First, decide the size and paper you want to use for the placemats. An easy option on size is to just use construction paper and white printer paper. Trim an inch off each size of the printer paper so that you can place it in the center of the construction paper and have a border. For best results, draw your placemat before you glue it onto the construction paper but after trimming the copy paper down.
Second, determine how many placemats to make. Do you want to have them for all the guests, or just the children? (It can be fun to have one for everyone to color!) It is always a good idea to make sure you have extras just in case. Also, make sure you have enough extra materials for a few mistakes while making your placemats.
Now it is time to decide what you would like on your placemat! Have the kids who will be making them draw a few things they would like to include. For a quick tutorial on how to draw a turkey, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOkLfOXt3yk. Some other ideas are pilgrims, Thanksgiving dinner, cornucopia, pumpkins, fall leaves, scarecrow, football, or anything that is fun to the children making the placemats. Carefully draw out the placemat in pencil, and then go over the pencil with marker, pen or dark crayon. You can also use images from thanksgiving coloring books. Just cut out the images and glue them down on your copy paper!
Once the colorable portion is done, carefully center the drawing on your construction paper, and glue down. Be sure there is enough time for the glue to dry before guests arrive. Another fun festive idea is to use holiday stickers on the four corners of the drawings as a way to affix them to the construction paper.