With daylight waning and the Big Dark approaching at wind-whipping speed, it’s time to schedule some indoor activities with your parent friends — activities that bring warmth and a break from routine. Getting together for face-to-face time and your favorite charcuterie board plus drinks is good self-care for the mind, body and soul. Why not get creative to boot?
Round up those kids and send them on a metaphorical hayride so you can spend a parents’ night in making popular fall crafts and projects that make you feel productive, festive and — let’s dare to say it — crafty. Even if you are convinced that you don’t have a crafty bone in your body, don’t worry. Thanks to TikTok and YouTube, we’ve unearthed a bushelful of easy fall craft ideas.
These simple and quick projects can transform your home instantly, using inexpensive materials that go from the Dollar Store to looking like a million bucks. After all, a little creativity, lots of socializing and a generous dose of laughter, plus drinks and appetizers — who wouldn’t jump at that invitation?
1. What’s old is “boo” again.
This is upcycling with a seasonal twist. Start with a second-hand piece of framed art from a thrift store or garage sale. Then, turn it into a spooky Halloween piece by transforming the human figures into ghosts using acrylic paint (or paint in your own spooky figures as you like). If you want something less spooky, try painting fall leaves, pumpkins or acorns, and presto — you have a one-of-a-kind décor for your walls that is sure to be a conversation piece.
@brushmeoff shows you how on TikTok.
2. Roll out the welcome mat for Halloween.
Are you ready to welcome those trick-or-treaters with a sweet message at their feet? A custom welcome mat will get everyone who comes knocking in the spirit. Using a stencil and waterproof paint, transform a natural fiber welcome mat into a decorative piece. Start with a plain mat to make a functional canvas that says welcome in a new way. Add your favorite saying or images, using an existing stencil, or create your own.
Find out how on YouTube.com.
3. Repurpose plastic pumpkins into décor fit for the "Barn."
Seasonal decorations at Home Depot or Dollar Tree are easy to find, but they aren’t always in the colors you’d like for your home. Plastic pumpkins can be glammed up to resemble the ones you’d find at Pottery Barn with some basic craft paint. Select pumpkins of different sizes and shapes, and use paint to make a cohesive display in coordinating colors that are perfect for the autumn season. Customize the colors as you like, and add touches and highlights that turn basic pumpkin décor into something special.
@happieverlyafter shows you how on TikTok.
4. Not just for candles anymore: Try jack-o’-lantern planters for your front door.
Whether you are planting mums, greenery or your favorite fall foliage, jack-o’-lantern pumpkin planters are an unexpected way to decorate your garden or front porch, adding a stylish terracotta look and a Halloween touch. Start with a standard plastic hollow pumpkin from any craft store and repaint it with neutral-colored craft paint. While the paint is a nice touch, the magic ingredient is baking soda to create that aged “terracotta” finish that makes the final product stand out. Try large or small pumpkins, depending on the size of your plantings or porch. For a unique gift idea, repurpose a little plastic pumpkin into a terracotta planter for a small succulent or cactus.
@sarafindsjoy shows you how on TikTok.
5. Tie up a mini pine cone garland that goes from forest to fireplace.
Here in the PNW, pine cones are plentiful, so you can easily collect a bucketful for free to make a seasonal garland. This simple project brings the beauty of the forest into your home with little effort. Start with a glue gun and some rustic twine and adhere the pine cones to the twine for a graceful garland. Hang it over a fireplace mantel or simply set it into a bowl or platter for a collected display. This DIY fall craft project takes just a little time to add a natural and creative touch to your home. For added effect, spray the pine cones with an essential oil pine scent.
@hauz.and.co shows you how on TikTok.
6. “Fall” for painted leaf trays and keep track of your keys.
Everyone needs that little bowl that holds everything stationed by the door. Why not make one that boasts a seasonal touch to keep you organized? This project starts with standard plastic leaf tray decorations you can find at Dollar Tree or your local craft haunt. Attach chunky wood beads to the bottom of the tray, and once the footings are dry, paint the entire piece with craft paint combined with baking soda to create a trendy ceramic look. Try muted fall colors or just go plain black or white for a more spooky or farmhouse-style décor. If you want to get even more artsy, decorate the finished painted tray with fall or Halloween images.
@perkinsonparkway shows you how on TikTok.
7. Let it “snow” in autumn.
You don’t need to wait until winter to enjoy snow. Create some now (and make it fall-centric) with a darling autumn-leaves snow globe. The natural foliage can be completely customized with leaves or branches found in your yard or neighborhood. Take a recycled glass jar and lid and find leaves or greenery you want to display inside. Using a hot glue gun, attach the leaves to the stick and adhere the assembled tree to the lid. With the help of a hole punch, create “snow” from leaves to make a unique one-of-a-kind snow globe with falling leaves snow when it is shaken. The project makes a fun tabletop setting or conversion piece. Real foraged greenery will last about a week in the jar, so if you want it to last longer, use faux leaves from — where else — the Dollar Store.
@studio_rosie_ shows you how on TikTok.
8. That’s a wrap. Turn eggs into acorns for your mantle.
Use this clever way to repurpose plastic Easter eggs for a new season. With the help of neutral paint, twine and a glue gun, plastic eggs become autumn acorns for a stylish and festive garland or table display. Starting at the top of the repainted egg, affix the twine and wrap half the egg to create the acorn cap. The wrapping process may take a little time, but the nice thing about this fall craft is you could do three acorns to make a small wall hanging, or keep going and make a long one for a mantle or handrail. This garland also transitions easily from autumn into winter, making it a multi-purpose decoration.
@domesticallyblissful shows you how on TikTok.
9. Frame the walls with DIY autumn-leaves art that lasts.
Keep the leaves from falling with lovely wall art that is easy to make, thanks to basic art materials. Take a craft store canvas — using a framed canvas gives a more finished look — and a variety of faux leaves in colors that suit your home’s aesthetic. Use a glue gun to arrange the leaves in a falling pattern before adhering them to the canvas with the glue. Try making a series of autumn-leaves wall art with three smaller canvases that can be hung as a collection. A twist on this idea is to lay foliage (real or faux) on the canvas and then spray paint over it. Remove the foliage and you have a shadow of autumn leaves that brings the beauty of the outdoors to your walls.
@forever.six.acres shows you how on TikTok.