It’s that time of year again. The foliage will turn different shades of autumn tones and begin to fall from the trees. There is crispness in the air and the sound of nature crunches under the soles of your shoes.
But these leaves that make their way from spring blossoms to fall foliage, have a bigger purpose than merely covering the ground. Whether you rake them, jump in them or use them for decoration, fall leaves lend themselves to many different uses.
Frame them: The colors found in fall leaves are some of nature’s best work. Somehow the reds, browns and yellow tones go together just perfectly and that perfect combination is often replicated in home decor and fashion.
Why not make your own decor at little to no cost? Simply gather leaves from your yard or favorite park. Take them home and let them dry out, if the weather has been a bit damp. If you have time, simply place the leaf between the pages of a book and it will dry and flatten out. If you are in a hurry, you can microwave the leaves on a low setting if they are crumpled up, wrinkled or damp. Allow them to lie flat for a while before you begin framing them. Select the frame that best suits your home and press the leaf between the glass, as you would a picture. Instantly, you have a cost-effective, DYI decoration.
Use them as party decor: Are you planning a fall-inspired party or get-together? Break away from the everyday and use real leaves as part of your party decorations. Find leaves in your yard and let them dry out for a couple of days. Scatter them on tablecloths throughout the house or punch small holes in the top and string them to create a fun and inspired streamer.
If you are feeling extra crafty, create an entire wreath out of the fall foliage and hang it on your door to give guests a warm welcome.
Let the kids jump in them: It may sound like a bad idea for the person who has to rake up all the leaves but your kids will thank you. There is nothing quite like jumping into a giant pile of fallen leaves on a crisp day. Sure, it’s the kind of thing you see in movies but it is just as good in real life.
Let the kids wrestle in them, jump in them, and play in them. Watching them will bring sheer delight to your face and may even inspire you to jump in, as well. If you have a dog, they will also love the option of playing in the leaves. This could also serve as a great photo-op and perhaps, even a perfect contender for this year’s holiday card.
Use as insulation: It may sound bizarre but leaves can be gathered and used as insulation for coops, doghouses and other animal dwellings. If you live in a climate that gets chilly in fall and winter, save the leaves in garbage bags rather than throwing them away. Layering leaves on top of doghouses can provide roof insulation for chilly days.
Use them for your compost: Leaves have more minerals than any manure you will find and are perfect for composting. Once these beauties fall from your trees, rake and gather them. Adding the leaves to your compost will not only be effective but will also be a great way to help your neighbors get rid of their unwanted leaves, as well. Recycling your fall leaves will produce better soil and turn a messy situation into the gift that keeps on giving.