A person sitting on a bench in a garden

Three DIY Craft Ideas for the Fall Using Up-cycled Outdoor Items

Everyone likes to get into the mood for the Fall season. It is a season of many type of color changes. This article provides three craft ideas, using up-cycled items to bring out the best of design for the Fall season.

Craft Number One
Make a leaf wreath for your front door. This craft is so simple, that your children can do it. You will need cardboard, real colored leaves, glue, wire, brush, white paint and clear lacquer.

  1. Cut out two cardboard circles that are at least 9 inches across. Then cut out the centers so that you have equal sizes. Then glue these two together. This will make them your wreath stronger. Consider using recycled cardboard.
    2. Place your leaves on a newspapers or old plastic. Paint your leaves with the lacquer. You can do both sides or just one. I recommend both sides. Set them aside to dry.
    3. Paint your cardboard white. Let it dry.
    4. Place a hanging wire loop through the top of the cardboard.
    5. Glue your leaves to the cardboard wreath. Arrange them in the mixed colors. Do not leave any of the cardboard to be seen. You can lap over the leaves. After the glue is dry, hand your wreath.

Craft Number Two
Make a basket of plenty for your fireplace mantle or counter top. This will require an old wooden fruit basket or used wicker basket. You will need a lacquer, brush, a piece of recycled cardboard, colored leaves, acorns, pine cones and small gourds, Indian corn and miniature pumpkins.

  1. Using your lacquer, paint your basket. Cover both the inside and outside. This will give it a shiny appearance.
    2. Put a coat of lacquer on to your leaves and let them dry.
    3. Once the leaves are dry, glue them to your piece of cardboard.
    4. Set up your cardboard on the mantle with the basket at one end.
    5. Place your other colored items on top of the leaves. Be sure to set your basket on its side. A little glue will hold it in place. Make sure it looks like the basket spilled out with the gourds and pumpkins and other items in it. You might want to consider using the lacquer to brighten up the acorns and pine cones.

Craft Number Three
Make a grapevine door entrance trellis. For this project, you will need long thin saplings or long grapevines. They have to be long enough to go around your entire door entrance. You will also need some wire, wire cutters, hot glue, bow ribbon and colored leaves.

  1. You can find your trellis limbs, by walking through the country side and cutting what you need. Trim off an branches or leaves on the vines. Depending on the size of your vines you will need about twelve. On the thin ends of the vine, curve them over and intertwine them with the other vines. The center of the arch should be in the middle at the top of your door.
    2. Use wire to hold them together, if you need to. Be sure to bind the bottoms together with wire.
    3. Glue colored leaves to the sides of your vine trellis. You can use lacquer to harden your leaves, before gluing them in place.
    4. Using Fall season colors, place bows on each side of the trellis. Try to use old bows left over from other past projects. They should be about shoulder height. You can place your trellis inside or outside.

These three craft items are a great way to use up-cycled items to add to your Fall design.


A lamp that is sitting on a table

DIY Craft Ideas: Americana Red Barn Inspired Candle Holder

When I think of “Americana”, a few images come to mind… flags, apple pie, and red barns. It is easy to say that nothing is quite more comforting and classic. Add a touch of this look to your home with this easy to create candle holder that conjures up the warm feelings of that classic red barn look.

For this project, you will need:

– Candle block holder from Viking Wood Crafts

– Delta CeramaCoat Acrylic Paint in Barn Red

– Delta CeramaCoat Acrylic Paint in Antique White

– Medium grit sandpaper

– Soft cloth

– Three inch cast iron star from Texican Treasures

– Hot glue gun

– Paper cup or bowl

– Water

– Coarse hair paintbrush

– Glass votive holders

– Vanilla or berry scented votive candles

– Newspaper

Coat your workspace adequately with newspaper, as this project can get a little messy. Gently sand the candle block holder with medium grit sandpaper. Wipe off any dust with a soft cloth. (This step is vital as it helps the paint adhere to the wood.)

Mix one part water with one part Delta CeramaCoat Acrylic Paint in Antique White in the paper cup or bowl. Using the coarse hair paintbrush, paint the entire wood candleholder with a singular coat. Allow the paint to dry.

Paint over the white on the wood candle holder with a thick coat of Delta CeramaCoat Acrylic Paint in Barn Red. Let the candleholder set until it is almost completely dry. With medium grit sandpaper, sand random areas on the holder to remove a bit of red paint. This adds a vintage, worn look that many boutique charge lots of money for. Let the paint dry fully.

Paint the cast iron stars with the white paint mixture. Once the paint has dried, sand off some of the coating with the medium grit sandpaper. Dust off any remnants with a soft cloth. Heat up your hot glue gun. Attach the cast iron star to the center of the side of the wooden candleholder using the glue gun. Allow the glue to dry.

Insert the glass votive holders. Place vanilla or berry scented candles in the holders and enjoy!

TIP: For an added Americana look, try using a dark blue base coat instead of an antique white. Or, instead of a barn red top coat consider using a blue shade. The only limit is your imagination with this project, so be creative!

A bottle of green grass

DIY Craft: Hummingbird Feeder

Even though we see the long bills of hummingbirds slip into flowers and feeders, the hummingbirds actually lick the nectar with their tongues. These fascinating birds are delightful to watch while they are feeding. Constructing a bird feeder using recycled items repainted in red is sure to bring the hummingbirds to your yard. Below is a creative tutorial on making your own hummingbird feeder and an easy recipe to blend a sugar water mixture to fill the feeder.


1 liter soda bottle
Wire coat hanger
Glue Gun
Glue sticks (for glue gun)
2-3 small wooden flower appliques
Red acrylic paint
Paint brush
Small nail


Step One – Rinse out the soda bottle in preparation of reconstructing it into a hummingbird feeder. Turn the bottle upside down without the cap and allow it to air dry.

Step Two – While you are waiting on the soda bottle to dry, begin to paint the wooden flower appliques. Lay out the newspaper and pour some of the red paint onto a small area. Painting both sides of the wooden flowers is optional, only one red side is necessary. Allow the flowers to dry and paint a second count to ensure the red color will be bold and bright. Paint the cap of the soda bottle as well.

Step Three – In the center of the soda bottle, make a small hole by hammering the nail into the bottle. Remove the nail after the hole has been made.

Step Four – Using the glue gun, adhere the wooden flowers on each side of the hole in the soda bottle.

Step Five – Fill the bottle with a sugar water mixture and tighten the cap on the soda bottle.

Step Six – Stretch out the wire hanger and begin to wrap onside of the hanger around the neck of the bottle. Twist the other end of the wire hanger into a large hook, so it can hang on a tree branch.

How To: Sugar Water Mixture


¼ cup sugar
¼ cup water, plus ¾ cup cold water


Step One – Combine the sugar and ¼ cup of water into a pot. Bring the mixture to a boil while continuously stirring.

Step Two – Remove pot from the stove and stir in ¾ cup of cold water. Completely cool before adding to a feeder.


DIY Craft and Reading Lap Desk with Storage

At a local craft store, you can buy a lap desk with little to no storage for over twenty dollars. I realized that with a little DIY action, I could customize my own lap desk for pennies on the dollar. Not only will you have a lap desk, but imagine using it to serve your loved ones breakfast in bed with. This is one of the easiest crafts I have shown how to do, that creates a very useful lap desk that will serve you well for many years to come.

The first thing to do (yes, before you gather your materials), is to envision what kind of lap desk you would like, and what features you need. I make a lot of jewelry, work with polymer clay, and scrap book, I need more of a general lap desk with one primary container.

NOW you gather your supplies.

You will need (or you can make) a small throw pillow about the size of your lap. E3000 or another super bonding craft glue (made for plastics and fabric), and a clipboard with a built-in box from an office supply store or Wal-Mart. This is a good example of what I mean, though I prefer one with a deeper container.

Now simply glue the pillow onto the bottom of the clipboard, and carefully place some encyclopedias over your lap desk for as long as your particular glue takes to cure. Make sure your books lay flat on your lap desk, as you do not want the pillow sliding off when the glue is curing.

Now you can customize your lap desk. If you would like a removable container (to wash your pillow) you can glue, sew, or iron on adhesive-backed Velcro onto your pillow and clip board, but personally I found the resulting adhesion to be too weak, especially when I am using any kind of force on the top of the lap desk, or even leaning on it too heavily. You can also add extra pockets on the side of your pillow by gluing scrap fabric to the sides of the pillows, leaving the top side of the scrap open. If you would like to hem it first for a more professional look, please do.

Enjoy your lap desk, and let me know how they come out!