Monday, January 16, 2012

Banana Leaf Table Decor (Cuba)

As I began my search for fun Cuban snacks, crafts, and dinner table decor, I read somewhere that we should use banana leaves for place mats. I immediately fell in love with the idea of having banana leaf place mats, but we live in the cold north east and there are no banana leaves to be had. My parents have a nice banana palm in their living room, but convincing them to let me cut leaves to use as place mats would be asking too much (and they'd say, "No" anyway). 

Then came the idea to make banana leaf place mats. I went to the dollar store and picked up some green poster board and some darker green yarn. I made a template from a piece of cardboard and each of us traced the shape of the leaf, then cut the leaf out. 

Next we used a hole punch and put holes all the way around the edge, and two rows down the center of the leaf. Then, just as my littles used to work on their fine motor skills doing the lacing cards, we each laced our "veins" of the banana leaf. 

As we worked I wasn't quite sure how they were going to look. We had to double up a few of the laces to keep the angle of the "veins" looking like a real leaf. Now that they are done, I think that they look very nice and even though they don't look quite like a real banana leaf, they will look quite lovely on our dinner table in a couple of weeks as we conclude our tour of Cuba.

If you missed any of the Cuban posts so far, you can find the flag here, the first craft project here, and a delicious snack here


  1. Raina! What a great idea! why aren't you a teacher again??? Keep the posts coming!

  2. Ha! Thanks! We are having a lot of fun with it! Thanks for reading! Check back every Monday and Thursday to see what kind of shenanigans we're up to (those are my posting days) :)

  3. Those look amazing Raina! You have really rocked the whole Cuba section. Great art, great food great pics!

  4. I'm the Editor of Fun Family Crafts and wanted to let you know that we have featured your banana leaf placemat! You can see it here:

    If you have other kid-friendly craft tutorials, we'd love for you to submit them. Thanks for a great project idea!


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