Rachael Rachael, a mom of two daughters, is a freelance editor and writer who enjoys gardening and dreams of keeping chickens in her suburban St. Louis backyard. In her spare time, she helps to edit her husband’s science fiction books. Read more of Rachael's work at www.rachaelsjohnston.com or contact her by emailing rachael@mumblingmommy.com.

Fall is my favorite season. The cooler days beckon me to pour a cup of hot tea, sit down at the dining room table with my 4-year-old, and get crafty. I’m not typically a big crafter, but fall brings crafting possibilities that can easily double as décor. Here are a few projects we’ve busied ourselves with in my house, thanks to the wonders of the Internet:

1.       Jack-O-Lantern Milk Jugs. These look ahh-mazing. Save empty plastic gallon jugs and clean them out. Paint them with orange acrylic paint. (We tried using Crayola washable paint, but it rubbed off on my fingers when I handled the jugs.) Cut jack-o-lantern face pieces out of black construction paper and glue them on. Wrap a bit of green or brown tissue paper over the lid for a stem. Cut leaf shapes from green construction paper and poke them onto a pipe cleaner, and wrap the pipe cleaner around the lid, curling a section of pipe cleaner to look like a pumpkin vine.

Kick it up a notch by cutting out the back of the plastic jug. Put a votive candle inside for a glowing effect. Or let kids use the jugs to collect Halloween treats, but make sure you remove any lit candles first!

As Thanksgiving approaches, be sure to save a few extra jugs from your recycling bin so you can make milk jug
, too!

2.      Leaf-Stringing Game. Purchase at least a dozen fake fall leaves from the craft store (I bought two dozen), along with a roll of fall-themed ribbon (it doesn’t have to be very long). Cut a length of ribbon and sew a button on either end, and cut a slit in each leaf so it can be threaded onto the ribbon. This is a good way to develop finger coordination, or fine motor skills. My 4-year-old mostly likes to fling the leaves around and pretend she’s jumping in a pile of leaves, but, oh, well. Make a long enough string of leaves and you have a nice garland to hang in the house.

3.      Toilet Roll Tree. Uses for empty toilet paper rolls are endless. For this craft, save one toilet paper roll. Cut a salad-plate-sized circle out of a piece of cardboard (an empty cereal box works fine). Cut or tear red, orange, yellow, and/or brown tissue paper into small pieces. Wad the pieces up a bit, then glue them onto the cardboard circle until it’s covered. Cut two small slits in one end of the toilet paper roll and slide the tissue paper-covered circle into the slits. Stand it up, and you have a lovely fall tree centerpiece for your table.

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Category: Arts & Crafts

Tags: autumn