SHE’S CRAFTY! Try as we might, there’s no beauty quite like what’s found in nature. Many of the colors, textures, and prints we develop for a season are based around what can be seen outdoors during different times of the year. A favorite for many of us to watch are the leaves as they turn color from green to a rainbow of yellows, oranges, and reds. Alana Jones-Mann perfectly captures the feeling of autumn with today’s glowing DIY project that brings the outdoors in!

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Just this week I was noticing that the leaves are really starting to fall here in NYC. So, for my next DIY I wanted to show you some beautiful fall décor you can make using some of those freshly-fallen leaves sitting in your yard.

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MATERIALS NEEDED:

- An assortment of freshly-fallen leaves

- A heavy book (to be used as a flower press)

- Scissors

- Clear contact paper

- Glue Stick

- X-acto Knife

- Water + Floating Candle

 

DIRECTIONS:

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Step #1: As you search for your leaves, make sure to choose leaves that are still fresh and supple.  Avoid dry leaves that have been on the ground for a couple of days. Once you have a selection of beautiful leaves, allow them to dry while simultaneously pressing them in the middle of a heavy book – placing each leaf on a separate page. I recommend pressing the leaves for three to four days, as you don’t want them to become too crispy.

 

Step #2: Once your leaves have dried and are flat, you can move onto making your vase. First, cut a piece of clear contact paper to the size of your vase. Make sure the height of your contact paper is equal to that of your vase and that the width will cover the vase once around, without overlapping. Peel off the backing of the contact paper and put the sheet on your work surface, sticky side up. Arrange the leaves on the sheet, placing the front side of each leaf face down. For overlapping leaves, add a tiny bit of glue to secure the overlapped leaves together.

 

Step #3: Line up the contact paper sheet to the vase and slowly press it onto your vase, applying pressure as the contact paper meets the glass vase. Once you’ve wrapped the entire piece onto the vase, smooth out any air bubbles that may have surfaced.

Optional: I decided I wanted to take off the extra contact paper, so I used an x-acto knife to cut off some of the unneeded paper. If you choose to do this, make sure to not cut too close to the leaves, so that there is enough adhesive to keep them secured to the glass. 

 

Step #4: Fill your vase with water, add a floating candle, and light.  Now how pretty is that?  And just to let you know, I made this vase around this time last year and the leaves held strong throughout the entire season without going bad or losing their color. So you shouldn’t have to worry and you can keep that beautiful vase on display in your home throughout the fall!

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(All images were taken by Alana Jones-Mann)