Free DIY fall decor — Autumn Tree

Instead of posting about the things that are bringing me down or my second night of not enough sleep in a row or the fact that there’s a ringing sound in my office that is about to make me go apeshit, I thought I’d mix things up with a tutorial. This is a DIY project I did a few months ago for work and then redid last week for fall.

It’s a little tree! I’m really into trees. I have two pieces of art and a purse at home that both sport trees, as well as a pair of TOMS I decorated myself. Anyway, they inspire hope in my cold, dead heart and are such an outward expression of the passage of time and changing of the seasons. They are a very spiritual symbol for me.

So anyway, this tree is an easy project that you can make from found materials and stuff most of us have around the home or office.

Here’s what you need:

  • Small container (we have these cute mini paint cans at the office, but a bowl, vase, or jar would work just as well)
  • Floral foam or small-ish rocks (those glass stones for aquariums would work well, too)
  • A bundle of little twigs
  • Brown or green tissue paper (optional but recommended for covering floral foam)
  • Scissors
  • Colored paper or white paper plus markers, crayons, or colored pencils
  • White glue

First step is assembling the basic tree. Gather some small twigs and branches. I went for totally brown ones that had good texture and weren’t too long. If you have floral foam, cut it to size and place in the bottom of your container. If you’re using rocks, pour them in the bottom. Start shoving the twigs in until you like the shape. If using tissue paper, crumple it a little, and use it to cover the foam by weaving it in between the branches.

If you used natural rocks instead, you can leave them uncovered. Now turn to your paper. I chose three sheets of construction paper: red, yellow, and orange for a seasonal theme. If you’re starting with white paper and your tree is about the same size as mine, one sheet should suffice. Just color a third of it red, a third yellow, and a third orange. Take your scissors and cut little leaf shapes in different sizes. I cut 24 small, 14 medium, and six large, but there is no need to be exact. They’re all between 1/2″ and 1 1/2″ lengthwise. Now start gluing them to your branches using plain white glue. I dabbed a little on one end of each leaf, place it as desired on each twig, and held on for a couple of seconds. Continue until you are satisfied with your little autumn tree.

Display proudly.

The tree would make a nice centerpiece, and it’s actually fairly versatile. Since you’re just using a little bit of school glue, you can pull the leaves off in the spring and transform it into a colorful tree by using green paper and/or adding little fruit shapes. Or you can take it apart and not feel sad since it cost you nothing. Just be careful not to poke yourself in the eye with a branch while you walk around the office trying to find useable background and source of lighting (guilty).

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