Make it: Start by gluing some fun scrapbook paper to the bottom of a cookie tray. Then, make your tree out of construction paper -- cutting out and gluing on a trunk, a tree top, and a little sign with your family's name. Once your tree's in place, glue down some family photos with a square of construction paper to serve as mini frames. Make a leaf rubbing for each member of the family by placing a leaf (vein side up) between two pieces of plain white paper and rubbing a crayon over the top sheet. Cut out your leaf rubbings, mark each with your family member's name and birthday, and glue according to your photos.
Maple Leaf Decals
Use a maple leaf template to turn a drab white dresser into a chic and playful addition to your kid's room.
Make it: Start by painting the drawers of your dresser green, or any color you like. While they are drying, trace a maple leaf with the stem onto a piece of cardboard and cut out for your template. Using your template, trace a few leaves onto the back of the ConTact paper, and cut out with an X-Acto knife. Decide how you want to arrange your decals, peel off the paper, and stick them to your drawers. Trim the edges where necessary and press the decals down from the center to the edges to minimize air bubbles.
Leaf Wall Display
Take a design cue from nature and mimic a gust of wind blowing leaves up your wall.
What you'll need: red and yellow leaves, heavy books, Mod Podge, foam brush
Make it: After collecting your leaves from the yard, press them flat and dry by sticking them under a heavy book. Decide how you want to display your leaves and apply a coat of Mod Podge to the back of each leaf. Stick them in a swoop up your furniture and walls, pressing to make sure the edges don't curl. Finally, apply another coat of Mod Podge over each of the leaves to seal -- don't worry, the glue will dry clear your walls.
Add a little fall flair to otherwise boring storage boxes by attaching pressed leaves.
What you'll need: brown and yellow leaves, heavy books, Mod Podge, foam brush
Make it: Place your leaves under a heavy book until they are pressed flat and dry. Then, paint the backs of the leaves with Mod Podge and arrange them on your storage boxes. Apply a final coat of Mod Podge over the entire leaf once it's stuck to the box to seal.
Get crafty and help your kids practice their alphabet at the same time.
What you'll need: leaves, cardboard, scissors, foam, alphabet stencils, black marker
Make it: Collect a few different types of leaves from your lawn and trace the basic shape onto a piece of cardboard. Lay your template on top of different colors of foam, trace, and cut out -- you can use wavy edged scissors for more unique shapes if you have them. Then, place each letter of your alphabet stencils on top of a leaf and color in with a black marker. Collect your letter leaves into a bucket, and have your child practice her alphabet while sticking the letters onto a tree mural on the wall or floor.
Framed Felt Leaves
Make some seasonal wall art with these leaf-inspired shadowboxes.
Make it: Gather a few leaves from your lawn and scan them into your computer. Increase the size to fill a piece of paper, print, and cut out. Use your leaf template to cut leaves from three different colors of felt and glue them onto three different patterned scrapbook paper squares. Tie small scraps of ribbon to a straight pin, and insert into your felt leaf. Place each mounted leaf inside a picture frame, and arrange on your wall as a set.
Courtesy of Kayte Terry at This Is Love Forever
Set the table for autumn with these simple leaf-printed napkins.
Make it: Start by making your napkins -- cut the fabric into four 17 x 17-inch pieces. Make the edges by first folding the side 1/4 inch and pressing, and then folding over another 1/2 inch and pressing. Repeat on all sides of each napkin and sew down all edges. Once your napkins are done, lay some newspaper down on your table to minimize the mess and begin to daub fabric paint onto one of your leaves. Before the paint dries, flip the leaf over onto the fabric and roll a brayer over the leaf to print it. Continue with your leaves, alternating shapes and colors until you're happy with the design, and iron on the wrong side of the fabric to set the paint.
Courtesy of Say Yes to Hoboken
Use pretty colored fall leaves to craft this masquerade mask for your kids to play dress-up with.
Make it: Glue down each leaf one by one onto the plastic mask, slightly overlapping each leaf. Flip the mask over once it's covered and carefully cut out each eye hole. To make the beak, glue several leaves onto the nose pointing out.
Courtesy of A Subtle Revelry
Leaf Name Cards
Direct your guests to their seats with these stamped table place cards.
What you'll need: leaves, stamp pad with ink, alphabet or name stamps
Make it: Collect a pile of leaves from outside and stamp your guests' names using a dark ink color -- spell out names with alphabet letters if you don't have everyone's names.
Courtesy of No Time for Flash Cards
Leaf Rubbing Tree
This creative craft is a great activity for even the littlest kids.
Make it: Place the leaves vein side up under a piece of paper, and use the side of a crayon to make a rubbing of the leaf. Cut out each leaf. Stand up your paper towel roll and tape on your leaf rubbings to make a bushy tree.
Courtesy of GardenMama
Keep a stack of your favorite fall foliage with this pretty pressed book.
Make it: Cut a bunch of squares from a cardboard box and from colored cardstock to the same size. Glue one piece of cardstock onto each cardboard square. To make the front cover, cut a piece of bark to size and glue it down with some of the cardstock. Using one of your leaves as a template, cut a leaf shape out of some newspaper and lightly coat with some paint -- use just enough so the newsprint will show through. Then, collect some leaves and place each leaf between two pieces of cardboard. Add as your find leaves you love.
Courtesy of That Artist Woman
Salt Dough Prints
Print, bake, and paint some salt dough spheres with your favorite fall leaves.
What you'll need: salt dough, leaves, round container or bowl, parchment paper, cookie sheet, oven, acrylic paint, Mod Podge
Make it: Once you've made your salt dough (visit That Artist Woman?s blog for a recipe), roll out the dough and cut several rounds using a circular container or bowl. Then, press your leaf into the dough -- when you remove the leaf there should be a detailed imprint. Place your dough on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake at 250 degrees for about 2 - 3 hours or until hard. Once cool, use acrylic paint in fun fall colors. Let dry and then apply a coat of glossy Mod Podge as a sealer.
- Visit That Artist Woman for more details on Salt Dough Prints, and to get the recipe for salt dough.
Courtesy of Urban Comfort
Art meets DIY décor with a framed leaf print collage.
Make it: Gather some different shaped leaves from your yard and press them flat under a heavy book. To make your prints as precise as possible, smear some ink onto a piece of glass and carefully lay your leaf with the veined side facing down. Lay a piece of wax paper on top of the leaf and roll over with the brayer. Remove the wax paper, remove the leaf with tweezers, and press it onto a piece of paper or cardstock. Lay another piece of wax paper on top and use the brayer to roll over the leaf. Arrange your prints onto cardboard and then frame.
Go all-natural with this craft by using fall leaves and sunlight to make framed prints.
Make it: Dab some glue onto the leaf and stick onto the construction paper. Tape the paper to a window and leave for three or four days until the sun has left a leaf print on the paper. Remove from the window and gently peel leaf off to reveal the print. Frame and hang together to make a set.
Courtesy of Clover Lane
Waxed Leaves Garland
Keep your fall décor simple with a natural leaf banner.
What you'll need: paraffin wax, aluminum pan, leaves, newspaper, wax paper, string
Make it: Melt the wax over low heat in your aluminum pan on your stove. Cover your counter with newspaper for an easier cleanup, then hold the stem of each leaf, dip them in melted wax, and set on wax paper to dry. Once all your leaves are dipped and dried, string them together by the stems and hang in your window.
Copyright © 2011 Meredith Corporation.
After you collect your leaves, grab a few sticks to make these cute rafts.