Monday, October 5, 2009

10 Things To Do With Your Autumn Leaves

Admittedly, there's no autumn leaves here in Phoenix until around Xmas time. My poor mulberry tree, however, has had a hard summer and is spitting out huge 10" wide yellow leaves and I cherish each one as it falls on the ground (sigh). Dreaming of the old days when I could gather every color imaginable, I thought I'd share some past crafts I enjoyed and some new ones I just discovered.

1. Leaf t-shirt. Take a medium to dark-colored t-shirt and lay it on the ground. Put a bunch of layers of newspaper inside of it to keep the front from bleeding through to the back. Put bleach in a spray bottle. Lay the leaves around the t-shirt in any pattern you like. Spray the front of the shirt as much as you like. Let it sit 5 minutes. Rinse in water. The t-shirt will be paler everywhere you sprayed and the leaves will remain dark.
2. Halloween mask. Get a plain white mask found in the craft store. Layer and glue on the Halloween leaves you’ve collected.
3. Scarecrow. Use piled up leaves to stuff your scarecrow.
4. Preserving. Place leaves between sheets of waxed paper and put a dishtowel under it and another one on top of it and press with a hot iron for a minute or two to preserve them.
5. Wreath. Cut out a cardboard wreath and glue them onto it to make an autumn wreath.
6. Stamp. Find leaves that are still healthy and not crumbled—preferably from off a tree. Press them inside a heavy book overnight. Hot glue the smooth front side of the leaf face down on a piece of construction paper so that the vein-y underside faces up. Now, paint the underside of the leaf only and not the construction paper. Turn it over onto whatever card or paper you want to decorate and use it as a stamp, rub the construction paper to help be sure the paint adheres from the leaf. Can reuse the stamp.
7. Gifts. Consider picking the best and brightest leaves and preserve them with waxed paper and then fold a piece of construction paper and stamp the front of it with a leaf. Put it in an envelope and mail it to a friend to share the wealth and welcome fall. When they open the card, they’ll get a happy surprise that connects you—sharing your autumn with theirs.
8. D├ęcor. Gather tiny branches with leaves of different colors and place in a pretty glass vase with filled with rocks or pine cones as a dried arrangement.
9. Photo. Go for a walk, take your time, get some pictures of your favorite leaves, wet branches, mossy ground, and best of all-your feet in a pile of leaves—take off your shoes—do it barefoot!
10. Luminarias. Get some lunch bags and keep unopened and flat. Place leaves around the front of them and mix half water/half acrylic paint color in a spray bottle and spray. Let dry. Remove leaves. Put sand in the bottom and a candle.


  1. I'll have to direct my wife to this post lol. She loves fall almost as much as you do and would go nuts over these crafts.

    Also I have a book recommendation for you. Interdimensional Universe: The New Science of UFOs, Paranormal Phenomenon, and Otherdimensional Beings by Philip Imbrogno. It's main focus is on UFOs, but it includes a lot on other phenomenon as well and how they might all be interdimensional.

  2. Naveed;
    Thanks! I'll definitely put that on my list of must-reads. I think you were the one who advised me to read "Hunt for the Skinwalkers" and I must admit, it was one of my fav's ever! I love the subject of interdimensional beings. I never ever thought my logical mind could accept such a concept, but to me it does seem to work with laws of physics in a manner that makes it less "otherworldly" and more "truly possible." Exciting stuff! p.s. Hope she gets to do one of the projects. I really loved doing the t-shirt one.

  3. Great ideas! I think I'll try making a t shirt, a black one. I'm seeing autumn leaves everywhere...I think I'll make some little earrings too!

  4. Sandra;
    I have to admit, I've been collecting the huge yellow mulberry leaves in my yard and pressing them in the phone book, hoping to save them for the party to toss around on the ground and give that crunchy, autumn feel and smell.

  5. Very neat ideas - I really love the luminary idea! I'm just going to have to give that one a whirl! Thanks!!! Oh, and I would definitely mail you some leaves from WV - they are changing like crazy. =)

  6. Those luminarias look so much better than those i made!

  7. I am completely in love with those luminaries! My sister is having a birthday party this weekend and those would be PERFECT!!!!

  8. Sounds like everyone has the autumn bug...the only cure is playing with leaves!

  9. I just love Autumn leaves and sadly have to travel to Northern AZ to find them. I like all your ideas.

  10. Julie;
    I totally get it. I have a pomegranate tree and mulberry that change colors, but when I want some red leaves, I cruise around the local grocery store parking lot--I don't know what the tree are they have there, but every late November they turn bright red. Very pretty. Miss the orange ones most, though--my favorite color!

  11. SUPER creative suggestions? Whoever knew you could do so much? (Well, obviously you...)