Preserve fall foliage to make it last all year long--in your home.

"Leaf" It to Mother Nature: Falling for Creative Fall Crafts

October 17, 2013
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'Tis the season for tree canopies to explode with color. Tree leaves exemplify the sun's gradually diminishing heat as the brightest of warm hues paint splotches of color along the surface. Oranges, yellows , reds and plums drape each tree leaf with such beauty for such a brief period of time you can only wish it would last all year long.

Although Mother Nature limits the highly anticipated fall foliage color show to only a few months of the year, you can preserve autumn's aura by dedicating a bit of extra care, attention and creativity to the leaves falling from the trees.

Why not share the love you're feeling for fall by preserving some of its best assets--crisp, brightly colored leaves, freshly fallen from the trees--and transforming them into art? Dry and press them like flower petals between the pages of old books and newspapers. Hang them like garland from the railings along your staircase or front porch. Or coat them in wax or Mod Podge® to protect the leaves from losing their color throughout the coming seasons.

fall craft fall leaf rubbings
Say hello to fall.

Then, dig into the paper scraps, crayons, paint, embellishments and more. You're ready to start crafting.

Below are some ideas for fall leaf crafts you can make at home with friends and family.

Fall Craft Idea No. 1: Fall Leaf Rubbings

Description: An easy, kid-friendly fall craft project you can display on the fridge, on the wall or in a frame.

Materials:

  • dry (not crumbling) leaves
  • crayons (with paper removed)
  • white paper

Instructions:

  1. Place a leaf beneath one sheet of paper. You may use tape to prevent the leaf from sliding around.
  2. Rub a crayon horizontally on the sheet of paper but across the surface of the leaf underneath.
  3. Alternate fall leaf shapes and crayon colors to create your own fall foliage collage on paper.

Fall Craft Idea No. 2: Fall Leaf Lantern

fall craft fall leaf mason jar craft
Use Mod Podge to secure dry, fall leaves to the inside of a Mason jar to create a beautiful "leaf lantern."

Description: A unique way to show off and illuminate the fall leaf colors you find in your yard. Note: With Mod Podge® involved, this project could get a little messy!

Materials:

  • Mod Podge
  • Mason jar
  • 8 - 10 dried, pressed leaves
  • small paint brush
  • tea light candle

Instructions:

  1. Use the paint brush to lightly coat a leaf with Mod Podge on both sides.
  2. Gently place the leaf against the inside of the Mason jar. Make sure the leaf lays flat against the glass with minimal bubbles.
  3. Repeat the process until you have covered the inside of the jar with leaves. You can try several varieties and colors of leaves, as well as placement.
  4. Set the jar aside to dry overnight, or until the Mod Podge has dried completely; you'll notice a glossy coating on the leaves when they're dry.
  5. Place the tea light candle at the bottom of the jar and light it for a beautiful fall glow.

Fall Craft Idea No. 3: Fall Leaf Wreath

Description: A festive, decorative piece you can make yourself and proudly hang from your front door or above the fireplace. The fun part? Every wreath is unique.

Materials:

  • wreath base (Options include but are not limited to: twigs, wire, Styrofoam™ and more.)
  • dry (not crumbling) colored leaves
  • glue gun with glue sticks
  • scissors
  • ribbon
  • wire or pipe cleaners
  • garland, cloth flowers, burlap, etc. (Use additional materials at your discretion!)

Instructions:

fall craft fall leaf wreath idea
A festive fall wreath you can hang on your front door or above the fireplace.
  1. Remove any loose twigs or other materials from your wreath base.
  2. Determine the wreath's layout by arranging your materials in order before attaching them to the base.
  3. Check the position of the wreath base to make sure the hanging apparatus is located at or near the top, then begin attaching materials. If you're using ribbon, wrap it around or attach it to your wreath first, then apply all other materials one at a time. While some materials may require the glue gun for stability, others will need extra wiring for stable, proper attachment.
  4. Before you display the finished product (or gift it to someone else), check all areas of the wreath for loose materials. Then, you're ready to show off your work.

Feeling inspired? We'd love to see ways fall foliage has encouraged you to get creative. Share your fall craft idea with us below!

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