Easy & Inexpensive Fall Crafts

It doesn't take a lot of money to create some fantastic fall crafts. Just use Mother Nature's bounty and your imagination. Writer & mom Kim Tilley explains how.

Readily-available crafting material

I love fall-the colors are stunning, and there is crafting material literally lying around on the ground! It doesn't get much cheaper than that Here are some ways to celebrate autumn's beauty while decorating and creating with your kids:

Fall leaf print shirt

Collect leafs of all shapes and sizes. Using brown, red, orange, and yellow paints, paint each leaf, then press them firmly on a plain white T-shirt. Don't move the leaves while pressing, or they will leave a blurred impression.You can "print" as many leaves as you like on your shirt, either randomly or in a pattern. We found that painting on the side of the leaf where the veins stood out gave the leaves more texture.

Painted gourds

Gourds are a fun and inexpensive way to decorate your home while crafting with your kids. I found this out one year when I mistakenly planted gourds near our house instead of pumpkins. We had more than 40! The vine was gorgeous during the summer as it climbed up our deck.When it came time to cut off the small gourds, we found that we had tall and short ones, smooth and bumpy. We painted the bumpy ones as witches and Frankensteins, and painted the smooth ones as mini pumpkins and ghosts. I kept the faces very simple and sweet. The kids loved getting in on the act!

An acorn jar/wreath

My middle son loves to collect acorns every fall. I never know what to do with so many, so we created an "acorn jar" for his room. We took an old quart sized canning jar, and filled it with acorns. For the lid, we used an 18 ounce peanut butter lid.We hot glued autumn-colored material to the entire lid, then used orange bias tape (from one of my many yard sale finds!) around the edge of the lid. We hot glued an acorn to the top. Beau then created a "label" for the front of the jar using paper and autumn-colored crayons that said "Beau's Acorns." This was a fun project, and lasted for two years before falling apart. I wish I had taken a picture of it. It was so cute!These are just a few of the projects you can complete with your kids. Let your imagination run wild to think up new ways to enjoy the nuts, berries and leaves that are lying in wait.

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