Easy Pressed Leaf Fall Decor

This year, it seems that the autumn foliage is exceptionally vibrant.  I keep finding myself marveling at the beauty of nature and it made me realize the stark contrast from last year when I lost my father, everything in life felt cloudy. I don’t really think I left the house for weeks after, and by then, the trees had shed all their leaves.

Two weeks ago, on the anniversary of his death,  I went back home to the house I was raised in and sat by the water.  I admired the foliage across the lake and quietly thanked him for choosing to raise my siblings and I as his own.

Growing up, we lived a pretty simple life (well, it was the 80’s, everything was much simpler then), but visiting my childhood home inspired me to spend more time outside. So the first thing I did was go out into our yard to enjoy some nature.

The first leaves that began to fall this year were from a Japanese Maple over our deck. I started gathering them as they began to fall and just placed them under books on a shelf in my living room. When I went back to check on them a few days later, I was inspired to create this adorable little pressed-leaf garland for my kitchen window.

I think it’s so cute and the perfect amount of fall decor paired with a couple of mini pumpkins.

DIY Mini Leaf Garland

Once my leaves were dry, I placed some twine down on a protected surface and then just spaced the leaves out about every 4-6”.  Next, I placed dots of hot glue and placed the leaf stem in it and allowed them to dry.  I then hung them over my kitchen window.

DIY Framed Press Leaf

For some super simple DIY art, you can place a single large maple leaf in a floating glass frame.  It’s exceptionally beautiful when the sunlight shines behind it and serves as the perfect statement piece for a mantel or shelf decor.

You can even arrange the leaves in a grid and create a pressed leaf collage.

I hope this post inspires you to bring some of the beauty of nature indoors. The fall season is so short, but you can enjoy it longer by adding some simple autumnal touches to your home.


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  1. Corrie
    October 30, 2023 / 8:28 pm

    Thanks for the inspiration. We’ve been too overwhelmed by health/life issues in our family to decorate much this autumn, so I love how simple these ideas are.

    PS: Hugs to you for the anniversary of your dad’s passing.

  2. Ellie
    November 5, 2023 / 10:38 am

    I absolutely love this DIY. Nothing manufactured can rival the beauty of nature. This first anniversary is a tough one, I know. Please know that your dad is with you, say his name and speak to him. He will hear you. Blessings to you and your family.

    • madebycarli
      November 6, 2023 / 8:58 am

      Thank you, Ellie, and I couldn’t agree more, fall is nature’s time to show off. And thank you for your kind words about my dad.

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