Take advantage of fall's beautiful colors with leafy decorations for your home and garden.
Make a wreath
When trees are freshly painted with their burnished fall hues, take advantage of their splendor. Gather some leaves and clippings to create wreaths or swags for your gates, doors, or mantels. For a quick update on your porch, fill a pot or window box with the colors of the season.
Bunches of Chinese pistache leaves cover this 8-inch straw wreath base (about $10 at craft stores).
Make a swag
This gracefully curving swag creates a leafy half-moon on a garden gate. Japanese maple clippings and liquidambar leaves are tucked into a base of twiggy stems.
If you have a birch or similar tree that drops wispy branches, you can gather several into a bunch and tie them in the middle with florist's wire. Otherwise, buy a twiggy swag base at a craft store (about $10 for one 16 inches long).
Fill a window box
Flame-colored foliage adds just the right touch on the mantel of this outdoor fireplace. The arrangement, made of 8- to 12-inch stems of berries and leaves, fills a window box that's 24 inches long, 8 inches wide, and 6 ½ inches deep.
Pin oak, liquidambar, and snowball viburnum clippings are arranged with stem ends in moist florist's foam; clusters of bright red pyracantha berries spill over the box's edges.
How-to: Window box
Nature's stained glass
Chinese pistache leaves are translucent enough to glow like stained glass when lit from behind. To celebrate their vivid fall beauty indoors, display them on simple glass hurricane candle holders.
Gather leaf cuttings from your garden (ginkgo and Japanese maple are other good choices).
Press them in a book overnight to keep them from crinkling, then use one or two Glue Dots on the back of each stem, affixing each leaflet to the outside surface of the glass.