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Autumn is the most bittersweet of seasons; it’s invigorating when the leaves begin to turn color—and a bit crushing when, seemingly a few short days later, they all start to fall. And don’t get us started on all the raking and mulching that follow.

But we’ve got a way for you to do less yardwork and enjoy the beauty of this fleeting season a little longer: You can turn those dry, dying leaves into beautiful autumn decor!

Yes, that’s right—rather than blowing your leaves into oblivion or tossing them in the compost pile, you can consider a more crafty approach. All you need are some vibrant-colored leaves, a few simple supplies, and a sunny, crisp autumn afternoon to get crafty.

Ready to dive in (to a pile of leaves)? Here are some ideas for one-of-a-kind DIY decor that you can enjoy all season long.

1. Real fall wreaths

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Its beginning to look a like like Fall around here…falling leaves already happening here too! 🍂 These stacked pumpkins form @Trader Joe’s are my new favorite. Everything from Trader Joe’s is my new favorite. 🍂I’ve got a new blog post tomorrow with all the best Trader Joe’s FALL FAVORITES! Tell me, what is your favorite fall flavor..pumpkin, apple, cinnamon..or something else? http://liketk.it/2EZ2Q @liketoknow.it #liketkit . . . #porchdecor #frontdoor #frontdoordecor #falldecorating #stackedpumpkins #pumpkinspiceseason #traderjoesfinds #traderjoes #buffalocheck #outdoordecor #falldecor #falldecoratingideas #falldecorideas #porchdecorations #frontporch #frontporchdecor #diyfalldecor #homedecorblog #clevelandblogger #pumpkins

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Nothing rings in the season quite like a fall wreath on the front door, just like this gorgeous one we spied on the home of @coffeepancakesdreams.

Make the most out of your fall leaf collection by gathering up the best ones, and then follow along with this tutorial from blogger Bren Did on how to make your own.

All you’ll need for this easy-peasy project are colorful leaves, some cardboard, and a pair of scissors.

2. Paint & press leaf towels

The adorable fall-themed dish towels in stores this time of year are oh-so-tempting. But we’ve got something more affordable (and in our opinion, better) in mind: Make your own custom tea towels! For inspiration, we like these ones from botanical dryer @beebowen.

Even if you’ve never pressed and painted leaves before, this tutorial from We Are Scout can help get you started. It’s easy enough, if you’ve got time and a bit of patience. And don’t stop at tea towels—you can print on napkins and even tablecloths. Imagine creating the conversation starter at your Thanksgiving dinner!

3. Autumn-glow candle holders

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Day ✌️ of fall crafts: Autumn leaf lanterns! You need leaves, Mod Podge, glue brushes, leaves, and glass containers. Method: paint a think layer of Mod Podge on a section of the glass container, place on leaves, paint over them. Repeat until the glass is covered! It will dry clear. 🍂🍃🍁 We used glass containers we already had: two square flower vases and a mason jar. Larger and/or flatter containers are best. Microwave/pressing the leaves for 30 seconds helped with their pliability. See my stories for lighting tips. 🍂🍃🍁 We collected all these leaves for projects this week. We follow along with @raisinglittleshoots Exploring Nature With Children curriculum and this week we’re studying fall leaves. Well, more playing with them! But did you know, leaves have all those pretty red and gold colors in them all the time?! Chlorophyll just makes the green over-power them during the spring and summer seasons. The chlorophyll stops flowing as the tree goes dormant for winter and the other colors are revealed.

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If you’ve got extra glass jars and containers on hand, we’ve got a use for them! Gather them up (or buy some for cheap at the dollar store), then pick up some tea lights. Finally, grab some Mod Podge glue at your local arts and crafts store, and get started creating your very own autumn candle holders with your leaves.

This post from @blessnestlearning should give you some idea of what to expect, but for even more details, check out this tutorial from Spark and Chemistry.

4. Leafy bowls

We just can’t get enough of these leaf bowls from @redtedart, and something tells us we’re not the only ones. This fun and easy project is something the whole family can get in on, even if you don’t have a professional potter’s studio. Take a peek at this tutorial for a variety of ways to make your custom leaf bowls—with or without a kiln.

5. Fall garlands

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DECOR LOVE LANGUAGE 🧡 Week 14! 🍂Hey! Does anyone out there speak DECOR? Well..it’s our love language here and the best part is..we want to see your decor love language! Whether it’s adding some new fall feels to your mantel, sprucing up the porch/patio or restyling your breakfast nook for coffee with friends! 🍂We would love to see it! It’s all about spreading the love in your home…your way! 🧡 All you have to do is use our hashtag #decorlovelanguage and tag and follow each one of us in your photos..That’s it and you could be chosen to join us weekly! Hosts: @themustardseed205 @hhawkins16 @cottage.and.design @kelso.designs @designed.to.love @heartofwendy @lifeonrusticdr Are you ready for the best part? You will be also eligible to co-host for the whole month! Please welcome our four guests for October! Show them some love! 🧡 @abrickhome @fallenleafinteriors @mistymorning_ @lexi.pratz This week we have chosen Cindy @somethingpaintedwhite! 📸 We were all drooling over this beautiful fall decor that just popped against her gorgeous neutral home! 🍂Thank you for sharing it with us! . . #decorlovelanguage #fall #fallbeauty #fallgarland #fallleaves #mirrorobsession #mirror #decorandfriends #whiteandwood #neutraldecor

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Garlands are so much better when they’re made out of the real thing, are we right? And a fall garland is no exception. Fortunately, you can make one as pretty as the garland featured in this post by @themustardseed205 with the expert advice from DIY blogger Stephanie at Swoodson Says.

Check out this tutorial for all the tips you need to get started making your best real-leaf garland this fall.

Looking for even more fun fall projects? Check out our full list of fall decor DIYs.

The post 5 Creative Things to Do With Your Autumn Leaves That Don’t Involve Mulching appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

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