The leaves have turned colors and started to fall from the trees. The air is crisp and cool. Halloween has come and gone and Thanksgiving is weeks away. What are crafty parent and kids to do? After a long morning of playing in the leaves, enjoy a nice glass of warm apple cider and dig into these 7 autumn craft ideas.
Paper Bag Scarecrows
This comes courtesy of the All Kids Network. From flags to fields, scarecrows are a common autumn decoration. Unlike the scarecrows of old, these cute little guys only require a few simple, easy-to-obtain components: construction paper, brown paper lunch bag, newspaper, and some googly eyes. You’ll also need some glue, tape, and a pair of scissors. Crumple up the newspaper and use it to fill up your bag, then tape it closed. Use the scissors to cut out different shapes for the scarecrows. You’ll need hair to simulate the straw, a nose, mouth, and hat. Arrange them on the bag and glue them in place. Then glue on the googly eyes. Finish decorating however you want, then display them in a window or on a counter!
With all those leaves on the ground, surely there’s something you can make with them? Leaf rubbings are one option, but leaf prints are just as much fun! Go on a nature walk and find some leaves that you want to use. Look for interesting shapes and sizes. Now that you’ve found the perfect leaves, it’s time to make some beautiful art! For this craft, you’ll need some paint, your leaves, some paper, and maybe a foam paintbrush.
Make sure you put down a tablecloth of some kind so that your furniture remains unpainted. Lay out some paper plates with dollops of paint. Then use the foam paintbrushes to apply a coat of paint to the underside of your leaves. Press the painted side of the leaves onto your paper. Once you’ve covered your paper in leaf prints, let them dry and then hang them up.
Leaf Prints, from Meaningful Mama
Salt Dough Leaf Prints Salt dough is incredibly easy to make and it is great for a variety of crafts. For this particular craft, you’ll need some leaves, paint, something to cut shapes out, and mod podge in addition to the dough. The blog suggests using silk leaves, as they leave better impressions than real ones. Roll out your salt dough and cut out your shapes. Press the leaves into the dough. When they’re done, place them on a baking sheet covered in parchment or foil. Bake them in the oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 2-3 hours, then take them out and let them cool. Paint the leaves in your favorite autumn colors. Once they’re dry, you can apply a patina to them with watered down brown paint and then seal them with the mod podge. When they’re dry, you can use them as seasonal paperweights, coasters, or simply display them.
Salt Dough Leaf Prints, courtesy of That Artist Woman
I am a sucker for adorable things with googly eyes and these pinecone birds absolutely fit the bill. While you’re on your leaf gathering nature walk, see if you can’t also grab some pinecones. If you can’t find any outside, your local craft store should definitely have some you can purchase. You’ll also need some small pom poms, googly eyes, foam, pipe cleaners, and some glue. Glue the googly eyes to the pom poms and set them aside to let them dry. Fold the pipe cleaners so that they look like feet and legs. Finally, you’ll need to cut a beak shape out of the foam. Glue everything to the pinecone and you’ve got some adorable birds to decorate your home. With some paint and a paintbrush, you can even paint the pinecones to add some more color.
Pinecone Birds, brought to you by Lady Sandra
Textured Calico Corn
Calico corn, also known as Indian corn, is a great fall decoration. It’s vibrant and comes in a variety of colors, ranging from deep blue-purple to red. This particular project is reminiscent of calico corn, but instead of paint you’re using beans to give it texture. You’ll need some beans and seeds, heavy paper, construction paper, and glue. You can either trace your feet, as the page suggests, or cut out a corn shape. Apply some glue to the heavy paper, then fill in the shape with the beans and seeds. Use the construction paper to make corn husks and glue them onto your corn shape. Once it has dried, hang it up to display.
Textured Calico Corn, from Kinder Art
Corn and pumpkins are iconic fall crops, but so are apples. Autumn is the time for fresh apples, spiced cider, and warm apple pie. But you can also use apples as stamps. You’ll need some burlap cloth squares, a halved apple or two, red and green paint, some metal jump rings, and cord. Spread some paint on the apple halves and stamp them on the burlap. You can use a paint marker to draw on any stems, leaves, or seeds. When the paint is dry, attach the jump rings to the top of the squares and string them with twine to hang them up.
Apple Banner, from Multiples and More
This craft is definitely better suited to older children, because it requires heating and pouring hot wax. You’ll need some acorns, beeswax, Play-Dough, a small pot, and an aluminum can. You should be able to find beeswax at your local craft store, in the candle and soap making section. If your store doesn’t have it, you can definitely find it online at Amazon, Joann, and Michaels. Pellets will probably be the easiest, as they should melt more quickly and evenly than a block of wax. If you want to get a little fancy, you can purchase some essential oils and add a drop or two to scent the wax.
To start, place the pellets in the can and place the can in a pot with an inch of water. Use the Play-Dough or a similar product as a mold. Create a ball and press the acorns into them, then remove them. Once it is melted, carefully pour the wax into your molds and let them cool. Then remove the Play-Dough, wash off the wax, and put on the acorn cap. These would be super fun as part of a Thanksgiving table decoration.
Beeswax Acorns, courtesy of Foothill Home Companion
Do you have any favorite fall crafts not listed here? Share your ideas with us in the comments below.
Acorn photo courtesy of Molly Dunham. All other photos courtesy of their respective craft websites.