Recycled Fall Wreath with Painted Paper Bag Leaves

This fun, kid-friendly project is a great way to re-use those old paper grocery bags and decorate for fall!

MATERIALS

Leaf template {DOWNLOAD LEAF TEMPLATE HERE}

Large paper bags

Paint (in fall colors – I used red, yellow, brown, and gold)

Hot glue and/or double stick tape

Wire (26 gauge)

Styrofoam wreath

Burlap or ribbon

DIRECTIONS

Download & print out leaf pattern. Wrap the wreath with burlap strips or ribbon, hot glue end to hold in place.

Here’s where the kids can get involved: it’s time to paint the paper bags. I cut the bag into sections, and painted each a different color (red, gold, yellow, brown).

After the paint is dry, cut two rectangular pieces large enough for the leaf.  Put one rectangle painted piece down (non painted side up) and glue (or use double sided tape) wire down the center. Then add more glue or tape and place the other rectangle on top (paint side up).  Lay your leaf pattern on top, then trace and cut out.

 

I made 35 leaves.

Push each leaf with wire into the wreath and continue until your wreath is covered in leaves.  The wire is flexible and allows you to bend and shape the leaves to give the wreath a little dimension.

Once the wreath is completed, you may want to attach ribbon or burlap strips so that you can hang it  – I just used small straight pins to pin my burlap strips to the back of the wreath.

 

Sharing this with Kissed by a Frog & Tip Junkie.

 

Pumpkin Decorations Made from Recycled Books

Have a bunch of old books laying around? Give them a new life by creating unique pumpkins, perfect for autumn and Halloween decorations!

This is a great way to give new life to books that are falling apart, torn, missing covers or pages, or would have otherwise been thrown away. The books I used  were given to me by others who did not want them anymore and were planning on throwing them away – it was a little tough to cut up a book, but I feel pretty good about making something beautiful and useful out of them, and saving them from a landfill! 🙂

There a a few different techniques that you can use to color the pumpkins, depending on how color-saturated you want them (and how much time you want to spend creating them ).

MATERIALS

Old paperback books

Sticks

Orange ink pad

Orange acrylic paint

Large mixing bowl

Exacto knife

Hot glue & glue gun

Sheet of paper

Scissors

Green felt

Brown Cloth Stem Wire (can be found in the floral section of any craft store)

DIRECTIONS

On a blank sheet of paper, draw and cut out a pumpkin shape (keeping in mind the size of the book you will be using and that the book will need to be able to stand up, so don’t make the bottom completely rounded).  Pull the front & back cover off the book. Open the book  to about halfway through, and then trace the shape onto the book pages. Use an Exacto knife to cut out the pumpkin (you may have work your way through the book doing this, cutting several pages at a time).

 

 

Once your pumpkin shape is cut out, it’s time to give it some color! Decide which method you want to use (if you’re making more than one, you may want to try a different method of adding color for each one):

Rub the edges with an orange stamp pad. This is by far the quickest, easiest and least messy method, but it just gives the edges color, so a lot of white will still show through.

Dip the edges in orange paint. Water down orange acrylic paint to dilute it and put it in a large mixing bowl or other container. Test the orange color by dipping a sheet of paper in – add more water or orange paint to make it the color you like. Then, just close the book and dip the cut edges in. You can dip as little or as much as you’d like – the deeper and/or longer the book gets dipped in the paint, the further the color will soak up into the pages. If you want the book pages to be entirely orange-tinted, dip the whole book in the paint (this produces a really cute look, but it took almost 2 days to dry completely!).

 

Once the book pumpkins are are completely dry, it’s time to make the stems and leaves that will attach to the top. Cut out a few leaf shapes from green felt and hot glue a small length of the stem wire to the back of each.  Use some more of the wire to create little curly spirals that will also stick out of the top of the pumpkin by wrapping it around a pen or pencil, then just sliding it off.

Open the book so that the first and last pages and the core of the spine  are facing up.  Use the hot glue gun to glue a stick (the stem), along with the base of the wire “curlies” and the leaf  into the top of the spine of the book. Zig-zag hot glue all the way down the spine, then just open the book completely so the pages are all spread out.

 

 

Once the hot glue dries, the pumpkins are done!

 

 

 

 

I’m linking this tutorial up to: Tip Me TuesdayPatches of PinkHappy HourSundae Shake Up & Everything Under the Moon.

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