Food & Entertaining - Entertaining

Set your Thanksgiving table with nature finds

Jennifer Roos
Photography by
Jennifer Roos

Use fall leaves and gourds to create colourful tea light holders, napkin rings and place cards

Sprayed, brushed or sponged with gold paint/ink, pressed oak leaves become naturally elegant place cards.


  • Fresh leaves
  • Phone book or microwave flower press
  • Newspaper
  • Gold spray paint or gold ink
  • Paint pen

To make

For this simple decoration, pick fresh oak leaves and set them inside an old phone book to press them. Depending on the humidity level, you'll need at least a week for this. If you're pressed for time, use a microwave flower press (available at Lee Valley Tools, $29.50) for leaves that are pressed in minutes.

Spread newspaper or an old plastic tablecloth in a well-ventilated area (the garage or outside) that is out of the wind. Spray the leaves with gold spray paint. If you'd rather not use spray paint, you can brush on a thin coat of gold paint or sponge gold ink onto the leaf. Allow one side to dry before turning the leaves over and painting the other side. Use a paint pen to write names onto the leaves once the paint has dried.

Set the leaf as is on or near the dinner plate or, combine it with a larger preserved oak leaf as shown in the photo.

Jennifer Roos is a craft book author, freelance writer and photographer living in Quispamsis, New Brunswick.

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