Make a fall harvest wreath that you can hang over a mirror with ribbon or secure on a door with tacks or sticky strips. To make this beautiful wreath, you will need an 18-inch straw wreath form, four to five bags of dried cornhusks (8 ounces each) and U-pins. You can pick up the husks at any craft store or Mexican food shop. Soak the corn husks in water for about ten minutes or until they are pliable. Tear into strips that are about two inches wide and bend each strip in half. Stick a U-pin into the ends of the strip and attach it to the wreath. It is best to work from the inside of the wreath out, and you will need to make rows of four or five strips. Work in a circular direction so the husks overlap each other neatly and lie flat over the U-pins.
Making an oak leaf cornucopia is another classic fall decoration. For this project you will need white spray primer, an 18-inch cornucopia basket, gold floral spray, acorns, gourds, oak leaves, a T-pin or thin awl, six-inch pieces of fine gold or copper wire, paintbrush, soft-bristle brush, size liquid adhesive, cotton gloves, faux gold leaf, a hot glue gun and brown floral tape.
For this project, you can use either faux gold leaf or metallic floral spray. A large sheet of gold leafing covers about six leaves and eight acorns. If you do decide to use the metallic floral spray instead, you will not need the liquid adhesive, gloves, gold leafing or brush.
Make sure you lay out newspaper or something you can get messy on top of your workspace. Work in a well-ventilated area. Spray the basket with the primer and let it dry. Spray with one or two coats of floral spray until well covered and let dry. Place the basket aside. Remove the caps from the acorns and set the nuts aside. Using the T-pin, poke two holes in each acorn cap and thread the wire through. Attach the two wire ends by twisting them together. Do this with all of the acorn caps and set them aside. Paint the nuts with adhesive, and let them dry. Wearing the gloves, lift one gold-leaf sheet and carefully tear off a piece. Wrap it around the nut and smooth over it with your fingers through the gloves. Using the brush, remove any flakes and smooth over the surface. Do the same thing for the rest of the nuts. Using a hot glue gun, glue the nuts back into the acorn caps and let dry. Take the brown floral tape and wrap each acorn stem tightly with it. Set the acorns aside. For the oak leaves, cover one side with the gold leafing, using the same method used for the acorn nuts. Secure wire pieces to the back of each oak leaf using hot glue. Let the leaves dry. Wrap the wire from the leaves together with the wire from the acorns attaching them with floral tape to create a cluster. Do not trim the wire. Continue these steps to make clusters of leaves and acorns. Attach the clusters together to create a long garland using the floral tape. Once the garland is long enough to cover the rim of the basket, secure it onto the rim with hot glue. Decorate the basket with gourds and if desired, gild the gourd stems with the gold leafing using the same technique used for the acorns and leaves.
You can also use these leaf and acorn clusters to make napkin rings. Taking one of these clusters, fold the napkin into a cone and tie with a ribbon. Simply slip an oak leaf cluster into the ribbon knot and curl the ribbon ends. Make sure any wire from the acorns or leaves is hidden by floral tape or is trimmed short.
A simple touch of fall added to your front door will greet guests with vibrant hues of fall. Artistically arrange dried corn on the front door. Use mini ears of corn in multiple colors to create a joyful fall look.
Another basic project is fall-inspired glowing hurricane glasses. Collect assorted sizes of hurricane glasses or similar looking glass cylinders. You will also need tissue paper in assorted colors, tape and small votive candles. Cut four pieces of standard-sized 20-by-26 inch tissue paper in half. Lay it flat onto your workspace and make a one to two inch fold on the bottom of one of the pieces. Make a larger fold in the other piece and slide it into the fold on the first piece. Repeat this process with other pieces of tissue paper. You can vary, making some folds thinner and some thicker. Wrap the tissue paper around the hurricane glasses and secure in place with a piece of tape. Finish it off by placing a small candle in the hurricane glass.
There are a few effortless ways to add a splash of color to your fall or Thanksgiving table. You can adorn it with vivid fall leaves clipped from trees in your backyard. Maple leaves are especially vibrant and beautiful. Arrange the leaves artistically onto your table and consider using transparent glass plates so you can place the leaves under the plates.
Place cards are quick and easy to make and are the finishing touch to any wonderfully decorated place setting. Use sweet gum tree spurs as place settings and attach a name tag to bring an outdoor feeling to your table. Small pears with a paper name tag attached to the stem with ribbon or twine work well. You can use any small fruit or vegetable.
CENTURY 21 Beal, Inc.