DIY AUTUMN DECORATIONS (AKA a fun, free and eco-friendly activity to share with the kids)

It was a not-so-picturesque autumn day, but Project Pinterest (the Halloween Edition) was in full-effect! Braving the elements, we headed outside to collect autumn leaves and acorns to create some seasonal decorations for the home; specifically a leaf garland and an autumnal table centerpiece (see DIY instructions at end of post).

A garland of autumn leaves, hanging in the kitchen window

My 19-month-old, L, loves being outdoors. And I love that he does! One of his favourite words is “outside” and he gets rather cross if he even sees my husband sneaking out the door to take out the trash (hence the need for occasional sneaking!). So of course it was wonderful to be able to share an activity such as this with someone who loves the outdoors and appreciates nature (regardless of drizzly, grey weather). His round, rosy-cheeked little face radiated pure joy as he stumbled around through piles of brightly coloured autumn leaves. I knew that the experience of foraging for fallen leaves and acorns was made all-the-more special for my little L as he’s hardly seen me up and about for almost 3 months (I am now making the most of the strict bed rest restrictions being lifted, whilst still trying to take it very easy).

We collected everything we’d need in two bags and brought them home to be dried off on newspaper laid out on our kitchen table (you only need to do this if they are wet). A few hours later and the remaining moisture in the leaves made them very easy to thread (I used yellow cotton and a regular sewing needle). Half an hour later and our garland was made! So easy!

Simply thread fallen autumn leaves with cotton to create a colourful garland

For the centerpiece we used only string, a handful of leaves, some acorns, some leftover grasses from an “expired” floral arrangement and a candle that a friend gave me. L helped pop the acorns into a glass vase (he loved doing this!), then we placed the large candle (tied with a string bow) in the center, surrounded it with more acorns, a few leaves and tucked the grasses in the back (well out of the way of the candle flame!).

Even chubby 19-month-old fingers can help create a festive centerpiece!

Little L’s face lit up when he walked into the kitchen the morning after everything was finished and on display. He started babbling excitedly, occasionally throwing in the word “leaves”! The satisfaction of creating something naturally beautiful, eco-friendly, seasonal and completely FREE is amplified a hundred times if the ones you love show such appreciation and happiness upon beholding it! I think this will become a yearly family tradition.

Gather freshly fallen leaves of different colours/shapes and use a needle to thread them onto cotton, securing the ends with knots. Tack or tie the garland to the edge of a table, the top of a window frame, along a banister, etc. and enjoy the colours of autumn inside your home!
*The garland should continue to look beautiful even as the leaves dry.

A simple, seasonal and inexpensive way to decorate your table

Fill the bottom of a glass vase with acorns. Rest a large candle* (a seasonally scented one would be wonderful!) on top of the acorns and surround the base with leaves and more acorns, light the candle and enjoy!
*Please never leave a candle in such a display burning unattended 🙂
*You could easily skip the candle and fill a vase with acorns and leaves… It would still be lovely!

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