We tried our hand at a new DIY fall leaf garland for a church event. Free, easy and great for toddlers and kids to help with!
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My mom was a preschool teacher when I was young and my whole life has worked and volunteered in education. Now all of her jobs weren’t teaching. She was a preschool teacher, then worked as a secretary at an elementary school and now she is in the adminstrative side for the same district. She has also always taught at church. Kids and adults. She’s pretty darn good at it.
She used to have my room as a kid organized perfectly and I always had fun activities to do. So I always know that Ila, my daughter who is almost two at the time I’m writing this, will have so many educational activities readily available. They are always painting, coloring, or doing something in the kitchen.
The month of October was Pastor Appreciation month and for an event held at church we made this simple DIY fall leaf garland as decor. It’s nothing fancy, but it looked great paired with all of the other decor and food on the table. It also made for a fun night as a family and also a natural educational experience for Ila. She loves all crafts (it comes with the territory of being in our family. Both sides sew, quilt, crochet, knit- any and all crafts) and being outside so this was perfect for her.
We now have it strung across the mantle as fall decor in the house. I love that it is simple, using what we had on the farm, and Ila was able to help. We took a walk outside to gather leaves and talked about fall, seasons and also being grateful for the pastors and their wives in our lives.
Of course the goats, cowboy the barn cat, and Ila’s captain america figure that she lovingly calls “dada” joined us.
The leaves on our trees took a little while to turn and fall because the weather in Arkansas cannot decide between winter or summer. Just forget about the in between haha. Now the leaves are much brighter in color and look more like fall but that’s okay. We still were able to gather many in different shades.
After we gathered all of our leaves, we took them inside and Ila so perfectly modeled them for us.
She loved to help sort the leaves into different piles based on color and then admire her handiwork of picking the perfect leaves by crushing them in grand finale. Thankfully we still had plenty to work with. And a good broom.
Now we had a few ideas for these. We thought we might could just use twine to tie them together by the stems but we ended up just using hot glue to glue them in bundles to the twine. I use these glue sticks because I can also use them on fabric so this is what we had on hand!
We started out by individually gluing each leaf to the twine, alternating colors. At first they were spaced out but as we layered more and more on, they began to fill in.
But then my mom had the idea to do bundles of 4-5 leaves so they were more layered. This filled out the DIY fall leaf garland much faster and more naturally. After having done this project now, I would start it off this way. It added bulk which made using the hot glue gun easier, it covered the twine more, and it gave a much more natural appearance.
First we had the garland stretched on the table but once we got going, it was actually easier to hang it on the wall. My mom made leaf clusters and I glued them on. Ila helped pick out the leaves for the clusters.
I added a bigger group to the center of the garland with a few of our prettier colored leaves.
This was so simple and besides using the hot glue gun, Ila was able to help a lot with this project. Just a few tools and some fall foliage from our own property created a really pretty and simple table decoration.
We kept it simple with just the leaves but you could add any fall touches. Fall florals, ribbon, or fabric scraps would make great additions to the leaves. Something like dried fruit or pampas grass too.
This would be pretty around a door, as a table centerpiece or even turned into a wreath. I love finding little projects like this to create our own decor out of what is happening outside.