Quick Nature Crafts

Branches in planter with hanging messages
Make these naturally beautiful crafts with items collected from a nature hike and your crafts store.

Earthy Wooden Plaque

With a purchased wood slice as the background, this autumn scene can be created in minutes. Hot-glue six twigs in place as shown, and finish the floral-inspired design with acorn parts and mini pinecones.

Glitzy Acorns

Use acorns as a sophisticated display in your home. Mix silver glitter with silver paint and coat the acorn caps or the acorn body. Group them in a bowl for shine or scatter them with other natural elements for a pop of sparkle.

Pressed Framed Leaves

Inspired by the pages of old encyclopedias, framed leaves are a quick, artful craft. On a piece of neutral cardstock, print the name of a leaf in a nostalgic font. Adhere a pressed leaf to the cardstock. With crafts glue, attach nearly straight twigs to the edge of the cardstock to make a frame.

Pinecone Tree Display

Capture the spare forms of the winter landscape with twigs clipped from the yard. Stand the branches in a glass vase and hang small pinecones and snowflake ornaments from them. To support the branches, tuck them in among glass baubles and more pinecones. Insert delicate spruce or fir shoots into the baubles.

Acorn Basket Embellishment

A walk through the woods and the ability to trigger a hot-glue gun are all it takes to embellish a woven basket. Glue tiny pinecones in acorn caps to march along the rim between acorns. Complete the band using more mini pinecones and acorns.

Acorn Bouquet

To make these cute "blooms," drill a hole through an acorn and loop wire through, twisting the ends to form a stem. Use hot glue to fasten five acorn cap "petals."

Felt Acorn Jewelry

An acorn cap and felt form a tiny flower. Cut small strips of felt and hot-glue them in an acorn cap in a desired shape. Glue the acorn cap to a bobby pin for a fun hair accessory or to embellish a place card.

Corny Picture Frame

Spruce up an inexpensive crafts store frame with a trim of acorn caps affixed with hot glue. An oak leaf and twig glued to burlap make a fitting focal point.

Nature Jar Display

Remember a trip to the beach or a favorite camping trip by gathering natural elements, such as sand, rocks, or shells. Place them in glass jars and wrap the jars with raffia or twine. Cut patterned paper the size of the jar cover for a fun accent.

Rustic Mantel Display

Preserve a small tree or bush by cutting off some branches and using small pins to secure them to a piece of canvas. Place the canvas in a frame and display on a mantel for a rustic accent.

Nature's Time Capsule

Turn a snapshot or postcard into a sophisticated time capsule. Pop the card into a jar, add a few natural elements collected on a hike, screw on the lid, and tie a length of leather cord around the jar's neck.

Nature Finds in a Vase

This autumnal version of a May basket is perfect to hang on door or window locks. Choose a small jar or votive cup that has a lip or ridges at the top. Wrap wire around the jar several times, placing the wire between the ridges or under the lip. Twist the ends into a hanging loop. Fill the jar with water and a collection of herbs, pods, flowers, and berries.

Framed By Hangers

Hangers as wall art -- who knew! Paint hangers in bright green and brown. Adhere nature images to the backs. Find your art in magazines, wrapping paper, or wallpaper. Hang with clear thumbtacks.

Pretty Natural Garland

Brush pinecones with gold paint and glitter; let dry. Attach pinecones to hemp rope using heavy-gauge gold-tone wire. Tie bows of neutral ribbon over the wires. Drape the garland along your tabletop as a natural centerpiece.

Scented Herb Party Favor

Wrap pots of herbs in pieces of burlap and tie with satin ribbons to marry rustic with elegance. Give to your party guests as a parting gift.

Dazzling Napkin Rings

Hot-glue the ends of a satin ribbon piece together to make a napkin ring. Spray faux berries gold and sprinkle them with glitter; let dry. Attach the embellished berries to the ribbon using hot glue.

Tray for Nature Display

Line the bottom of a tray with a map from your favorite travel destination or hiking spot, and cover the map with a piece of glass. Place on the glass-covered tray a small photo book and natural items you have gathered.

Cork-Wrapped Candles

Cut strips of cork not quite long enough to wrap around votive candleholders. Punch holes along the ends of the cork strips. Wrap the strips around the votive holders and lace golden elastic string through the holes shoestring style.

Burlap Silverware Pouches

Cut long rectangles of burlap. Fold the burlap pieces into pouches for silverware; whipstitch or glue the edges. Fold over the top flaps and stitch or glue a button onto the fronts. Remove threads to make fringe. Place the pouches at the beginning of a buffet for guests to grab.

Fall Nest Centerpiece

Give a crafts store bird's nest a fall look by filling it with acorns, seedpods, or other fall gatherings. To paint the acorns, brush or dip the lower half in acrylic paint. Place the nest on a plate to keep things tidy.

Welcome Frame

Use fall's finest to create this easy welcome plaque for your doorway or entry table. Pick a warm-hue wooden frame and select coordinating decorative paper from the scrapbooking section at the crafts store. Print or hand-letter the word "Welcome" on the paper so it fits within the frame. Cut the paper to fit the frame. Using double-sided tape, adhere pressed leaves to the paper. Place the paper in the frame and reassemble the frame.

Tied-Up Trivet

Gather similar straight sticks and trim them all to the same length. Lay enough sticks on a work surface to make a square. Securely tape the sticks to the surface with half the length extending off the table to begin weaving. Tie yarn in a knot around the first stick, approximately 1 inch from the end. Wind yarn around the stick several times, then weave over and under across the rows. At the opposite end, wrap the yarn a few times tightly around the last stick. Weave the next row under and over in the opposite direction from the first row. Repeat until the stick ends are woven with yarn. Untape the sticks from the table and continue weaving with yarn until the trivet is secure.

Beach Mobiles

Driftwood, shells, and string are all you need for a beach-inspired mobile. Drill small holes through driftwood. Thread string through and tie a knot at one end. On the other end, tie shells. Hang from the ceiling to enjoy the beach scene every day.

Seasonal Window Swag

Bring seasonal beauty inside. Knot an assortment of tiny pumpkins and fall leaves on twine. Loop on a window as a swag.

Nature's Napkin Rings

A simple but delightful touch comes in the form of one small leaf. Find wonderfully colored little leaves to tie onto napkins for family dinners and dinner parties.

Dried Flower Wreath

What you'll need:
-- Heavy crafts wire or 7-inch metal macrame ring
-- Wire cutter
-- Dried dahlias
-- Fine crafts wire
-- Hot-glue gun and glue sticks
-- 24-inch piece of sheer white ribbon

1. To make the wreath base, form a 7-inch diameter ring from wire or use a purchased metal macrame ring.

2. Cut the stems from about 10 dried dahlias; position dahlias around the ring to test the arrangement. When the desired look is achieved, insert a small piece of fine wire into each dahlia base and twist it around the wire ring to attach. Break off pieces of an extra dahlia and glue to fill in gaps as needed.

3. Loop sheer white ribbon around the wreath. Knot or tie the ribbon ends into a bow to hang.

Neutral Nature Chair Decoration

Give a chair neutral natural elegance. Tie a jute ribbon in a bow around one chair post. Gather twigs and pheasant feathers so the feathers fan out. Secure to the chair with crafts wire. Spray-paint small pumpkins and gourds white. Hot-glue three or four to hide the wire. Finish by inserting white dried flowers.

Nature's Ornament

Put natural element inside a clear ornament. Take off the top and slip the element in, bending slightly to fit if needed. Tie a coordinating ribbon at the top.

Icy Votives

Dazzle houseguests with a path lined with votives encased in poinsettia-adorned cups of ice. Clip a small bloom off at the base. Seal the stem with a flame. Push the bloom facedown along the sides of a large plastic cup. Pour in distilled water, which makes the clearest ice. Fill one-third full. Place a second, smaller cup in the center with rocks inside it. Freeze until solid. Thaw slightly to unmold the cups.

Message Tree Centerpiece

Make a meaningful message tree for a side table or centerpiece. Place florist's foam in a decorative planter. Spray-paint found branches and stick them into the foam. Cover the foam with pretty rocks. Decorate the branches with gathered colorful leaves or leaves from the crafts store. Write messages on pieces of paper and hang with twine from the sticks.

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