces are centered between the two beneath them.
The finished wreath will be very sturdy.
The back of the wreath.
You can now glue on whatever you like. It takes very little to make it pretty.
We used three felt flowers and a couple of felt leaves.
Finished wreath on our front door.
Download these free Thanksgiving leftovers labels for a quick way to tell what food is going home with whom and to also know what is inside the containers inside your own fridge. There are three different styles to print and cut. (Also, don’t forget to share the awesome quote at the bottom of this page.)
Thanksgiving Leftovers Label Download
Being grateful is important to a happier life. So here’s a fun unique gratitude activity to encourage more awareness of things generally taken for granted. Grab a tiny inexpensive spiral memo pad and print out the free labels and quotes provided, then follow the simple instructions. These are wonderful any time of year. Give them to your kids. Make a batch for a family or group activity. Or create a basket full to pass out at Thanksgiving dinner. No matter how you use them they are a fun way to inspire thankfulness.
Gratitude Activity Supplies
- Small 3″x5″ spiral memo pads, top flip
- Printables, cut out (below)
- Extras (optional) Washi tape, ribbon, charms, paint for pencils etc.
Gratitude Activity Instructions
Instructions, labels and quotations (pdf)
Get the flip top memo pads.
Cut out the front label in the size you want.
Glue it onto the front of your pad.
Cut out the quotations provided.
Glue them throughout your notebook.
Add a pencil that you’ve cut and sharpened to fit nicely in the metal spirals.
Add extras if desired. The books are wonderful as is but if desired, you can add extras to them such as Washi tape strips here and there, or a ribbon tied onto the spirals. Small charms can also be added to the spiral.
Also optional is spray painting the pencils. Its pretty easy to do. Just cover the top part with tape, spray paint and then cut them down to size.
If you’d like to give gratitude and thankfulness a boost in your home, gratitude stones are a wonderful incentive. They work for children and adults alike and both will love them! They are also wonderful for activities such as Thanksgiving Day dinner etc. And what a lovely positive gift when given inside our No-Sew Burlap Pouches.
- Small stones. These don’t need to be perfectly smooth all around. There just needs to be a small flat surface on part of the stone to paint a heart.
- Gold and white paint or paint pens. (Or whatever colors you like. The type of activity may determine the choices.)
- Clear spray coating for stones, or Mod Podge. (Optional but gives them a finished look and nice shine.)
- Downloaded poems/tags.
Tags and Poems (pdf)
READ THE POEM INCLUDED IN THE KIT ABOVE
There are a variety of ways you can use these. Here are some suggestions:
SMALL GROUP SETTING ACTIVITY #1
Give everyone a small handful or pouch of stones. There needs to be one stone per person in attendance in each pouch if possible and each set MUST have different colors with no duplicates. Meaning a set of green hearts… a set of red hearts… etc. Change them by doing hearts with different outlined colors.
During the event or dinner everyone is to give a stone to another person. When someone receives a stone they must say something they are grateful for.
The thing they are grateful for must be specific and they have to say WHY they are grateful for it. No general things such as “home” or “family.” Try to encourage gratitude for things they take for granted or for specific people.
Every stone must be given to those who have NOT received one yet. If a person has received one they must find someone who hasn’t. Everyone has to give away ALL their ORIGINAL stones. (They will be left with a variety of colors.)
To get rid of all their own stones and receive all new ones. It’s easy to keep track because they started out with stones of all one color.
GROUP ACTIVITY #2
Have an even amount of stones. Half are one color of hearts, the other half are another color. Put the stones in a deep bag. Everyone draws a stone. If they get a stone with a certain color heart they say something they are grateful for. Other colored hearts means they choose someone else to say something they are grateful for. Adapts as desired.
AS A GIFT
Give your children, family, friends etc. a pouch of stones. They are to put the stones around their room or home or work area. Every time they see one they are to STOP and think of something they are grateful for. It has to be different each time. You can use the printable tag and poem to go with the stones.
Make Your Thankfulness Gratitude Stones
Gather some smooth small stones. They don’t need to be perfect. Just so there is at least one flat side to paint your heart onto.
Using a paint brush or paint marker put a colored heart on each one.
Outline the hearts.
For a nice finish coat with Mod Podge or some spray gloss.
You can visit our No Sew Burlap Pouches post to learn how to make these little pouches. These make awesome gifts combined with the printable poem and tag!
Learn how to make a variety of these super quick No-Sew Burlap Pouches.
As the title implies this challenge is quite easy. Just write down one thing a day that you’re grateful for. We’ve even given you a nice little printout sheet to do it on plus some reminders you can make to put around the house. The only requirement is that this activity must be done with thought. None of this quickly writing down the standards to fill a slot. You have to ponder your choices and they have to be things that make your heart swell up when you think of them. That’s what true gratitude feels like.
We know that you’re most likely thankful for your spouse, children, God etc. Those are givens. Try to go deeper with this challenge. For example rather than “family” choose a specific family member and WHY you feel grateful. i.e. I’m grateful for my daughter because of how kind she is to strangers and never judges anyone. Or, I’m grateful for my husband because when I’m feeling bad he always does silly things to make me smile. Get the picture?
Remember: You can’t just think about what to write down. You have to FEEL it.
Small Challenge, Big Impact
I’m sure you’ve heard about how important gratitude is. That’s not just a made up idea to get people to be nicer. Being grateful has a physical and emotional effect on your body and overall life. Though many studies have been done on this subject, Professor of Psychology, Robert Emmons is acknowledged as the pre-eminent expert on gratitude. He’s done experiments on gratitude for more than a decade and the results are amazing. “Gratitude is one of the few things that can measurably heal, energize and change people’s lives. It is a turning of the mind, not what I don’t have, but what I have already.” Dr. Robert Emmons This 4 minute video explains what gratitude can do for you and what the studies have found. It’s a scientific fact that people who express and feel gratitude on a daily basis are happier, and happier people live longer, make more money, have less illness, sleep better, are more resilient, have better relationships, are less stressed, are overall healthier, have better outlooks, get better grades, make better decisions, exercise more (because they want to), have better self-esteem… to list a few.
Instructions (Using the Free Downloaded Kit)
Each day write something down on the free pages below that you are truly grateful for . You cannot just think about what you are grateful for. You must FEEL it deeply. Ponder your choices and choose things that make your heart swell up when you think of them. That’s what true gratitude feels like. For example, we know that you’re most likely thankful for your spouse, children, friends etc. Try to go deeper with this challenge. Rather than “family” choose a specific family member and why you feel grateful. i.e. I’m grateful for my daughter because of how kind she is to perfect strangers and never judges anyone. Or I’m grateful for my husband because when I’m feeling bad he always does silly things to make me smile. CALENDARS There are two calendar sheets provided. One is a guided sheet in which you are given a topic. The other is blank which lets you choose your own topic. (You can use the guided calendar sheet for ideas.) FOLLOW UP After your month of diligently doing this, determine if you feel better overall or not. If you truly did it with feeling, you will. Post this list somewhere you can see it regularly as a reminder.
So get out there and practice deliberate gratitude for 30 days! And you know what they say about doing something for 30 days… it becomes a habit!
Download Gratitude Challenge Sheets
To help you remember to be grateful, print out the tags provided in the downloadable kit and make some simple binder clip holders. Then place your reminders around the house where you’re sure to see them!
You can decorate these however you want but we kept it simple.
- We used medium size binder clips and spray painted them gold
- Glue a small charm in the center.
- Print out the free reminder cards on colored cardstock of your choice. We used gray.
- Cut out and place in your clips as shown.
Need some quick DIY Fall decorations? If you have wood slices lying around, in a matter of minutes you can make these cute little rustic pumpkins. They could be made any size, though these ones use 3″ wood slices. They make a very unique fall decoration or a lovely little gift.
DIY Fall Decorations Pumpkins Supplies
- Wood discs. About 1/2″ thick cut from a tree branch. (approx 3 to 4″ in diameter) If you don’t have a way to cut your own you can find them on eBay and Etsy.
- Hot Glue Gun
- Sticks for stem
- String, raffia or ribbon
- Paint wash, if desired
Put two discs side by side. Hot glue on the back and lay a third disc over them. Glue on a 2″ stem. That’s it! These look great as is or you can make a paint wash putting in a few drops of acrylic paint into about 1/4 cup of water and brush it on your pumpkins. Add a bow of string, raffia or ribbon. I liked the green string for one of them as it made me think of leaves.
This one has the light orange paint wash on it.
Paint washed version and unpainted version.
Make these beautiful fall leaves in a matter of minutes using only a glue gun and some glitter and foil or a Teflon sheet. These simple DIY fall decorations can be used in a variety of ways to adorn your house for Autumn!
This idea is courtesy of our daughter Jennifer who came up with it while helping me on some other crafting projects during a recent visit. I thought it was brilliant!
Supplies for DIY Fall Decorations
NOTE: Teflon sheets are perfect for this if you have them. They make it easier to save the extra glitter that falls off. Foil works fine, however the oil you use to keep the glue from sticking means you can’t easily save the extra glitter that falls off.
- Glue gun (high heat)
- Foil & spray oil (regular oil can also be used)
- Teflon sheet (no foil or oil is needed if you use this)
- Dry erase marker (optional)
- Clear spray sealer (optional but helps keep the glitter in place.)
About Teflon Sheets
These sheets are used in the kitchen quite a bit but they are the perfect thing to do your crafts on! They withstand high temperatures and clean up beautifully. I purchased a 16″x24″ one for my craft table. Great for using a hot glue gun, glitter, markers, painting etc.
Many times you can wipe the Teflon sheet clean with a dry paper towel.
When using foil you need to apply oil of some type to the area where the glue will be placed. You can use regular oil or spray oil. After applying it carefully, outline your leaf and stem. Then drizzle the hot glue around the inside of the leaf area. You do not want the glue to have thick lines. This must be done quickly and can take a little practice. Before the glue starts to cool quickly sprinkle on your glitter. After it’s cooled peel off your leaf.
This shows making a leaf using a Teflon sheet. If desired, you can outline your leaf shape using a dry erase marker.
Carefully outline your leaf with glue. Make the stem and main center lines then fill in by drizzling lightly inside the entire leaf. You still want gaps.
Quickly sprinkle on glitter.
Allow it to cool for a minute and then carefully peel off your leaf.
If you spray these with a coat of clear sealer it helps keep the glitter from dropping off.
Another great upcycle mason jar craft that creates an elegant yet simple table decoration and activity for Thanksgiving. Download and print out the provided gratitude cards and the wonderful quote. Decorate your jar with the idea provided or with just some ribbon or raffia and set it on your table with some colored pencils.
Encourage guests to write down unusual things they are grateful for and drop them in the jar. There’s various sizes of the quote for printing, hanging, framing or giving as handouts to your friends and family. This would be a wonderful Thanksgiving gift too!
NOTE: I show how to add paper leaves on the jar with Mod Podge. I found them at the Dollar store and at Walmart. You can just as easily use a plain mason jar with some raffia or ribbon tied around it as shown.
- Mason Jar
- Paper leaves for covered jar version.
- Mod Podge for covered jar version.
- Printed cards from provided download
- Pens, pencils
- Printed quotes. Frame if desired.
- Optional: LED battery tea light.
- Washi tape or string. (For decorating pencils if desired.)
Card and Quote Download (pdf format)
These are the steps for Mod Podging leaves onto your jar if you choose to do so. Make sure you get the flat paper-type leaves otherwise they won’t lay flat and stick to the jar. Overlap them as much as desired. I liked having gaps in mine. The Mod Podge gives a cool effect on the clear glass when dried.
Print and cut out the gratitude cards.
Print the size of quotes you want. There are small ones to give guests, a full page one for hanging and a 5×7 size as shown below to sit on the table in a frame next to your jar.
If you’d like to fancy up your writing implements here are some ideas. I, myself, chose to just use some nice fall colored pencils. I also had some of those cheap battery operated LED lights found at most Dollar Stores. I stuck one in the bottom of my jar for effect. Makes a nice Fall decor item too after your done with the activity.
SUGGESTION: In addition to the normal things people are grateful for like family, friends, etc. I would encourage guests to give it some more thought and write down things that are blessings in their lives that they might take for granted. Examples: Zipper, birds singing in the morning, toilet paper, flash drives, the trash collector folks, blankets on a chilly night, etc.
I placed an LED tea light in it after use. Looks awesome!
These DIY candle holders are great if you need to grab something quick to set a candle on. However, with a little paint and a few extras they can be turned into beautiful upcycle decor items for any season! We made three different examples using just what we had on hand. There’s one for Autumn, Christmas and Spring / Summer. Once you have the supplies and have painted your disc it takes 5 minutes to put them together.
IMPORTANT: When you add artificial flowers, ribbon and other items, the candles are to be used as decorations only. You also won’t be able to use hot glue on the candle itself, for obvious reasons. See our directions for how we attached our decorations.
- CDs or DVDs. Used or new.
- Spray paint.
- Artificial flowers, ribbon etc.
- Foil disc for under center of candle over the hole.
If you’re going to use the CD or DVD to hold a candle you will light, cover the center hole with a bit of foil because you don’t want wax accidentally leaking through. Again, this is the for the non-decorated versions. If you decorate them, don’t light them as its a fire hazard.
If your using your candle as a decoration you can’t hot glue it to the disc unless the candle has paper on the bottom of it. You can use other types of glue to attach it also.
Fall DIY Candle Holders
Spray paint either side of your CD. Add your decorations keeping in mind you can’t use hot glue on the candle itself. I tied raffia around the candle and affixed any foliage to the disc itself.
Christmas DIY Candle Holders
I spray painted this CD gold and tied a small strand of pip berries around it twice. I then glued my gold sprigs on the CD itself at the base of the candle and then glued a gold bow over the center of them. Simple yet elegant.
Spring DIY Candle Holders
I spray painted my disk a teal color. (Remember to add a circle of foil over the hole before sitting your candle on it. ) Then I glued some daisies on the CD at the bottom of the candle. Simple and pretty.