It’s time to break out sweaters and warm apple cider – fall is here and we couldn’t be more excited. When you feel that first crisp breeze in the air, you know for a fact that summer is gone and fall is here with its colorful leaves, best fashion, and long-awaited holidays.
From pumpkin carving to hiking trips, there are so many reasons to take advantage of this time of year. Here are 5 things to do this season that will bring out the fall lover in you.
1. Setting the season with natural vases
Nothing sets the mood for a room quite like flowers. To give your arrangements double the impact, try using a natural vase. You can bring fall into your home by using pumpkins, gourds, and squash as containers to bring added fall flair to your flower arrangements. With a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, these seasonal delights are a decorator’s dream.
Simply cut a hole big enough to fit a couple of florist tubes, insert flower stems and enjoy a unique bud vase. Small pumpkins can be carved to use as fun votive candle holders, or take out the candle and use it as a “vase” for a short stem flower arrangement. As an added bonus, youE can use the insides of the pumpkins or gourds you clean out to create delicious pies, mash, and roasted seeds!
2. Walnut photo holder
Your family photos and cards will get a seasonal lift with easy-to-make walnut photo holders, made of real walnuts! First, find large nuts with the flattest bottoms, test them out to make sure they can stand up on their own.
Take one nut at a time, and drill a small hole in the top of it – opposite the flat end. Make sure the hole you drill will hold a piece of 18-gauge wire.
Measure approximately 6 inches of your 18-gauge wire. To create a loop in the wire that will eventually hold photos, wrap ONE end of the wire completely around a wide marker – do this twice, so you create two circles next to each other at the end of the wire. Remove the marker, and pinch the loops together.
Insert the straight end of the wire into hole you drilled into your nut earlier; you may even wish to add a drop of epoxy or super glue into the hole to keep your wire more stable. Slip a photo or card between the loops and enjoy your new, original photo frame.
Want to get even more creative? Decorating your new photo holders with glitter will create a whole new festive look. To create different designs, cover certain areas of the walnut with masking tape; when you use glitter, only the exposed areas will twinkle.
Apply craft glue on the un-taped areas, and dip the walnut into a dish with glitter until fully coated. Set aside, and allow them to dry for at least 2 hours (or overnight). After the walnuts have dried, shake off any loose glitter and remove the masking tape. For more sparkle, reapply glue and glitter prior to removing the masking tape as many times as you want.
3. Dry Leaves Art
What fall decoration would be complete without stunning colored leaves? Tons of craft projects with dry leaves are very popular during fall, and with such a beautiful array of seasonal colors it’s easy to see why. There are plenty of ideas out there for both grown-ups and kids on what you can do with dry leaves but how do you actually dry them to start with? The simplest method (our favorite) is pressing the leaves flat to dry. This process might be a little slow (it takes about 2 weeks) but it’s very simple and will never fail.
Open a large book (something like an encyclopedia), place a paper towel on one of the pages, then place a leaf or several smaller leaves on top, making sure they don’t overlap. Cover the leaves with another paper towel and close the book. Lay it flat somewhere out of the way, with a stack of books or stable heavy objects on top. Then just wait.
When you’re drying multiple leaves in the same book, leave at least 1/8 inch (3 mm) of pages between each sheet to provide enough weight for all of them. Use additional layers of paper towels if the leaves are damp to avoid staining the book’s pages. Check your leaves once a week to see if they are dry, and change the paper towels if they feel damp.
Once your leaves are dry you can start your craft projects by creating a simple leaf card. Add the dry leaves to construction paper to create unique greeting cards. Or, use glue and glitter to put your guests’ name straight onto the leaves for a fun way to set up a seating arrangement at a dinner party.
4. Pumpkinize Your Body
Winter, spring, summer, pumpkin…Did you know this popular fruit has its own season? As soon as September rolls around, the stores and our tables are overflowing with all things pumpkin, a seasonal delight you don’t want to miss. From lattes to ales, pies to waffles, everything gets a delicious pumpkin makeover. Since there are tons of delicious recipes on how to cook pumpkin, we’d like to share a rather interesting recipe for how you can use this squash in your daily beauty routine.
Next time you have a some pumpkin puree leftovers, don’t throw it away, instead use it to make an easy body scrub full of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, antioxidants, and natural enzymes that will help you to remove dead skin cells and get ready for winter. Treat your body to some pumpkin delight and it will thank you later for sure.
Pumpkin-Sugar Body Scrub
1 cup coarse raw sugar
1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin will do too)
1 tsp honey
1 Tbsp. almond or olive oil
- Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl until well combined. Add more or less sugar and oil based on personal preferences.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Apply 2-3 times a week and enjoy rejuvenated skin.
5. Pumpkin Latte Mix In a Jar
Fall is rich not only with crafts, but also with amazing seasonal recipes. These days it’s become a time to visit Starbucks more often to treat ourselves to a cup of warm latte. But what if you could make a delicious latte yourself, in a matter of minutes, and in the comfort of your own home?
Save yourself a lot of time and money with this tasty Pumpkin Latte Mix; you can keep it in a tightly sealed mason jar for up to 6 months in your pantry. Just add hot water every time you feel like drinking something warm and delicious.
Pumpkin Latte Dry Mix
You will need:
- 1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
- 1/2 cup powdered nondairy creamer
- 1/2 cup instant coffee granules
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup instant pumpkin or vanilla pudding mix
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice (or ½ Tbsp. if you are using pumpkin instant pudding mix)
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until it turns into fine powder. Place the mix into a glass jar and store in a cool dry place for up to 6 months.
For 1 cup of hot latte: dissolve 2-3 Tbsp. dry mix in hot water and stir well. Garnish with whipped cream, marshmallows, or a cinnamon stick if desired.
Did you find any of these tips useful? Did we miss your fall favorite? Make sure to let us know in the comments below. Don’t forget to share these ideas with your friends and family; crafts are always more fun with a helping hand!
Image #1 by Jodimichelle
Image #4 by beccapie
Image #5 by Randy Heinitz