How To: Turn Autumn into Art
Published: Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 22:11
Dear "I'm tired of raking leaves,"
I have always adored the autumn season. Maybe it is because my birthday is right around the corner or maybe because I love Halloween so much and it happens to fall (pun intended) right in the middle of this glorious time. Or maybe, it is simply because I am from just north of New York City where the leaves turn perfectly and hold on to their captivatingly warm hues of burnt reds, tender oranges and golden yellows in just the right way for just the right amount of time. Whatever the reason might be, I have come to associate the turn of the leaves with a turn of my mood undeniably for the better; yet, not all of you will agree, and I think this might have something to do with that raw feeling left in your hands from holding a rake for too long in order to have a beautiful, clean lawn. And as someone who grew up raking leaves just to jump in them, I completely understand your sentiments. But this season, I encourage you to put down the rake and bring the leaves inside your home instead of pushing them farther from your yard.
In order to turn fallen leaves into fine art, first gather the leaves that appeal to you. I tend to go for the most vibrant leaves in a variety of shapes and colors that are just fallen and without tear or decay. Then you can craft your autumn away.
Preserved Leaves: One of the most beautiful and simple ways to decorate for fall is to scatter leaves on windowsills, tables or in baskets throughout your house. You can even hang them on fishing line in windows to catch the light and splash the fall palate into your home. In order to do this, you want to preserve the leaves by gently dipping them in wax and letting them dry. All you have to do is melt wax, which you can buy at any craft store, dip the leaves, and hang them by the stem on a line (with newspaper underneath to catch any wax drips) for a couple hours. The leaves will maintain their shape and color way beyond the time when the others fall outside.
Leaf Prints: Grab some construction paper, glue, newspaper, paint or whatever else you think will make a fantastic print and do not forget to incorporate those beautiful leaves. You can dip leaves in paint (color of your choice) and stamp them or hammer them (place the leaf down and hammer the pigment out) on newspaper or construction paper before putting them into a frame. You can also buy a see-through frame and simply place the leaves in artistic patterns in the frame. Either way, with a little effort and creativity, you can hang your art instead of raking it away.
Autumn Candles: Another way to bring the best of the outdoors inside is by incorporating leaves into candle décor. You can do this in a variety of ways, including simply filling the candleholders themselves with the actual leaves. If you do not have any candleholders then you can go ahead and make them yourself by taking old mason jars or other glass containers and doing a leave decoupage (you can buy the necessary adhesive at any craft store) on the outside. Or you can always take out the middleman that is the candleholder, and apply leaves to the candle itself. Get out your glue gun or decoupage and assemble the leaves in any pattern around the candle. Add a festive flare with a ribbon scarf running around the candle and tie it with a twig in the knot. Whichever route you take, your leaves will look much better with candlelight bouncing off of them than sitting in piles on the lawn.