Projects for welcoming fall around your home
Projects for welcoming fall around your home
Click and Print these placemats , coloring pages and table placecards for the perfect thanksgiving kids activity...
Vintage Paper Leaf Wreath
Turn an old book into a whimsical wreath with this creative idea
Tools and Materials:
* Leaf template * Cardstock * Scissors
* Old book with at least 100 yellowed pages, pages removed
* 24-gauge floral wire, cut to 5-inch lengths
* Pressed real leaves (optional)
* Pressed real leaves (optional)
* 20-gauge floral wire * Brown floral tape
* Ribbon for bow * Acorn caps
* Ribbon for bow * Acorn caps
* 1/8-inch tan quilling paper * Hot-glue gun & glue sticks
* Pencil * Craft glue
1. Print Leaf template on cardstock and cut out. Trace the leaf shape on a page from the book; roughly trim the paper around the leaf shape.
2. Apply craft glue to the back of the leaf shape. Place a 5-inch length of wire on a second page from the book, then place the leaf shape glue side down over it, sandwiching the wire between the papers. The wire should be centered on the stem of the leaf, with half of the wire within the leaf and half of the wire emerging from the stem. Allow glue to dry, then carefully cut out the leaf shape with scissors. Repeat to make 45 to 50 leaves for the wreath.
3. Bundle 3 to 5 leaves and twist the wires together.(You can add wires to real pressed leaves and incorporate them in the paper leaf bundles if desired).
4. To make a wreath form, cut a 47-inch length of 20-gauge wire; fold in half and twist. Shape twisted wire into a horseshoe, then wrap with brown floral tape.
5. Starting at one end of the wreath form and working toward middle, attach bundles of leaves with floral tape; repeat for other side.
6. To make the acorns, tightly roll 1/8-inch quilling paper into a flat disk. Use thumb to push the center of the disk outward, forming into a cup shape. Rub the inside of the cup with craft glue to secure the shape. Apply hot glue to the inside of the quilled cup and adhere to an acorn cap. Use hot glue to attach acorns to wreath.
7. Tie bow on the top center of wreath, if desired.
Candles Take Shape For the Holidays
A molded candle can light up a room even after the flame is out. The following arrangements draw from the natural beauty of the season, whether the candles are whimsical (three-inch tom turkeys and tiny purple pinecones) or realistic (orange pumpkins, yellow gourds, and green 'Forelle' pears with blushes of red). They're ideal as a centerpiece for the holiday table or as a gift for a dear friend.
The first thing you'll need to make these candles is a mold in which to pour the molten wax. Although the candle mold was invented in France during the fifteenth century, it did not achieve great popularity until the 1800s, when the mass-production methods of the Industrial Revolution made molds affordable for the average person.
A large selection of molds is available at crafts stores, or you can make your own, as done in above pictures using birch logs and pumpkins. Even a candy mold will do the job. Just don't use plastic, which may melt.
Beeswax is favored for its soft, opaque glow, which provides a visual warmth that remains after the wax has been colored. Finally, we dress up some of the candles with paint or petal dust for a realism that plain wax can't achieve.
When you spot a pumpkin with a striking silhouette, make a candle in its likeness. Grouped together, pumpkin and gourd candles, along with walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, and bittersweet, make an eye-catching display.
Colorant is sold in blocks; cut 1/4-inch square shavings with a knife or a vegetable peeler. For every pound of bleached beeswax, use the following number of shavings to create the various projects
A. Tan turkeys: unbleached beeswax; no colorant
B. Off-white turkeys: no colorant
C. Rust turkeys: 4 cherry, 3 sunshine yellow, 1 white
D. Pale-orange pumpkins and gourds: 6 white, 4 brown, 2 rust brown, 2 sunshine yellow, 1 olive
E. Orange pumpkins and gourds: 10 sunshine yellow, 5 rust brown, 2 brown
F. Yellow gourds: 6 sunshine yellow, 4 white, 2 brown, 1/2 rust brown
G. Burnt-orange gourds: 6 sunshine yellow, 4 brown, 4 rust brown, 3 cherry, 3 ruby
H. Violet pinecones: 3 violet, 2 brown, 1 ruby
I. Lavender pinecones: 3 violet, 1 true black
J. Logs: 10 brown, 3 rust brown, 3 true black
K. Pears: 2 olive, 1 turquoise, 1 sunshine yellow, 1/2 rust brown
Cast in different sizes and colors, these turkeys look splendid from their cake-stand perch, while smaller turkeys preen atop small dishes and saltcellars.
Working From a Pre-Existing Mold:
1. Prepare the Wax : Beeswax has a luxurious aesthetic -- it even develops a natural bloom over time -- and a faint honey scent, but it's more expensive than other waxes. To save money, mix it with a paraffin that has a similar melting point, but keep a majority of beeswax to retain the look. To figure out how much wax you'll need, fill the mold with water, then pour it into a measuring cup. Use that amount of wax, plus a few extra tablespoons as a cushion. Shave off the amount of candle colorant you'll need. (See the color glossary above.) Melt the beeswax in a double boiler or a candle-pouring pot; if you use a regular kitchen pot, clean it thoroughly before cooking food in it again. Once the wax has melted, slowly add the color shavings, and mix well. Using a candle thermometer to monitor the temperature, bring the wax to 140 to 160 degrees. Test color by pouring a small amount onto parchment paper and allowing it to cool. Meanwhile, prepare the mold by coating it with a mold release or nonstick cooking spray. Then use a small paintbrush to spread the spray throughout the crevices, making sure the entire mold is coated.
2. Set the Wick and Wax: Thread wick onto wicking needle or large tapestry needle. Push needle through closed side of mold (you may need to use small pliers). Place a wooden skewer across opening of mold, and tie wick to it. Pull wick taut, and secure loose end with masking tape. Keep mold together with rubber bands or masking tape. When wax is melted and color is mixed, pour into mold. Wax may shrink as it cools, leaving a gap. Reheat wax, and add more to fill in. Pour excess wax into a heatproof container; cool, and save for future use.
3. Remove the Candle: Small molds will set in a few hours; larger molds need about 24 hours. To remove, take the rubber bands off, cut off bottom wick, and untie top wick. Gently loosen the mold-one side at a time-then delicately pull the candle out. Rub it with a stocking to remove any flakes and smooth out the edges. Trim the top wick to 1/4 to 1/2 inch.
Working From Your Own Mold:
1. Create the Mold: For a birch-log candle mold, use a 2-inch screw to secure a strip of wood to the top of a small log.
Wood strip should be long enough to lie flat across a container (a mailing tube, a bucket, or any plastic container) that's a few inches wider than the log on all sides. Cover the log with two coats of Butcher's wax (available at hardware stores) to prevent the bark from peeling off and sticking to the mold. Then spray the log and the inside of the mailing tube with mold release, and let it dry. In a clean plastic container, mix the rubber-mold compound according to the manufacturer's instructions. Center the log inside the mailing tube. Slowly pour the compound into the tube around the log, until it's even with (but doesn't cover) the top of the log. If your log starts to float, weigh it down with a can. Let the compound cure overnight. This same procedure can be used to make molds of pumpkins and gourds -- just attach the strip of wood to the bottom of the fruit. Because the surface will be smoother than that of the log, it's not necessary to coat it in Butcher's wax.
2. Remove Casting: To remove the mold, cut away the container with a craft knife. Then gently make two cuts (through to the log) along opposite sides of the rubber mold, down to about an inch from the bottom. As you carefully pull apart the two sides, you may need to cut more deeply. Remove the object from the mold, and run hot water through the mold to rinse out any loose pieces of bark. To make the candle, follow the instructions under "Working From a Pre-Existing Mold."
3. Paint the Candle: For the log, mix ivory-colored acrylic paint with candle-painting medium according to the manufacturer's instructions. Using a small paintbrush, coat the log, and let it dry. With a stocking, gently rub the surface to remove paint and create a barklike texture. To paint a pumpkin stem, mix brown paint with candle-painting medium, and apply with a small paintbrush.
Using a Candy Mold:
To transform this candy mold into a wax basket, we clipped it shut on the sides (clips come with the mold). To prevent leaks, we covered the clips and outside bottom seam with gaffer's tape. Follow candle-making instructions from "Working From a Pre-Existing Mold," but bring the wax no higher than 150 degrees, and skip the wick. Fill the entire mold with wax; wait 15 minutes, or until about 1/4 inch of the wax has set around the edges (it will change from clear to cloudy). Pour excess wax into a heatproof container; cool, and save for future use. Let set for a few more hours, then gently remove the basket and clean up seams with a knife.
Decorating Pears with Petal Dust:
With a soft craft paintbrush, lightly apply petal dust on one side of the pear's bulge to create a rouge effect. (Apply it much like you would blush makeup.) The petal dust will come off if rubbed, so don't let blushed sides touch other objects when pears are displayed.
Fairies, elves, and other magical creatures are everywhere you look, if you have the eye.
* Leaves * Twigs *Acorns * Pine needles * Bark
* Rocks * Tacky glue * Googly eyes * Marker
Collect leaves, twigs, acorns, pine needles, bark, rocks, and other materials.
Use small dabs of tacky glue to build a creature.
Add little googly eyes, and use a marker to draw a nose and mouth if you'd like.
And more ideas for the acorns you find........
This nature-meets-fashion craft is a great activity for fall camping or hiking.
* Capped acorns * Tacky glue * Fuzzy yarn & wool
* Scissors * String * Permanent marker
Gather capped acorns and carefully remove the caps.
To make hair, put one large drop of tacky glue on the top of each acorn and press wisps of fuzzy yarn and wool roving into it. After applying a second drop onto the wisps, put the caps back on and hold them on for one minute.
Use a permanent marker to draw faces. Trim the hair, then make "chains" by tying string around the cap stem and securing it with a drop of glue.
Yarn Wrapped Wreath
Swap out your wreaths with each season -- hang this craft on your front door to celebrate autumn.
What you'll need: Styrofoam wreath, straight pins, yarn or twine, different color felt, needle and thread, hot glue gun
Make it: Pin the tail of the yarn or twine to the wreath and start wrapping, passing the yarn ball through the center. Stick in a straight pin every now and then to keep everything in place -- you may have to do more than one pass with the yarn to fully cover the wreath. Then, cut the yarn the end down. To add more design, cut some leaves out of colorful felt and embellish by stitching on the veins of the leaf.
For the final touch, make your own acorns by dipping a small ball of yarn in warm, soapy water. Once dry, hot glue the ball of yarn to the top of an acorn, and glue into place on the wreath.