Friday

3 Creative Fall Place Mats To Make At Home

In the fall, you can find all sorts of seasonal table decorations at any home décor or discount store. There are lots of nice designs to choose from, but wouldn't you rather have something that fits your style perfectly? You can make your own fall place mats quickly, easily, and inexpensively, and they can brighten up your table in an instant. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Fabric Place Mats

If you have a sewing machine, it's easy to make your own fabric place mats. You can even sew them by hand if you like. All you need is two yards of fabric. Or if you'd like to have two looks in one, you could use a yard each of two coordinating fall colored fabrics.

To make a rectangular place mat, cut two pieces of fabric about 15 by 20 inches. Fold each edge under 1/2 inch toward the wrong side of the fabric, and iron those edges into place. Then place the wrong sides of the fabric pieces together, pin, and stitch 1/2 inch from the edge all the way around. Stitch again 1/8 inch from the edge, and you're done.

Laminated Fall Place Mats

Making laminated place mats is fun and easy. They also clean up nicely, requiring nothing more than a quick wipe with a damp cloth when soiled. Here's what you'll need to make them:

* Poster board
* Fall photos, kids' drawings, post cards, or any other flat paper or fabric items
* Glue
* Contact paper or laminating machine

Cut the poster board to the desired shape and size. Arrange the photos, post cards or drawings to your liking and glue them on. Let dry. Cover with contact paper, or laminate. Or if you prefer, you could take them to a local copy shop to have them laminated.

If you're into scrapbooking, you could use scrapbook paper instead of poster board and create the place mat just like you would a page. Create a layout, add photos and embellishments, and laminate, and you have a unique place mat that's guaranteed to be a conversation piece!

Painted Fall Place Mats

If you are an artist, you can easily make beautiful painted place mats! Simply cut canvas to the desired size, plus an extra half-inch. Turn the edges under 1/2 inch, crease, and secure them with glue. Then paint the canvas just like you normally would. Once the paint is dry, add two coats of polyurethane.

Why buy the same boring place mats everyone else has when you can create your own? With some inexpensive supplies and a little imagination, you can have great fall place mats that suit your tastes and dining room décor perfectly.

Saturday

Easy Homemade Fall Centerpieces

Fall is a season of inspiration for crafters and interior decorators. It's full of beautiful, vibrant colors that are unlike those of any other season. It's no wonder that so many people love to bring those colors indoors.

If you're looking for ideas for beautiful fall centerpieces, there's no need to look any further than your own garden and back yard. The leaves and plants that provide the natural beauty of the season will also look absolutely stunning on your table.

Here are some centerpiece ideas that your guests will love.

Mini-Pumpkin Candleholder Centerpiece

Gather up some miniature pumpkins, and cut a circle in the top of each that is large and deep enough to hold a tealight candle. Use as many or as few as you like. Arrange the pumpkins on a clear glass platter. Add silk fall leaves, small pinecones, and other items found in nature to create a quick but beautiful centerpiece.

Cornucopia

The cornucopia (also known as a horn of plenty) is a Thanksgiving decorating staple, but it makes a beautiful centerpiece throughout the fall. You can buy cornucopias at most craft stores in the fall in a variety of sizes. Simply add real or fake fall fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears, corn, squash and berries. Silk leaves and ribbon in fall colors will complete the look.

Fall Basket Centerpiece

A basket full of fall beauty makes a lovely centerpiece. Sturdy, handmade baskets look great when filled with fall flowers, gourds or berries. Try arranging silk mums in floral foam, adding some moss and silk leaves for a finishing touch. Or jazz it up a bit with some beaded fruit and coordinating ribbon.

Pumpkin Flower Arrangement

Pumpkins and fall flowers go great together, so why not turn a pumpkin into a flowerpot? All you have to do is cut a circle out of the top of a large pumpkin and clean the inside out. Spraying some polyurethane on the outside will add shine and protection, but it's not necessary. Then you can add potting soil and plant some real flowers in there, or use styrofoam or florist clay to arrange silk flowers.

Canning Jar Centerpiece

You can use canning jars to create a variety of centerpieces. They make great containers for fall potpourri or floating candles. Or you could fill them with pinecones, silk leaves and berries. They also create a rustic look when used as flower vases.

These easy to make fall centerpieces can add lots of beauty to your kitchen table. And since you can find many of the materials in your garden or in nature, they are inexpensive to make. You can change them out every week or so if you like, without putting a strain on your budget.

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