3 Easy Crafts You Can Make With Fall Yard Waste

All, Parks at Home for Kids

Look at all those leaves! Most of us try to keep up with them as they fall – raking, blowing or mowing to clear the yard. Some may see them as a nuisance as they cover the grass and streets, but have you ever thought about getting creative with colorful leaves and making crafts with them? How about all those twigs, acorns, black walnuts and other tree debris we find in the fall? Well, here are three fun and easy crafts that you can make with your fall yard waste.

Leaf Printing

Yellow, brown and red leaves are scattered along a blacktop.

This is a simple way to make beautiful art with the texture of different types of leaves. First, gather a handful of leaves that are in the best condition, not shriveled up or too dry and decomposed. Be sure to have an area set up inside that you don’t mind getting messy! Grab some construction paper or any type of thick paper, different color paints, a paintbrush and a roller. Lay out each leaf and completely paint one side, preferably the side with the most veins and texture. Next, place the leaves paint-side down on the paper. Now, take your roller and roll over each leaf, pressing down just a bit to get the textures to show … and that’s it! Let the paint dry and hang your colorful work of art somewhere for all to enjoy.

Fairy House

A fairy garden sits among the trees in Highfield Discovery Garden.

This project will take a good amount of creativity and gathering of natural materials from your yard. It’s best if you can find something flat, like a small log or rock, to build your house on. The sky is the limit as to how big or small and what you want your fairy home to look like. It might be a good idea to draw something up so you can figure out the materials you need. After you gather your twigs, leaves, grass, acorns or other fall findings from your yard, bring them inside and start building! Feel free to use wood glue, wire, string or other materials to build with. You can also use different art materials that you think will dress things up a bit, like succulents, flowers, moss, figurines, etc.

Not sure where to start with a fairy house? Follow our Fairy Garden Fridays video series for more ideas and inspiration.

Pine Cone Art

A lone pine cone and a few pine needles poke out from a tree branch.

If you are lucky enough to have beautiful pine trees in your yard or neighborhood, you can use the fallen pine cones to create fun and decorative art for your home. Pine cones are great because they have all kinds of nooks and crannies that you can decorate. You can use any type of craft materials you have in your home … yarn, cotton balls, ribbon, glitter … or keep it natural by using other yard materials like leaves and twigs. You can always gather a bundle of cones to do a bigger project, such as a table centerpiece or wreath, or keep it simple by making a holiday ornament or bird feeder. If you chose the latter, all you have to do is roll the pine cone in peanut butter, then roll it in birdseed and hang it out for fall and winter birds to enjoy!

These ideas are just a few of the many crafts you can do simply using what is in your yard. So, next time you look out the window and see all of the leaves and natural materials just lying in your yard, get creative and think of the many fun things you could do with the help of Mother Nature!

Kimberly Whitton
Public Engagement Coordinator