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Fabulous Fall Crafts You Can Find in Nature

5 minutes read Sep 22,2022
Mom and Daughter Making Natural Fall Crafts with Leaves

Take a basket, bag, or bucket with you to collect some art supplies perfect for fall crafts next time you go for a hike. Mother Nature has opened her art cabinet and it's filled with nuts, bark, twigs, leaves, flowers, and more. Select things that have fallen to the ground and never take bark, branches, or leaves directly from a tree. 

Nature's own artistry is on display to its fullest in the fall. Let those natural works of art inspire you and your family to create some autumn-theme fall crafts and seasonal art from our ideas below. 

leave art for fall crafts

Three Lovely Leaf Crafts 

Leaves offer an ever-changing source of inspiration and material for an autumn art project. Here are our favorite fall crafts for leaf lovers of all ages and skill levels. 

DIY Suncatcher   

It's easy to create a dazzling window suncatcher with a colorful collage of leaves. Here's how to do it: 

  1. Arrange your favorite leaves or fall flowers between two sheets of wax paper with the waxy sides touching. 
  2. Press between books or other heavy objects for a few days.
  3. Carefully iron the waxy sides together. 
  4. Finish with a frame of thin branches, hot glued to the fall "frosted glass" and trim.  
  5. Place your autumn artwork in a sunny spot and enjoy. 

You can use this technique to create an autumn bunting banner to decorate your RV site or Thanksgiving table. 

Natural Note Cards 

Get "noted" and "leaf" a good impression with these easy-to-make and beautiful autumn-themed note cards or invites. This fall craft uses the kid-friendly techniques that include leaf rubbing and stamping. 

natural fall crafts leaf rubbing

Rubbing

Place leaves beneath a thin sheet of paper. Using crayons or colored pencils and gently rub the leaves to reveal their imprint. Use it as a nature-themed insert for a special event invitation or as a layer in homemade greeting cards.  

Stamping

Paint the leaves with watercolor paints and lightly blot them on some newspaper. Flip the painted side down and press firmly on heavier stock or scrapbook paper. Use your best handwriting to add a personal note.  

Au Naturel

Fill in a sketched, stenciled, or freehand design with colorful leaves or fall flowers in a variety of shapes. Fairies, butterflies, and bugs are adorable designs when created by leaves. 

Glittery Garland

Whether you're a fan of glitter or not, this project is a simple but elegant DIY craft that can go along a mantle, table, or doorframe for some organic sophistication during the holidays. Just follow these simple steps: 

  1. Coat a stack of sturdy, similar-sized leaves with adhesive spray.  
  2. Glitter* at will. 
  3. Seal with a light mist of hairspray or craft sealant. 
  4. Carefully poke holes in the top of leaves to thread a coordinating ribbon through for hanging. 

*You can continue this natural theme and keep microplastics out of the environment by making your own bio-degradable glitter. 

Here's what you'll need: 

  • Sea salt (ground or in rock form, depending on the glitter texture you want for your project.)
  • Food coloring or paint
  • Baking sheet

Homemade Glitter Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Add a couple of drops of paint or food coloring in a bowl and mix in the sea salt, creating as many color combinations as desired.
  3. Spread out the colored salt onto a parchment-covered baking sheet and bake at 350 F for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool before using.

using acorns for fall crafts

Acorn Art Projects 

The mighty acorn is another ample autumn art staple. With or without its cap, acorns can be used in many artistic ways. Here are a few simple projects to go nuts over: 

Deck the Halls

Paint acorns in festive Christmas colors like red, green, and white, and then glue ornament tops over the acorn caps. Thread with a cord and string them along your mantel, or on the holiday tree.   

Get Squirrely

Sketch or stencil out the shape of a squirrel and then fill in with acorn caps for a nutty representation of the acorn's biggest fan. 

Framed!

Have an old photo frame that is beyond its season? A pocket or two of acorns and a hot glue gun or clear Gorilla Glue will create a fall-centric photo frame. 

collecting pinecones for fall crafts

Pinecone Decorations

Consider the versatile and plentiful pinecone when you're pining for the perfect natural décor. Most projects need multiple sizes, so be sure to nab a large assortment. Clean your collection in a bath of two parts water to one part vinegar for half an hour. Air dry or pop them into a low oven for an hour or so, turning them occasionally for even drying.  

Woodland Wreath

Pinecones are perfect for a DIY fall wreath. This pinecone project is good for children and adults alike and makes a great campground craft. 

Make sure you have the following for this project: 

  • Wire wreath frame
  • Glue gun and hot glue sticks or clear Gorilla Glue
  • Twine or burlap ribbon
  • About 50-60 pinecones depending on the size of your frame that vary in size from small, medium, and large

Instructions for your woodland wreath:

  1. Wrap the wire wreath frame with twine or ribbon. It makes it easier to glue the pinecones directly onto the frame. 
  2. Decorate the pinecones as you prefer. Prime and paint with latex, acrylic, or spray paint. You can also try bleaching them for a unique look or leave them as Mother Nature intended.  
  3. Carefully glue the pinecones on starting with the largest on the outside. Adults may want to help with this part. Work towards the center using smaller pinecones. Open spaces in the middle area are ok, as they can be filled in with additional items later. 
  4. Accent with ribbon and hang in a your favorite spot! 

fall craft pinecone flowers

Faux Flowers

The bottom of a pinecone can look a lot like a zinnia flower or succulent when painted. Create your own hanging wooden bouquet with these easy tips: 

  1. Carefully cut pinecones in half using a small hand saw or pruning shears. Use the bottom for zinnia-like petals or mix-up pinecone halves for a super succulent-looking selection. 
  2. Paint the bottoms in bright blooming colors with an accent color in the center for flowers or go with shades of greens, blues, and grays for pseudo-succulents. 
  3. Glue the dried pinecones into a shadow box or on a frame with a cardboard backing. 

And the best part? You'll never have to water these plants! 

Bird Feeder 

Birds of all feathers will flock to these homemade pinecone feeders. Even the smallest hands will enjoy helping make this natural fall craft. 

  1. Wrap and secure a piece of twine around the top third of a large, clean pinecone. Make a large loop for hanging. Very important to do this step first, as you'll see. 
  2. Coat the cone with a healthy smear of peanut butter. Almond or sunflower seed butter, vegetable shortening, or softened suet are also good alternatives. Popsicle craft sticks make a great spreading tool for tiny hands.  
  3. After washing hands, roll the sticky pinecones in a bowl or tray of tiny bird seeds. Sunflower seeds are a favorite of birds but can be too large for these DIY bird feeders. Chop them in a food processor first if you want to use them. 
  4. Hang from a protected branch and keep a log of all the different birds that come by for a snack. 

You'll remember your fall outdoor adventures with these homemade autumn projects. Share these natural fall craft ideas and don't forget to post photos of your efforts.