Fall is upon us. We’ve placed our Halloween costumes back on the shelf and stashed the hoards of leftover candy somewhere in the cupboard. Brightly colored leaves cover the ground and even in Southern California it’s beginning to get chilly. Personally, Fall is my favorite time of year because so much of it is dedicated to family and nature. Thanksgiving in particular is one of the few times we’re forced to stop and be thankful for the people in our lives that matter most.
One of the many reasons Fall is so great, is that there are tons of opportunities for decorating and creating with natural materials. Here we’ve found some fun, Autumn-themed craft ideas that make use of materials found in your own backyard:
Colorful Fall leaves are everywhere, and better yet, they’re free! These Autumn Maple Leaf Crowns (pictured below) are cute and amazingly simple to create. Even better, they don’t require any materials other than the leaves themselves, making it the perfect outdoor craft. Don’t have a tree in your backyard? Consider going to a nearby park and collecting leaves there. Click here for instructions on how to make your own.
For a grown-up craft idea, consider pressing leaves; it’s surprisingly simple. Just collect leaves of any shape, size or color, rinse off any dirt or mud, then place the towel-dried leaves between the pages of a heavy book. I like to leave mine in the book for a couple of weeks, but you’re welcome to unearth them earlier. Once pressed, your leaf options are endless. Consider arranging leaves in a collage and framing the finished product for a great Autumn decoration. I also enjoy attaching the leaves to blank cards, creating the perfect, one-of-a-kind Autumn greeting card.
Want to wow your Thanksgiving guests with creative, earthy centerpieces and not go bankrupt? Fall is the perfect time to create your own. To start, accompany your kids outside (depending on where you live, a park might work best) and have everyone collect various natural crafting items: acorns, acorn caps, pinecones, leaves, etc. Next, take a trip to the nearest craft store and pick up what you couldn’t find outside: earthy-colored candles, potpourri and maybe a few Thanksgiving-related items. Lastly, it’s time to assemble! Using either a decorative plate or bowl, arrange items purchased at the store with those found outside. The finished product will have all your guests a bit envious.
Sometimes the greatest motivation for living an eco-friendly lifestyle is right outside your door. Though it sounds simple, try to set aside a time for the whole family to take a walk through your local nature or forestry center this Fall. It’s the perfect time to educate your children on the local flora and fauna, and a lovely excuse to step away from your stressful life and enjoy nature at its finest.
For more ideas on how to live green, check out one of my favorite websites: Green Living Ideas.