Our fall favorites are here! 🍂

We’re now in the throws of fall and I am jealous of my Nebraska friends! Sure, we may eat our Thanksgiving dinner on the back patio here in Arizona – but there’s something about a Nebraska Thanksgiving, even with the cooler temperatures. When I lived there, I spent my Thanksgivings with dear friends in Ord and cherish those memories!

Today, I’ve got a simple and inexpensive DIY project for your Thanksgiving table.

These burlap placemats personalized with your guest’s initials will surely make your table setting a hit this year! Plus, they are a three-in-one deal…

  1. Placemats (obviously!)
  2. Creative alternative to place cards.
  3. Party favor! Each guest can take theirs with them when they go (hopefully, there’s not a lot of cranberry-sauce-spillage!).

Sold? Okay! Let’s get started. Here are the items you’ll need:

  1. Burlap – I got mine at a local fabric store for $2.99/yard. 1 yard will yield 4 placemats.
  2. Fabric paint in the color of your choice (I went with a simple chocolate brown). You can pick this up at Hobby Lobby, Walmart or any fabric/craft store
  3. Small sponge brush – got mine for $0.57 at Home Depot
  4. Stencils – I had some lying around from another project, but you can also pick these up (for cheap!) at any craft store.
  5. Intel on your guest’s initials. If they’re family, you’re probably good – but if some friends are joining you, you might have to do some investigating!

The first thing you’ll need to do is cut the burlap into placemats.

I simply folded the burlap in half, and then made a cut every 16 inches with my circle cutter. I then went back and cut along the fold.

Before you start painting, make sure you fray the edges. Do that by pulling out a few strands until you get the desired amount of fray along all four sides.

Remember, burlap is porous, so keep that in mind when you get set up to start painting.

I recommend a setup like this. The box allows for the extra paint to bleed through and not ruin anything – while pins hold the letters in place.

Quick note: I prefer putting the letters in one of the placemat’s four corners. As you see, I put them in the bottom, right corner. This way, they’ll show up even when covered with plates, utensils and napkins. However, you should paint them wherever you like them – in the middle, top-center, bottom-center, etc… The possibilities are endless! Adjust this tutorial accordingly.

Start with the last initial along the edge and work from right to left. That will ensure you have enough room for all three letters.

I like a solid, not faded look. So, I was generous with the amount of paint I loaded up on my sponge brush. Use less paint if you’re going for a subtle look.

Then, sponge away! Be careful to press into the burlap in an up and down motion. Do not use brush strokes as if you are painting a wall. That will pull out the “hair” on the burlap and cause quite a mess.

Repeat for each letter and put them as close together as you want them.

Allow 24 hours for your placemats to thoroughly dry. I found a ladder to be a suitable spot for that process.

Use them with pride as you decorate your table. Your guests will have fun finding their spot by spotting their initials. Your friends will be impressed that you took the time to find their special three letters!

When the meal is done, simply tuck them into the bags of leftovers you send home with each guest. They’ll have something more than a turkey hangover to remember the day!

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Michelle Fortin

Michelle Fortin and her husband, Jason blog about their DIY home improvement adventures on their site, Making Our Dream. That’s where you’ll also hear more about her life as a part-time SAHM to Kenton (born 5/2011) and baby #2 – due to arrive in October 2012. In addition to being a wife and mom, Michelle also teaches broadcast journalism at Arizona State University, is actively involved in her local MOPS group, dabbles in photography, and is a self-confessed social media addict. Currently, she lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, where she and Jason bought their first home in 2009. It was a foreclosure that’s needed quite a bit of work! If Michelle looks familiar, that may be because you remember her as Michelle Frey – when she anchored the weekend newscasts on NTV a few years ago. She also taught a few classes at UNK. The years she spent in central Nebraska produced some of the best memories and dearest friends a girl could ask for – which is why she’s thrilled to be a part of the Her View From Home team.

Lent For Kids: 40 Ways To Spend 40 Days

In: Featured, Kids
Cross with bird

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season leading to Easter. Our 3-year-old has been talking about the Easter bunny since January, when he finally understood that Christmas was over. While I’m happy he’s excited for the upcoming holiday, I really want to find some good, concrete ways to help him learn that this time of year is not only about bunnies and candy in eggs. So, I’ve decided to come up with 40 ways to spend the 40 days of Lent with kids. Some of these will work better with older children, while others are great for...

Keep Reading

Chocolate Pot de Crème

In: Featured, Kitchen

Chocolate and romance go hand in hand and with Valentine’s Day around the bend, why not have a beautifully simple and romantic dessert on the menu? With Valentine’s Day falling on a Saturday, it might be a little more difficult to get those reservations to go out to eat to celebrate. If you end up staying home, why not have an easy, romantic dessert to finish your meal? Made in a blender or food processor and refrigerated, this recipe is easy to make and the result can be a beautiful and elegant dessert that will put the perfect cap on...

Keep Reading

Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup

In: Featured, Kitchen

Written By:  Rachel Gnagy @ Inscribed Photography & Design (recipe originally from here) One of my favorite ‘girly’ meals to make is soup served in bread bowls. I love getting the Broccoli Cheese soup at Quizno’s (it’s healthy because it has broccoli, right?) and Panera’s Cream of Chicken & Wild Rice soup. YUM. So when I saw a recipe on Pinterest for creamy chicken and rice soup, I thought I would give it a try! You will need: 1 Tablespoon of olive oil 2-3 carrots, sliced 2 cloves of garlic, minced 5 cups of chicken stock 1 cup of cooked chicken,...

Keep Reading

Chicken Cordon Bleu for Two

In: Featured, Kitchen

Written By:  Rachel @ Inscribed Photography (Recipe originally from here) Valentine’s Day is coming up and with that in mind I wanted to bring you an easy, delicious meal for you and your special man. This recipe is by far the easiest Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe and it is super yummy too! Pair it with some steamed veggies on the side and something chocolatey for dessert and you’re all set for a romantic dinner for two. For the chicken, you will need: 2 chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise 8 slices of deli ham 8 slices of Swiss cheese 1...

Keep Reading

Easy Weeknight Beef Stroganoff

In: Featured, Kitchen

We all have those heirloom recipes we grew up with, but when you get married you inherit a whole new set of recipes your spouse grew up with, too. This stroganoff recipe is one that my husband grew up eating and then cooked frequently for himself before I took over in the kitchen. (ha.) He made it for me once while we were dating, and I will admit – I was super skeptical. Generally, these sorts of humble dishes aren’t my cup of tea – the ones made with cream-of canned soups and noodles. However, I tried it and was...

Keep Reading

Hanging Onto Hope: The Dream That Saved My Baby Girl

In: Faith, Featured, Journal, Kids
Hanging Onto Hope: The Dream That Saved My Baby Girl www.herviewfromhome.com

Family and friends often assure pregnant women that their “maternal instincts” can be relied on to guide them into motherhood. This previously undiscovered gift will reveal itself the first time she holds her child. As a mother of four I believe in this instinct, but also recognize that experience and wisdom help. The birth of our fifth child, Kinsley, has introduced me to another source of guidance and strength that I never anticipated. Kinsley was born the day after Christmas. She was pink, beautiful and certified by the medical staff as being in perfect health. She was welcomed with unconditional...

Keep Reading

Bow Your Head and Vote, Yes the Outcome is Rigged

In: Featured
Bow Your Head and Vote, Yes the Outcome is Rigged www.herviewfromhome.com

“Keep in mind this is God’s plan! And who am I to dare question God’s plan!” I say it over and over as I watch this mess unfold before me. This mess, America is calling an election. I have never been impressed with the two-party system. It allows too much power to a select few and limits our freedoms. So, as I watch and listen and pray, as Trump and Clinton march to the White House, I only hope more Americans now see the disaster that is the two-party system. Two people that should be sitting in jail are now...

Keep Reading

This Kick-Ass Cancer Survivor Shares 20 Easy Ways To Make Your Life Healthier Today

In: Featured, Health, Healthy Living, Mental Health, Motherhood
This Kick-Ass Cancer Survivor Shares 20 Easy Ways To Make Your Life Healthier Today www.herviewfromhome.com

I recently went through quite an experience with my health. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in September of 2015. Following my diagnosis, I underwent a treatment regimen of chemotherapy, double mastectomy, and then, 28 rounds of radiation.  Before my diagnosis, I felt the healthiest I have probably, in my whole life. I was exercising regularly. Eating, conscious of my health. And after birthing three kids in 6 years, finding ways to focus on myself once again. And then — WHAM — cancer.  Excuuuuuuuuse me?!?! Cancer?!? I was, for all intents and purposes, a 33-year-old with great habits and a great...

Keep Reading

The Great Melt Down

In: Faith, Featured, Kids, Kitchen
The Great Melt Down www.herviewfromhome.com

When my brother Bobby and I were little kids, one of the great treats of summer was a journey to a neighboring town where my dad would buy each of us a hand-dipped ice cream cone. During the drive home, my mom would turn around from the front seat and point out drips that we back-seat-riders needed to lick up quick. I, the ever-eager pleaser, would anxiously eat my ice cream as quickly as possible, barely taking a breath between licks. Bobby, on the other hand, came up with the more reasonable response. He would grin at Mom and bite...

Keep Reading

The Best (and free) Drug Prevention Strategy

In: Featured, Health, Healthy Living, Kids, Relationships
The Best (and free) Drug Prevention Strategy www.herviewfromhome.com

A secret Facebook group has been uncovered by police that connects kids as young as 12 years-old to places where they can buy drugs. (see the link to the story at the end of this blog)  Shocking? Yes. Surprising? No. Kids find a way, don’t they? So what can we do? There are apps we can buy. There are rules we can make. There are punishments we can deliver.  Yet the best prevention of all is our relationship with our young people.  Time together, conversation, and honest sharing of our lives is the most effective way to influence our kids–even...

Keep Reading