Tips for Decorating your home during the beautiful seasons.
End-of-year leaves light up the landscape with a fabulous glow before they fade, so why not let them light up your home, too? With a little preparation and a creative touch, you could use those golden leaves to stunning effect, providing a wonderful feature for any social event you may be planning. Your artistic arrangement will provide a warm welcome for your guests, and a great talking point, too. Here are some handy tips and ideas to get you started.
Leaves look their best when lit from behind, whether by natural or artificial light. To illuminate your most beautiful leaves, suspend them on threads in front of spotlights, or attach them to a window, lit from outside by the sun or another light source. To preserve your lit leaves throughout your social event, press them first for an hour or so, cushioned between sheets of tissue paper, under a heavy object.
Heaps of different colored leaves
Greet your guests with flares of different leaf colors. For this effect, you’ll need several wide containers, such as dishes, tureens, trays or tubs. Place these strategically to catch the eye without obstructing movement. Shortly before your guests are due, fill your containers with freshly fallen leaves, sorted by tint or shade. These might include lemon-yellow, peach-pink, copper-brown, wine-red, treasure-gold or other subtle hues. Mix in some slices of citrus fruit to ensure a fresh aroma. When all your guests have had a chance to enjoy the spectacle, and your party is in full swing, remove the leaves before they wilt.
Take close-up photographs of leaves, and then print them out and display your artwork on a wall, door or board. For extra effect, arrange the images so that they join up or overlap to form a collage of shades and shapes. Put one in a frame to adorn a dull corner. If you’re sending out printed invitations, illustrate your note with one of your snapshots, as a taste of leaves to come.
Vases of leafy twigs
If you possess a tree, and it’s in full autumnal splendour, gently snip off a few leafy twigs and arrange them in a vase to make a feature of a shelf, table or step. A few red berries, golden grasses or evergreen stems would enhance your harvest bouquet. How about a swirl of gold or red ribbon too? A little water in the vase may help sustain your cuttings, but if they start to wilt before your event is over, remove them. The ambience they generated will live on. For a short time, the leaves themselves in a vase will be quite lovely.
Make leaf-shaped labels for dishes or place names around your dinner table. An effective way to do this is to place a few variously shaped leaves on colored card and draw around them. Then cut out the shapes. The card colors could also be varied. Your leafy labels will bring color and character to your table.
Make a table center piece, using a carefully selected leaf. This should be large and attractively shaped, with raised veins and a thick stem. Place your leaf on a non-precious surface, such as a sheet of cardboard or a chopping board, then lay a piece of white paper over it and shade heavily with crayons or colored pencils in blending hues, pressing hard over the leaf’s edges, veins and stem. These structural features will gradually show through in deeper shades. Draw a circle around your leaf, then cut it out and back it with a square surround of colored card. Sprinkle with glitter and cut wavy slits around your backing square to create a soft, fringed frame. You may wish to protect your completed table centre with a coat of self-adhesive cellophane.
A celebration of leaves in their final glory will provide an attractive and cheering theme for your before winter get-together. The display will delight your guests and set your party off with a swing, while also providing you with an outlet for your creativity. What’s more, you’ll be saving and sharing the brief magic of nature’s passing splendour. These simple suggestions for capturing that color-burst will, no doubt, trigger more. Spin a few leaves in the air and they’ll set the ideas spinning too!