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The arrival of autumn brings with it fond memories of blackberry picking, conker playing and pumpkin carving. It's a season which seems to lend itself towards spending time in nature, as if the falling of leaves and shortening of days urges us to enjoy the outdoors before we retreat inside for winter. With that in mind, we've pulled together 7 great crafting projects for making the most of the season – all that's left to do is go for a nature walk, have a forage for materials, and get crafting!
These jazzed-up pine cones make a fabulous autumn decoration. To create them, you'll need some acrylic paint in four shades of the same colour, a small paintbrush, an old toothbrush, and some pine cones in shapes and sizes of your choice. Start by cleaning any dirt off the pine cone with the toothbrush, then paint in a neat line around the edge of each tendril. Start with the darkest shade at the bottom and work up to the lightest, with each shade taking up around a quarter of the pine cone. Make them in a variety of different shades to go with your décor.
Take inspiration from autumn leaves by stitching some colourful coasters. By using felt, which won't fray, you can minimise the amount of sewing you need to do – these are a great project for getting the kids involved. To make them, start with several pieces of felt – such as this House of Alistair felt bundle, which includes a range of autumn colours – some matching thread and a needle, and draw or print some leaf and circle templates. Cut out the shapes in complementary colours, then stitch the leaves onto the circles. All that's left to do is wait for a special occasion and put them out on the table to wow your guests!
There's nothing better than going for a long autumn walk and picking some beautiful, plump blackberries. Except, perhaps, eating a delicious homemade pie that you've made with them! Making this seasonal dessert is simpler than you might think – especially if you use ready-made shortcrust pastry. Simply peel and slice your apples, mix them with the blackberries and a little sugar and cinnamon, and pop in a flan tin lined with pastry, adding a lattice top and some pastry leaves. Bake and serve it up for dessert and it's sure to go down a treat.
The best thing about this project is that it costs almost nothing to make: with some autumn leaves and a little Mod Podge, you can quickly transform old glass jars into stunning tealight holders. Once you've gathered your leaves, press them in a flower press or between the pages of a heavy book to make sure they're nice and flat. Next, using some Mod Podge and a large paintbrush, carefully apply the leaves to the outside of the glass jar. When you place a tealight in the jars, they'll cast beautiful shadows across a room!
Not just for Christmas, a wreath made from natural elements like twigs, dried fruits and pine cones will make the perfect seasonal decoration. You can either make a wreath from scratch, using twigs and twine, or buy a pre-made simple one to use as a base. Make dried orange slices by cutting up several oranges and placing in the oven at a low temperature to dry them out, then affix them, along with cinnamon sticks, fake leaves and pine cones, onto your wreath. Hang it with pride on your front door and you're sure to receive a host of compliments!