The only real downside to living in California is the lack of seasons. Specifically, the lack of autumn because the leaves barely change color here in SoCal. It’s the one thing I don’t like about SoCal. Oh, and the traffic. I really enjoy fall and wish that we could enjoy it more here, but I still love the sightly cooler weather so that I can wear cozy sweaters and eat soup again after several months of summer. It’s officially socially acceptable to decorate for fall so I’m jumping right into it. After all, as soon as Starbucks starts selling pumpkin spice lattes, it means summer is really over.
Anyway, to kick off the season I’m sharing one of my favorite fall DIYs! I made this fall leaves wreath to hang on my door this year leading up to Thanksgiving. Then, of course, I’ll swap out my Christmas decorations. (yay, it’s almost Christmas! Kind of…)
- Styrofoam wreath form (about 12 inch diameter)
- Fake fall leaves (various colors and sizes)
- Pins (like those used for sewing)
- Glue gun
- Extra fall decorations (like the mini bulbs I used)
- Burlap ribbon (or cut burlap)
I found a large selection of fall leaves at Michaels recently – both the kind on stems and the kind in bags. For this project, I recommend the leaves that come in bags so that you don’t have to bother cutting them from branches. The amount you need is based on the size of your wreath. I purchased about 4 bags and had more than enough for this project.
Using pins to place your leaves is optional, but I found them really helpful for laying out the placement of my leaves before I glued them down.
To get started, lay out your leaves according to size. Use the pins to place your leaves on the wreath form, varying the sizes and colors so that it looks like it would on a tree. You’ll want the leaves to overlap slightly and all face the same direction (i.e. leaves facing left and continuing all the way around). To make sure the wreath looks full, continue placing the leaves on the sides. You should be able to view it from the side and not see styrofoam.
As you go and confirm the placement of a portion of your leaves, go ahead and glue them down with your glue gun. It will be easier to glue them in pieces rather than pinning ALL the leaves and then having to go back, so do them in sections around the wreath. Also, when gluing, try to only glue the bottom portion of the leaf in place so that the top can flow out and give the wreath depth.
Continue pinning and gluing your wreath in sections all the way around your wreath until your satisfied with the placement of everything. If you make a mistake, just pull the leaves off (even if they’re glued) and replace them as needed. It shouldn’t do too much damage to the leaf or the wreath. If it does ruin your leaf, no worries. You may even be able to hide that one beneath other leaves so that you won’t even see the damage.
Add more little pieces of fall garnish if you want. I added those colorful little bulbs in some spots.
Once done, cut several pieces of burlap ribbon:
- Two 1-foot-long pieces
- One 5-inch-long piece
Loop a 1-foot-long piece around the top of your wreath and glue the ends together. Gluing burlap together can be difficult, so just be careful not to burn yourself! Let dry completely.
To make the bow, loop the other 1-foot-long piece around 2 times. If you hold your fingers in the middle, it should look like a bow. If it does, good! If not, adjust the loop or cut the burlap to your desired length until it starts to look like a bow. Cut a small piece of string and tie a knot around the middle to secure it (see above picture). Then use the 5-inch-long piece of burlap to wrap around the middle, covering the string. Glue it on the backside and let dry so that it holds in place. Then glue the back of the bow to the bottom of your burlap loop.
Once it’s all dry and secure, hang the finished wreath on your door and you’re set for the start of fall! Happy decorating!