Bring the beauty of colorful fall foliage indoors with these simple crafts that use leaves to create seasonal home accents. Best of all, you can use them from early fall all the way through Thanksgiving.
Mix and match leaves for a mantel full of fall crafts. An old cigar box showcases a multihue leaf display. On the wall, leafy greens seemingly grow out of a pair of birch photo frames.
For fun labels, trace the outline of a leaf onto cardstock and cut out. Host a wine-tasting party and use these festive labels to help guests identify their favorite.
A maple leaf takes flight when it turns into artwork. Trim out a butterfly head from the top point of a maple leaf. Press the leaf in a book until dry; spray the leaf with varnish to preserve its color. Mount it in a floating frame as a sentiment of the season. Designer: Jeannie Stout, evLien Designs
As ornaments or tags, these transformed leaves are sure to delight. Use spray adhesive to adhere pressed, varnished leaves to cardstock. Trim around the edges, leaving a 1/4-inch space. Punch a hole at the top and tie pretty ribbon through. Designer: Jeannie Stout, evLien Designs
Create a modern piece of wall art by wrapping fall-theme paper around everyday mailing tubes. Attach the tubes together and hang from a single hanger, or try staggering individual tubes on the wall with adhesive dots for a unique look.
Make personal cards or envelopes with decorative leaves on top. Simply dry and press leaves, punch a leaf shape from the middle of one, stack on a folded card or envelope, and adhere. Designer: Jeannie Stout, evLien Designs
Add an air of fall to a nook in any room with leaf decals. Arrange pressed leaves in a falling pattern and attach to the wall with tape. Or try photocopying leaves and tracing them onto cardstock for a different look.
Preserve the vibrant hues of fall foliage between two pieces of glass. First press leaves between the pages of a book. When completely dry, place a pressed leaf between two pieces of glass. (Have the pieces cut to the desired size by a local glass cutter or home improvement store.) Wrap colored linen book cloth tape around the edges of the glass to secure.
Stencil or attach leaves onto heavyweight paper and fold into cute boxes. They make perfect gift boxes or accent pieces on a shelf.
Gather pressed and varnished leaves and a plain picture frame mat to make a fall-worthy display. Lay your mat on a work surface and brush decoupage medium all around it. One at a time, press leaves into the mat, folding them over the edges. Cut any excess with a crafts knife. Designer: Jeannie Stout, evLien Designs
Turn a short tree branch into a striking autumnal centerpiece. Weight a pot with stones and fill with dry florist's foam to secure the branch, then wrap the pot in a drawstring jute bag and flank with arrangements in fall-inspired colors.
Garnish plain pillar candles with leaves for an elegant yet understated display. Determine the placement of leaves on each candle, then decoupage them into place. If necessary, use tacky white crafts glue to hold the stems down. Cover the candles and leaves with one or more coats of decoupage medium.
Create this naturally beautiful art piece and you'll be set for the fall season -- from Halloween to Thanksgiving. It starts with an inexpensive crafts store picture frame and some favorite fall finds. Adhere acorn caps to the frame using hot glue. Cover the backing of the frame with a piece of burlap. Glue a vibrant fall leaf and a petite twig to the burlap in the center of the frame.
This parade of fall leaves proves that garlands aren't just for the Christmas season. The holiday classic can be adapted for any celebration, and this one is just right for autumn, Halloween, or Thanksgiving. Gather an assortment of colorful fall leaves (we used oak leaves) and use a needle to thread them onto a string, secure with knots at the ends, and tack onto the edge of a table, across a stair rail, or around a door frame.
This easy bookmark ensures you'll never lose your spot again. Simply cut a circle from a basic leaf, trim out a jack-o'-lantern face, and use spray adhesive to make it the final "O" on a handmade bookmark. Designer: Jeannie Stout, evLien Designs
Editor's Tip: Dry the leaf in a book before crafting. Once dry, spray varnish on the leaf to preserve its color.
Surround a warm greeting in a basic picture frame. Using a computer, print "Welcome" onto a sheet of paper to fit your frame. (You also can handwrite the word or spell it out with letter stickers.) Gently adhere leaves to the paper using double-stick tape. Place the finished greeting in a frame and prop it on an entry table or hang it on the front door to greet guests.
Swap your traditional round wreath for a leafy monogram. Paint a papier-mache letter and let dry. Hot-glue dried or silk leaves to the front. Shape a piece of wire into a hanging loop, and hot-glue it to the back of the letter.
Turn an ordinary white tablecloth into a fall sensation. Center the tablecloth on your table. Just below the top edge of the table, hot-glue or pin grosgrain ribbon onto the tablecloth. From fall-color cardstock and decorative paper, trace various leaves; cut out. Glue them in clusters to the ribbon. Glue just the centers of the leaves so the edges curl up naturally.
This happy little fellow offers a no-cost way to greet guests. Trim a round pumpkin shape from a leaf and cut out jack-o'-lantern features as shown. Use spray adhesive to mount the happy face to the top of a place card. Designer: Jeannie Stout, evLien Designs
A simple pressed fern branch makes a seasonal art statement. Place a dry (but not brittle) fern branch between layers of newspaper, then top with several heavy books to press. Glue photocopies of pages from old books or newspapers to the backing of a picture frame. Decoupage the pressed branch to the page background and place in the picture frame, then hang your work of art.