This month is beginning to bring the typical UK weather back, meaning brisk mornings and less sunlight are on the cards for the next few months before winter makes itself known again. But it’s not that bad really. This transition period where our green turns to oranges and reds is quite an amazing spectacle that warms the heart – a beautiful feature of the changing weather that can inspire the decoration of your home interior.
Nature can spill out some amazing things during this period, which can be utilised and re-purposed to accessorise any of your rooms. All it takes is a bit of handy work and you could bring some of the outdoors in during this wonderful and refreshing season.
In this article we’ll look at ways you can take some of Autumn’s natural beauties and put your innovative hat on to make some cool and gorgeous accessories for your home. You might even find good ideas for Christmas presents!
These wonderful fruits fall from the horse chestnut tree and provide kids with hours of fun. Between September and October, conkers start to fall so it’s worth finding a park or local tree near you that is dropping them to get yours before the little ones do. If you do have kids, be sure to pick a reserve for them too for conker games. From the conkers available, choose the firmest ones you can to avoid any soft ones turning funny and rotting in your collection.
The next step is to harden them to make them last as long as possible. This can be done by any of the three methods:
- bake them in the oven at a medium heat for half an hour;
- soak or boil them in vinegar;
- paint them with clear nail varnish.
Once this stage has been completed you can then go ahead and create what you want from them. One idea is to add them to a very natural looking bowl as a display feature, similar to potpourri. You could even add a sprig of lavender deep inside the bowl to give off a calming scent – ideal for the bedroom or the living room.
Conkers can also be used to make wreaths or other hanging ornaments into the shapes of anything you want, providing you have some chicken wire or flexible metal around to thread through them. Add some leaves from the garden like the example above to add an extra bit of autumn colour to it.
Sticks and Twigs
Still walking through your local public footpaths, parks and natural surroundings you’ll come across plenty of branches, fallen parts of trees, and sticks. It is worth finding the really thick and strong pieces of wood that have separated themselves from the rest of the tree to create something from.
Depending on what you’d like to make, take home as much as you like. If you take home too many you can always get rid of them easily enough. Remember though, they’ve been in a fairly damp environment prior to you taking them home so leave them somewhere warm and dry to get rid of all the moisture inside of the wood for a couple of days before you do anything with them.
One of the multiple great accessories you can create from these sticks is a photo frame that holds multiple photos. Traditionally, the frames are made from finished wood like in the example below but a great idea would be to cut the sticks you find to size and bind them with parcel string or something of equal thickness.
The well planned combination of wood, string, pins and washing line pegs allow something as cool as the above to be created. If this seems like something slightly too fiddly for you then this use of a 2-by-4 and some sticks with parts poking out below make a great and easy to make coat hanger for the home.
These are another of the natural products provided by trees that there is almost never a shortage of, making them perfect for plucking and placing in the home. And why not? They look beautiful in different arrangements and craft projects.
Due to leaves being slightly more brittle than sticks or conkers, you could create pretty amazing things from them moments after they’ve been gathered. One example is something you might’ve done when you were younger that involves paint, a canvas and a small paint roller.
Firstly you have to paint one side of the leaf in a light coat with the roller and place it face down on the canvas. Next you flatten it to the surface using a paint-less roller. This will allow the veins of the leaves to print to the surface, giving you a cool looking print if done properly. Using colours such as red, yellow, green and light brown will also add that extra touch of autumn to the picture.
Another idea is one I came across whereby you can make your leaves see through and flatten them into a glass photo frame. It is like seeing the skeleton of a leaf inside of a picture frame. Details on how to carry this out can be found at http://www.theidearoom.net/2010/10/how-to-make-leaf-skeletons.html.
That’s all for now in the way of crafts that bring the autumn outdoors into your home. If you’ve got any suggestions you’d like to give us please feel free to leave them in the comments below.