In many parts of the country, when colorful foliage brightens streets and nippy mornings are followed by warm, sunny afternoons, fall has arrived. From back-to-school to hours spent jumping in piles of leaves, autumn is a special time of year for children and adults alike. This fall, bring the beauty of this season indoors with kid-friendly do-it-yourself (DIY) projects that take advantage of nature’s bounty.
Fall Foliage Bouquet
This decoration may be simple to make, but it adds a dramatic splash of color and height to your home. Best of all, even the youngest members of the family can help. Simply clip a few branches from a tree whose leaves have turned bright colors and arrange them in your favorite vase. Stick with all one color for a more formal look, or choose branches in shades of red, gold and orange for a burst of vibrant color. The taller the branches, the more striking the look. Use your fall foliage bouquet as a centerpiece or on a foyer table.
Create a lovely fireplace or door garland from leaves, nuts and natural objects found in the backyard or a neighborhood park. Send the kids on a scavenger hunt for intact autumn leaves, acorns, walnuts, pine cones and bark. Place a leaf under paper and rub across its top with the side of an autumn-hued crayon. Repeat the process with other leaves. Cut out the resulting leaf rubbings and punch a hole in the top. String a piece of natural-looking twine through the leaf rubbings, creating a garland. Use glue, picture wire, or a hot glue gun to affix the nuts, pine cones and bark, attaching them to the twine between the leaves.
Creative Candle Holder
This DIY fall craft starts with an afternoon gathering colorful fall leaves with your family. Press the leaves inside a heavy book, allowing them to dry and flatten for a few days. Coat a glass vase, jar or other container with a thin layer of Mod Podge®. Gently, but firmly, press the flat, dry leaves onto the jar; finish by adding another thin layer of Mod Podge® over the top of the leaves and container.
Create a lovely DIY wreath for the front door with leaves collected during long fall walks. It may take a few outings to collect enough leaves, so gather as many as you can whenever you take a stroll. You can always make the wreath in stages, adding more leaves after each walk.
Bend a metal coat hanger into a rounded shape; use wire snips to cut open the circle in one place. Poking the cut end of the coat hanger through the center of each leaf. Semi-moist leaves work best. Continue until the wreath is as thick and full as you’d like it to be, then use the wire snips to twist the open ends of the hanger together. Hang the wreath using a ribbon, allowing the leaves to dry as they hang.
If you have access to dried corn (not popcorn), use it to create garlands. Simply harvest the dried kernels and soak them in water overnight. The next day, thread a needle and string though each kernel, as if it were a bead. If you don’t have enough for a garland, create a necklace or bracelet. A thimble can help fingers push the needle through the “beads.”
DIY crafts bring the natural beauty of fall indoors while providing hours of fun, creative play for you and your kids.