The fall colors are in full swing here in the Great Smoky Mountains! The beautiful leaves, now hanging from tree branches, will soon fall to the ground to begin the cycle anew. As you stroll around you cabin, you may find leaves so vivid and brightly colored that you want to keep them forever!
While many people rake and burn their leaves, we like to save a few mementos each year to commemorate the seasons fall color. Bring the beauty of the outdoors in autumn into your own house with these fun fall leaf crafts! Fun for kids and adults alike, these easy crafts are a great way to create seasonal decorations you can keep for the cold months ahead.
Leaf Ornaments or Gift Tags
Christmas will be here before you know it, and what better way to decorate your tree than with some memories of fall! These creative decorations can also be used as name tags on this year’s Christmas presents.
- Spray adhesive and varnish
- Simple cardstock or heavy paper
- Scissors and thin ribbon
- Lots of leaves
Pick your prettiest leaves and use spray varnish to preserve their color. Once dry, use spray adhesive to glue them to cardstock. Use scissors to trim off excess paper around the leaf border and poke a hole to thread the ribbon through. Hang where you see fit!
Fall Picture Frames
Display your favorite autumn family pictures than in a frame of leaves! This easy craft will leave you with a beautiful and long lasting frame that will hold your family’s portrait for years to come.
- Spray varnish
- Picture frame (any size will work)
- Mod Podge
Spray varnish on leaves and allow to dry (the amount will depend on the size of your picture frame.) Brush Mod Podge around the border of your picture frame and press leaves evenly into border, overlapping them and applying more Mod Podge as necessary. Top your glued leaves with an additional coat of Mod Podge and allow to dry before cutting off excess leaves.
The perfect craft for the younger kids, help them to create pictures they will treasure for the months to come!
- Black or brown marker
Head outside and have your kids select a handful of their favorite leaves. Then tear them into small pieces – about a nickel or dime size should do the trick. Then, using a maker, have your children draw an empty tree – from the base so the branches! Dot or brush on glue to the branches, then sprinkle on your leaf pieces and allow to dry. Voila!
Remember – never take ANYTHING from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. From leaves to pinecones, everything in the park is protected. Avoid serious consequences and gather leaves around your cabin or own house for these fun fall leaf crafts!