This DIY autumn placemat is the perfect project for kids to participate in the Thanksgiving feast. Whether it’s your family or extended to add some close family members, this special addition to your table setting is perfect. The children will proudly announce to everyone present that this is their contribution.



The first Thanksgiving Day was held in the autumn of 1621, with a total of 50 pilgrims and 90 Wampanoag Indians participating and lasted for three days.



  • Shaving Cream (unscented)
  • 8½x11 Card Stock or Heavy Cardboard (this is a minimum size)
  • Disposable Tablecloth, Newspapers etc.
  • Stylus
  • White Paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue Stick
  • 12″ x 18″ Construction Paper in Fall Color
  • Acrylic Paint or Food Coloring
  • Laminating Roll
  • Disposable Gloves (optional)
  • Paint Smock, Apron or Old Tee Shirt



  1. Protect your surface with the disposable tablecloth, newspapers or whatever you normally protect your table with when crafting with messy materials. And of course make sure the kids are dressed with the mess in mind.
  2. Next spray the Card Stock or Cardboard with a layer of shaving cream (don’t use Noxzema or everything will smell like it) It doesn’t need to be a thick layer.
  3. Put small dots of paint or food color in various spots on top of the shaving cream. (Here is where you decide about the disposable gloves.) The acrylic paint will wash off but the food coloring will stain the fingers. Have the kids choose 3 colors, keeping the Fall scheme in mind. Of course if their favorite colors are more unique, don’t limit their creativity.
  4. With the stylus. swirl the paint around in the shaving cream, leaving some of the swirls white with the shaving cream showing through.
  5. Next take a 8.5 x 11 piece of paper and lay it on top of the shaving cream and color mixture and press down. Here is where you will be glad you protected the table. Lift the paper off and scrape the excess shaving cream/paint mixture off with a scraper made of scrap card stock or cardboard. Let dry. You may be able to get two prints from each mixture by adding a little more color to the shaving cream.
  6. Once the masterpieces are dry the next part of the fun begins. We’ve provided leaf patterns for a Fall placemat but you can cut them down for cards or notes and even frame them as gifts.


Fall Placemats:

  1. Print and cut the leaves out of your dried prints using the pattern below.
  2. Glue the leaves to the large piece of card stock.
  3. Laminate according to directions to protect the placemats from damage.