Arts and Crafts with Autumn Leaves September 22 2011

Fall is a beautiful time of year for many people. The leaves turn gorgeous shades of red, yellow and orange and the

[caption id="attachment_3171" align="alignright" width="177" caption="Photo by Nina_999"][/caption]sweltering heat cools down to a very comfortable temperature. It’s time to take out the fall coats, boats and sweaters. Most of us are very ready for this change of season; however fall comes with one of the most dreaded chores for you (and your children!) – Raking leaves.

Leaving leaves on the ground through the winter months will cause fungus to grow and can kill your grass. It’s very important that you maintain your yard by removing the leaves; however you can turn this chore into a fun project for you and your children with a little imagination. Here are some creative things to do with your autumn leaves.

  1. Make a leaf bouquet. Using a hot glue gun, you can attach leaves to the ends of bamboo skewer or straws. After they dry, simply arrange the “flowers” in a bouquet. Makes a great fall centerpiece for your table and your kids will love it.
  2. Collect the pretty ones. While raking the leaves, ask your children to pick out the prettiest and most unique leaves and pile them up. You can then place them in a pretty basket and even add some pinecones for a nice fall decoration piece.
  3. String them up. Use some of those pretty leaves that your children collected and string them, alternating with other fall accessories such as cranberries. You can hang them on stair railings or on a curtain rod.
  4. Make a wreath. You can find a nice inexpensive wreath base at your local craft store or possibly the dollar store.Then hot glue leaves to the base to make your wreath. Add other bits of decoration such as seed pods and a nice bow. For your children, use a paper plate and cut a hole out of the center instead of a wreath base.  They can use white glue instead of hot glue as a safer alternative.
  5. Make leaf placemats.Have your children pick out about 10 of their favorite leaves.  Cut 2 pieces of contact paper[caption id="attachment_3235" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Photo by Er.We"][/caption]to your desired placemat size. Remove the backing of one and have your children press the leaves onto the sticky side in whatever design they wish.  Peal the backing off the other piece and seal it!  Your children will love eating dinner on their own homemade placemats and they look neat on the table.

In many cases, homeowners would prefer to hire a leaf removal service to get rid of their autumn leaves.  Sometimes there are just too many leaves. A professional can come in and quickly take care of them with leaf blowers and vacuums very inexpensively. Just make sure you get all of your fall arts and crafts in before the leaves are gone!

Shelia Cooper is a writer for and other fall and winter preparation sites.