I wouldn’t trade growing up in New England for anything in the world. There's something so magical about seeing the seasons slowly transition from one into the other. Fall is the season I look forward to each year - there's something about the leaves changing, the tempts slightly dropping and the crisp fall air rolling in that just tugs at my heartstrings (also, hello favorite boots and leggings!) When I was younger, my siblings and I would spend all of our free time outside, especially in the fall. I grew up in a small rural town on a dead end street that was surrounded by acres of wooded land. When the leaves started to change and fall to the ground, we would spend hours searching the yard for the best ones - we'd even make it into a little friendly sibling competition. We would see who could find the brightest leaf, the leaf with the most colors, the smallest/largest leaf...well, you get the picture. Anyway, once we were done, we'd bring our prized collection to our parents who would decide the winners. They always went for a 3-way tie in every category, but deep down I knew I was the obvious winner. #firstbornprivileges
We were so proud of our leaf collections that the mere thought of throwing them back out the door would send us into immediate tears so my mom would press the leaves between two pages in a large book to dry them out and keep them from breaking apart. Eventually she'd set up little art projects with our perfectly pressed leaves to keep us busy when the weather started to get a bit colder, forcing us to spend less time outside and more time inside. As a little girl my favorite arts & crafts category was glitter (it's in our nature to like shiny things!) so today I'm sharing a really fun and easy DIY that’s inspired by my favorite season and childhood pastime; we're taking fallen leaves turning them into a beautiful and affordable fall inspired garland that’s sure to make heads turn!
Here's what you'll need:
A bunch of leaves *if you live in the south or in an urban area, just take a quick trip to your nearest craft store and pick up a bag of plastic leaves used for home décor, they'll work just fine! Be sure you're picking leaves that still have the stem attached.
Mini Clothespins *optional
Take your leaves and place them in a large book or notebook for about a week or so (You want them to dry out completely and lay flat) Once the leaves are dry and flat, tie a piece of rope on the end of each stem - I had some natural beige suede lace on hand, so I used that. To make my banner more dimensional, I cut each piece of suede at different lengths (of course, feel free to keep them even if you'd like). Take the spray glitter and coat each leaf evenly, lay flat and sprinkle loose glitter over the leaves before it dries. Let them sit for about 30 minutes, flip over and repeat on the backside.
Now it's time to hang the string to create the base of your decorative Garland. I had a little banner kit on hand so I used that but all you really need is a long piece of string that's sturdy enough to hold a few leaves. Once you've got your string hung (I hung mine above my fireplace) you're ready to start adding the leaves! I used these mini clothespins to secure each individual 'ornament' to the banner but it works just fine if you tie the rope on too. Now take a step back and admire your rustic fall creation!
If you plan on keeping this hung for a few weeks, I'd suggest using the spray glitter to seal in the loose glitter (or hairspray would work great too!) - otherwise there's a good chance it will look like a glitter monsoon swept through your entire house - trust me!
I'd love to hear from you guys - what is your favorite fall activity? Do you have any memorable childhood stories?!