autumn crafts

Everyone’s favorite season has finally arrived! And with it comes the changing of leaves on deciduous trees. While raking the lawn might not be your favorite chore, you can at least have fun with a variety of fall-themed craft activities. The following ideas are great for kids and adults alike, and can help you use some of your favorite fall leaves in your home decor.

Leaf pressing. Make sure to fold your leaves inside a piece of paper before placing them within a large book. Then add books on top to create pressure on the leaf. Check your leaves after one week to be sure they’re drying (rather than rotting). Continue to press for another week or so, until fully dried and flat.

If you want to create more supple pressed leaves, soak them in diluted fabric softener before starting the pressing process.

Preserving leaves. Choose leaves that have already partially dried, and then sandwich them between two sheets of wax paper. Place a cloth on top of the wax paper and set your iron to the high setting. Slowly iron your leaves without pressing too hard, so that they don’t shift inside the wax paper.

You’re finished when the wax paper sheets have melted and sealed the leaves inside. Then allow the leaves to cool and carefully cut them out with scissors, leaving a margin around the edge so that the wax paper remains sealed.

Concrete stepping stones. Leaves can serve as nature’s stamps to create fun designs in concrete stepping stones. Coat your chosen molds with vegetable oil, and paint a thin layer of oil on the vein side of the leaf. Pour concrete into the molds and press your leaf, vein side down, into the top of the concrete.

Then press the leaf by covering it with small rocks for 24 hours. Gently peel the leaf out of the concrete, then remove your new stepping stone from the mold. Use your stepping stones anywhere you need a decorative pathway, or simply scatter them around the garden to add a personal touch.

Use your new items in fall decorations, or mix them in with year-round decor. But most of all, have fun!