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Tuesday
Sep062011

When the Leaves Fall

Boy am I getting excited about fall!

Anyone who has been watching the weather channel, or anyone who lives in Arizona will understand why. We've had a record summer this year.  In fact, the month of August had the most days over 110 degrees since the beginning of mankind!  Well, actually, I'm not sure that's true.  They weren't really keeping track of the weather back then, so for accuracy's sake I'll just say that it was really stinkin' hot!

I keep waiting for my favorite season to come, but we Arizonan's have to be patient.  Eventually, we'll go outside to be welcomed by cooler temperatures, but until then I'll just imagine all of the great things that come with the season.

Many of you might already be noticing the changing colors of the trees, which means the leaves will soon be falling to the ground.  Too often, we forget about creative uses for things that fall right under our noses. This post will show you 10 creative uses for fall leaves that will make you think twice before grabbing the rake.

1--CANDLE DECOR

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Toss a few leaves into a canister surrounding a candle for an instant fall decor accent piece.  Please be careful with this...look closely at the picture.  The candle itself is in its own glass vase.  This prevents the leaves from ever touching the flame, that way your decor does not catch on fire.

2--FALL ROSES

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Click over to the image source for this photo to find a detailed tutorial for rolling leaves into roses.  From what I could see, it looks like it takes around 3-4 leaves to make one rose, but these look seriously fun!

3--FRAMED ART

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Group a few leaves together in the shapes of butterflies to create some framed artwork.  You can also get creative with the shapes you make, or you could just frame the leaves on their own.  Regardless of the shapes you choose, create this artwork in a series.  By having multiple pieces of art with a similar theme your work will have a larger impact within the room.

4--BOX O' LEAVES

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This is a great idea for an outdoor piece.  To pull it off, simply add a few embellishments to the leaf pile that you've raked.  Here, they've added apples and berries, but you could add pumpkins, squash, or anything else that feels like fall.

5--LEAF GARLAND

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This is a simple way to add a small touch of fall to any room.  You could hang this from a mantle, shelf, or mirror.  You could even hang it across an empty picture frame.  If you don't have any clothes pins, try using ribbon, twine, or simply string to tie the leaves onto the garland.

6--CRAFTS FOR THE KIDS

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This is a really inexpensive way to have some fun with your kids on a fall afternoon.  Grab some craft paint from your local craft store.  Typically you can find acrylic craft paint options for less than a dollar each.  Once you have the paint, use brushes, toothpicks, sticks, or even your fingers to paint some leaf art for the whole family.  This might even be a good starting point for the leaves you intend to frame!

7--SMALL VASES

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Stick a leaf in a small vase to create a fall-festive place setting at a dinner party.  Or perhaps group them together down the length of the table for a lively centerpiece.  Vary the sizes of the jars for additional play in height and shape.

8--LARGE VASES

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You'll want to catch these leaves before they fall off the tree.  Use some hedge trimmers to remove some of the branches, and arrange the branches in a vase of any style.  The vase you choose will determine if the arrangement appears traditional, modern, or anything in between.

9--TABLE SETTINGS

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Use some twine or leather to tie around a leaf and napkin.  This creates a seasonal place setting in seconds, but your guests will think you spent months planning it!

10--LEAF WREATHS

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Last on our list, use a hot-glue-gun to attach leaves around a wreath form.  To add some shimmer, paint the leaves with a gold or bronze glaze.  This will add shine, and will enhance the natural autumn colors of the leaves.  Hang the wreath on your front door to welcome guests, and welcome fall!

So there you have it! I can't wait until the tree in my front yard is big enough to produce enough fall leaves for my creative needs!  Which idea will you try this fall?  Are there any other leaf projects you've done in the past?  Leaf me a comment (Ha!  Bonus points for the leaf pun!) and tell me about how you use leaves in your fall decor--both inside and out.

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