DIY Faux Leather Placemats Tutorial

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I would be lying if I acted like my family actually used place-mats at important gatherings such as Thanksgiving. Actually if the whole family is together, we aren’t even the type of people who eat at the table. When I was a kid Thanksgiving meant TV trays in front of the TV and football. Period.

My Mimmie would cook up a gigantic feast and the table that others were primly dining at and giving thanks was covered with sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole (my responsibility since I was probably 6 or 7), at least 2 different cakes AND a pumpkin pie, lemon meringue, chocolate meringue and coconut meringue pie. The food covered the top of the stove, the counter tops, the China cabinet and sometimes even the washing machine.

But for all of you out there who have Thanksgiving place settings and centerpieces, this post is for you.

DIY Faux Leather Placemats Tutorial

For this project you will need:

  • Mod Podge and brush
  • kraft paper
  • plastic place-mat
  • scissors

DIY Faux Leather Placemats Tutorial

Good news! You can purchase the kraft paper and place-mats at your local dollar store (I go to Dollar Tree) making this a super cheap project!

Take your paper and tear randomly shaped and sized pieces of paper. You don’t want a straight edge among the bunch.

DIY Faux Leather Placemats Tutorial

Wad your pieces up as tight as you can manage and set in a pile. Unwad and if very wrinkled continue, but if not wad it up in another direction a time or two.

Brush a small amount of Mod Podge onto the place-mat and lightly apply the piece of paper down. DON’T use a bunch of pressure. Just tap down. If you smooth out, well, you’ll smooth out your wrinkles and that’s no good.

DIY Faux Leather Placemats Tutorial

Apply overlapping pieces to cover the space. Continue beyond the edges. When fully covered allow to dry for about an hour or until no wet Mod Podge is visible.

DIY Faux Leather Placemats Tutorial

When fully covered, go over top with a light to medium coat of Mod Podge.  Use your finger to rub every edge of each piece to smooth out and hide any obvious paper edges, smooth out big creases and pop any air bubbles.

DIY Faux Leather Placemats Tutorial

Go around the edges and stick down any paper that easily peels up. Allow to fully dry.

DIY Faux Leather Placemats Tutorial

When dry flip over and follow the edges of the mat and trim up the excess.

DIY Faux Leather Placemats Tutorial

And this is a closeup of the place-mat.  Doesn’t it really look very similar to leather? I actually used this technique on a picture frame some time ago, but I love the creases and definition you can get with larger expanses of the technique.

DIY Faux Leather Placemats Tutorial

The longest part of the process is the drying time. One place mat start to finish of work time was about 30 minutes.

DIY Faux Leather Placemats Tutorial

And with just about everything you need available at the dollar store, this is one cheap way to fancy up your Thanksgiving table! Will you be trying to faux up your own leather with craft paper?