If seasons had goals, autumn’s goal would be to awaken our senses. The flavor and fragrance of pumpkin spice is everywhere. Fallen leaves crunch underfoot while fires crackle in fireplaces. The crisp air causes exposed cheeks to tingle. And the bursts of red, orange and yellow make every landscape a feast for the eyes. With all that sensory input, it’s no wonder so many people feel a sudden urge to get creative!
Are you (and your kids) among them? Then try out these simple fall crafts to bring home some of the beauty of the season. Or get the entire community involved by hosting a craft day in your clubhouse or meeting room.
Pretty in Pinecones
It’s fun to collect pinecones, but what can you do with them all? Plenty! Before you start, though, you’ll want to get rid of any sticky sap or insects that may have hitched a ride. To do this, cover a cookie sheet with foil, and spread your pinecones on it. “Bake” in a 200-degree oven for about 30 minutes.
Pinecone centerpiece – This ultra-simple craft makes a bold statement.
- A large, decorative bowl (preferably wood)
- A candle in a glass candleholder
Place the candleholder in the center of the bowl. Fill the bowl with pinecones. That’s it!
Pinecone garlands – Hang these along a mantel or bannister for a rustic, country look.
- Sturdy string
- 8-inch pieces of ribbon
- A stapler
Measure the distance where you want to hang your garland, and cut your string about 2 feet longer. Loop the string around the top of a pinecone and tie tightly. Fold a ribbon in half over the string next to the pinecone and staple just under the string. Continue doing this until you’ve filled up the string, making sure to leave some excess at both ends. Attach your garland securely.
Ombre pinecones – Fill a bowl with these striking pinecones, or place just a few on a table or mantel.
- Acrylic paint in 3 shades of each color you want to use
- A small, angled paintbrush
Starting with your darkest shade, paint the tips of the bottom 1/3 of a pinecone. Repeat with the next darkest shade for the middle 1/3 and your lightest shade for the top 1/3. You may want to use 4 shades for large pinecones.
Gourgeous Gourds and Pumpkins
Nothing says “autumn” like gourds and pumpkins. This year, turn them into a work of art for something a little different!
Gourds with bling – Gourds may be seasonal, but you’ll want to leave these on display all year long.
- Dried gourds (make sure they’re dried)
- Acrylic gems with flat backs
- Your choice of white, silver or gold felt-tipped paint pens or permanent markers
- Tacky glue
- Gold glitter glue
Put a generous dab of glue on the back of your gems and press them onto the gourd. Use your pens/markers to create designs around the gems. Add some gold glitter glue to your design for some extra blingyness.
Painted pumpkins with a pop – Avoid the mess of carving by creating a canvas on the outside of your pumpkin.
- White spray paint
- Gold paint
- Colorful leaves
- All-in-one glue, like Mod Podge glue
- Paint brush
Spray paint your pumpkin. After it dries, apply a coat of glue. Arrange your leaves while the glue is sticky. Apply a top coat of glue, then paint the stem gold.
Seasonal vases – Small pumpkins and gourds can easily be turned into vases that will last a bit longer than your flowers.
- A gourd or mini pumpkin
- A large, sharp knife or pumpkin carving kit
Cut off the top of the gourd/pumpkin with your knife. Use your spoon to scoop out the “meat” and seeds. Fill with water, and arrange your flowers.
Whispy Wheat Stalks
Yes, dried wheat can add an interesting element to your décor. It’ll remind your guests of the fall harvest.
Wheat wrapped in color – This easy craft adds a touch of color and can be used in a variety of ways: as a centerpiece, for place settings or to decorate gifts.
- Dried wheat stalks
- Embroidery floss in a variety of colors
- Glass vase (for centerpiece)
Combine about 5 to 7 wheat stalks for each bunch. Tie the stems together with embroidery floss slightly below the spike (or ear) and tie a tight knot. Wrap the floss around the bunch by spinning the wheat until you’ve covered about 2 inches of the stems with floss. Tie another knot. Use different colors for your bunches. Trim the stems to fit your vase. For place settings or gifts, trim them short.
Wheat wreath – This project isn’t difficult, but it’ll “wow” everyone who comes to your door!
- Wheat stems
- 16-inch wreath frame
- Paddle wire
- Wire cutters
- Wreath hanger
- Ribbon, twigs with berries or other decorations (optional)
- Floral pins (optional)
Securely tie the wire to your wreath frame. Wrap the wire several times, leaving it attached to the spool. Divide the wheat into bundles – big bundles if you want a thick wreath, smaller bundles for a lighter wreath. Take one bunch and angle it to the side of the frame. Tie it securely to the frame by wrapping the wire around the stems. Cut off the excess stems. Continue doing this with each bundle, angling them in alternating directions (facing inward and outward). When you’re done attaching all your bundles, tie off the wire and cut it. Attach small bundles with wire to fill in any gaps. If you’d like, you can attach a ribbon or other decorations with floral pins. Hang the wreath hanger on your front door and gently place your wreath on it.
With these beautiful decorating projects, you’ll have your home fall ready in no time, but your guests will think you’ve spent hours preparing. (Don’t worry – we won’t tell!)