Easy Autumn Garland

Finished Pressed Leaf Garland

We’ll call this a tutorial, shall we? Here’s a super easy project that Lucas and I made together in about 40 minutes today. You could easily have one or several of these ready for Thanksgiving Day, if you’re still wondering how to decorate for the holiday. The cost of this project was about $2. This garland works best hanging straight, with the ribbon flat against a wall surface, counter edge, or the like. I bought 1 inch purple ribbon at the craft store weeks ago. Any color you like will do nicely. Find, gather, and press beautiful fallen leaves. Go for a walk through your yard or neighborhood. Notice all the colors and different types of deciduous trees in your area and pick up the ones that still feel fresh—the ones that haven’t yet started to dry and curl up. I do this constantly because I adore autumn leaves. Some are so beautiful they make me tear up. I looked for variety in type of leaf, size, and color. Any leaves that strike your fancy are the right ones to collect! Pull that old paper phone book out of the closet or mud room. Or maybe a new one was recently delivered to your driveway. I have no use for a paper phone book other than this: Put your collected leaves in the pages, in a single layer. Leave a few pages in between each page with leaves. Cram as many into the phone book as you like. Weight the phone book down with something very heavy, like a big stack of books or a cast-iron pot. Wait two to four days. Pull out your scissors, ribbon, and glue gun. Make sure you have glue sticks (I often don’t). Carefully remove your very flat leaves from the phone book.

Making the Pressed Leaf Garland

Tape your ribbon to your table so it doesn’t slide around. Glue pressed leaves on the ribbon in a jaunty way. Vary their colors, shapes, and sizes as you like, or make a garland of all one type, if that’s your style. Maybe you like the look of all the leaves “pointing” in the same direction. Maybe you like them arranged sort of haphazardly. If you’re not sure, lay them down a few different ways until you decide what you like and only then start gluing. If you use big leaves, your project will go even quicker.

Making the Pressed Leaf Garland Any child who is old enough to operate a glue gun can help with this. Only a drop or two is needed to fix each leaf to the ribbon. Lucas Gluing

The hardest part of this is hanging the garland. It is fragile, and you may need an extra pair of hands to hold it while you fix it to the wall, either with tape or thumb tacks (I used both).

Finished Pressed Leaf Garland Finished Pressed Leaf Garland

Pretty, no? Well I like it. I like that it was cheap. I like that it was easy. I like that we have brought some of those gorgeous leaves into my home. And I really like that Lucas and I made it together.

4 Responses to “Easy Autumn Garland”

  • Darby
    November 20, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    Simply beautiful. I think we must try this in our home. Thanks for the idea!!


  • Sara
    November 24, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    Thanks, Darby. Let me know how it turns out if you try it. Thanks for the comment!


  • The Tan Family - Syrendell
    November 27, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Very beautiful! And, easy to make. I love the way you bring nature into the home. 🙂


  • Sara
    November 29, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Thanks, Jennifer! I used to be a florist many years ago and I’ve never lost my love of REAL plants and flowers in my home. Can’t stand the fake stuff. Thanks for reading!


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  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

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    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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