Easy Fall Crafts with Kids



Summer is slowly giving way to fall, and as the days grow shorter and the weather begins to change, my family enjoys creating homemade decorations to welcome the new season. Each year, we pull out our daughters’ fall-themed creations to decorate the house. The girls love seeing what they’ve made in years past and we all look forward to our tradition of adding a few new decorations to our collection. Here are a few ideas to get you started with your own autumn crafting tradition:

Apple Prints
a-fall-crafts-4.jpgThis craft is super simple and great fun for preschoolers and big kids alike. You’ll need paint (non-toxic washable paint is best, but any crafting paint will do), paper, scissors, glue, plastic or paper plates, and apple or two, and that’s it!
Before you get started, slice your apples in half for the little ones. Next, squeeze a dollop of paint on the plate. If you plan to use more than one color, it’s helpful to put the paint on separate plates and exclusively use one half of an apple per color. Take your halved apples, dip them in the paint, and place the painted side on a blank sheet of paper. Fill the page up with your apple “stamps.”
After the apple stamps have all dried, you’ll have a lovely fall creation. Or, you can add a few extra steps to create an apple print wreath:  Take a large piece of paper or thin cardboard, cut it into a wreath shape (a large circle with a hole in the middle), cut out each of the apple stamps, and glue or tape them to the wreath.  Last, tape the wreath to your child’s bedroom door. Every child loves to decorate in their own room.

a-fall-crafts-2.jpgGlow-in-the-Dark Trick-or-Treat Bags
With Halloween a little over one month away, children are already selecting their costumes and dreaming of bags full of candy. Creating your own trick-or-treat bags is a fun and easy project. Glow-in-the-dark bags will also help you spot your youngsters amidst the throngs of children on the evening of October 31st.

You’ll need a sturdy gift bag (with handles) that’s not too big for your child to carry, glow-in-the-dark duct tape, a black permanent marker, a pencil, and scissors. To begin, unfold your gift bag and wrap all four sides in the glow-in-the-dark duct tape. Little ones will need help with laying the tape flat. Next, trace a grinning skeleton, bat, or ghost face on the bag. Your child may enjoy creating their own Halloween design, too. Go back over the design with a black permanent marker. Take your homemade trick-or-treat bag into a dark room or closet and watch it glow! If you reinforce the bag’s handles with duct tape, you’ll be able to use this fun personalized bag for several Halloweens to come.

Melted Crayon Pumpkin
a-fall-crafts-3.jpgIf you grow tired of the red, orange, and yellow hues most common in fall decorations, then this is the project for you! It’s colorful, easy, and a whimsical spin on your traditional jack-o-lantern.

This project calls for a pumpkin - any size will do. A white pumpkin helps the crayon colors pop, but an orange pumpkin works just fine, too. You’ll also need a box of crayons, tacky or hot glue, and a blow dryer.

First, unwrap the crayons and cut or break them in half. Take about 15 to 20 crayon halves and fan them out on top of your pumpkin with each end pointing out from the stem. Glue the crayons in place. Once the glue has dried, use your hairdryer to melt the crayons. To get a downward drip effect, be sure to heat the crayons from the stem downward so they drip evenly. Clean up is easier if you blow dry the crayons outside on the lawn. If you choose to do this step inside, don’t forget to cover your crafting surface with newspapers or the crayon drippings will remind you of this project for months to come.

This project is super easy, relatively inexpensive, yet yields amazing results. Last year, we purchased several small white pumpkins from the farmers’ market, selected different color patterns for each one, and gave them to each of our daughters’ neighbor friends. This year, we’re inviting the neighborhood kids over to make their own.

a-fall-crafts-1.jpgLeaf Garland
This project is best for older children. It’s a wonderful introduction to sewing to elementary-school-age handicrafts. You can use paper or dried leaves for this project, but utilizing felt for your cut-outs will create a garland that will last for many years. For a felt leaf garland, you’ll need felt squares in colors of your choice, yarn, a large needle, and scissors.

First, simply cut felt squares in leaf shapes. An oval with two points is the easiest to replicate (like rhododendron leaves). Our family uses our leaf garland to decorate the mantle which requires about 28 leaves from end to end with enough slack so it gently hangs down in the middle.  Take your yarn, thread it through the needle, and make 2 to 3 stitches through the center of each leaf. Be sure to connect the point of one leaf to the point of the other to prevent the ends from fraying. Continue this pattern of stitching each leaf together. Voila! You have a beautiful leaf garland to decorate the front door, bed frame, or mantle.

Sometimes it’s hard to do, but try to remember that with any crafting project with kids, perfection isn’t goal. Enjoying quality creative time with your little ones is the most important, and memorable, part of any handicraft.  Next month, we’ll offer a few more fall crafting ideas and look ahead to handmade gifts and decorations for the holidays. Happy crafting!


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