walking next to me
05. 11. 2016

Tomorrow is daylight savings.  It’s my first one as a mama and I am already dreading tomorrow morning.  I have heard many times how difficult the time change is on kiddos and while all of you non-parents are enjoying your extra hour, I will be saying good morning to a smiling and energetic baby at 5:00am or earlier.  Oh and Ben is on a men’s retreat this weekend.  Pretty sure the church planned it that way on purpose.  :)

So in honor of “falling back”, I thought I would share the fall decorating project that I finally did today.  This was one of those projects that I had been planning to do for a few years now that I found on Pinterest but it just sat there on my “Crafty” board waiting for me to finally get it done.  (My inspiration can be found here).  To make matters worse, this was probably the easiest project in history.  And I know this is well into the fall season, but cut me a break here people!  I will get at least a month out of this until it is time to decorate for Christmas.

Without further ado, today I made a leaf!

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And I am here to tell you, you can too!

You only need:

A piece of plywood, stained with your favorite stain (this is Dark Walnut) and cut to the dimensions of your choosing – this is about 2’x2′ but any size would work

A leaf garland (mine was about $6 with a coupon at Hobby Lobby)

A glue gun

Scissors

Yes that’s it you guys!  Not let’s talk about the process…

Here I have my stained wood.  Pretty exciting, I know.  About as exciting as my “fruit” basket in the background that only has an onion in it.  Apparently it’s time to go grocery shopping, yeesh!

Right after staining, I left it in the garage for about a week to make sure it was no longer smelly.  If it were just Ben and I, it would have been in the house and finished the same afternoon, but now we’ve got this baby to think about…

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Then, cut the leaves off of your garland.

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Start making the shape of your big leaf out of your leaves.  I just looked up a picture of a leaf online and eye-balled this.  Since you are using things that don’t have straight edges, it is easy to just keep adding as needed to create the shape of your leaf.  I used a hot glue gun to stick my leaves, but whatever type of glue you have would probably work.

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I did the perimeter first to establish the shape, then filled in once it was done.

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Then I spent about 5 minutes removing the little strings from the glue gun.  If I am using my glue gun wrong and there is a way to prevent this, someone please tell me!

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My leaf garland had some bunches of twigs on it.  I used these together to make my stem.

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And then up on the mantle it went!  That was the whole project.  Once it was stained, the whole thing probably took me a half hour.  Including glue gun warm up time.  See, quick and easy!

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A few notes:

I made sure not to glue the entire leaf down so that there was more texture and depth to the big leaf.  You can see that well in the shot below.

The garland I picked had a lot of bright colors, which is just what I wanted.  You can make this as muted, dark, or light as you want.  Whatever’s your thang!

Since I used such a dark stain as my background, I made sure that there were plenty of light and bright leaves on the perimeter so that you can really see the leaf shape and it is easy to distinguish from the dark brown.  Some of the dark reds got a little too matchy-matchy.

The original Pinterest post used real leaves.  I wanted something that would hold up in storage and not get all decomposed on me so this could be used for years to come.  So I went the fake leaf route, but I got the most convincing fake leaves around ;)

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I also have big plans to flip this puppy over and doing something else on the back for the non-fall times of the year.  Still to be determined, but the wheels are a-turning :)

For now I’m going to go light a pumpkin spice candle and ride out this long afternoon nap.

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