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Aug 24, 2016 03:26PM

Fall for these crafts: Three simple projects to welcome autumn


By Laura Anderson Shaw
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Gary Krambeck/gkrambeck@qconline.com
Radsih stick signs
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Gary Krambeck/gkrambeck@qconline.com
Radsih stick candles
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Laura Anderson Shaw

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Laura Anderson Shaw

Printed and digital copies of this image are available for purchase.  Digital delivery within minutes.  Click here for details.
Laura Anderson Shaw

Printed and digital copies of this image are available for purchase.  Digital delivery within minutes.  Click here for details.
Laura Anderson Shaw

Printed and digital copies of this image are available for purchase.  Digital delivery within minutes.  Click here for details.
Laura Anderson Shaw

Printed and digital copies of this image are available for purchase.  Digital delivery within minutes.  Click here for details.
Laura Anderson Shaw

Printed and digital copies of this image are available for purchase.  Digital delivery within minutes.  Click here for details.
Laura Anderson Shaw

I'm not sure if it's my obsession with crafting or my love of HGTV, but I can't get enough of handmade decorations. Big or small, fall or spring, I want to make it all. I love turning the pages of magazines packed with gorgeous, expensive decor, and thinking to myself, "I could make that!"

And most of the time, I can. That's not to say I've never had any hot glue incidents (I have the scars to prove it!), or projects I've had to scrap at the last minute and disassemble for parts. I've had a few "Pinterest fails" in my day. But that's part of the fun of it.

In the end, good or bad, you're left with something you've made. Whether the project was challenging and required your full concentration, or you looked down at it from time to time while watching a movie, it's something that you made with your hands. And when someone admires it, even years later, you get to say, "Thanks. I made it!"

Fall might just be my favorite season to craft for. After all, it's my favorite season, and it means that Halloween is just around the corner — and Halloween is hands-down my favorite holiday. I love it when it's just a little chilly outside, and you can retire your shorts and tank-tops for jeans and hoodies. I look forward to the leaves changing color, then falling; the way the trees look when their empty branches sway in the wind.

Perhaps that was the inspiration for a couple of these little projects. Long after the leaves return in the spring, I'll still have some fall hanging around my home.






Make it a monogram

I have been wanting to change up my front door decor, and I kicked around the idea of making a fall wreath. In a couple of months, though, it would just be replaced with a winter version, so I wanted to find something a little different. (Besides, have you ever tried to bend sticks into the shape of a circle?) That's when I decided to make a monogram hanging instead.

To make one of your own, here is what you'll need:
• A wooden or chipboard initial from a craft store (or make your own with some scissors and an empty cereal box!)
• A couple handfuls of sticks and twigs of various thickness
• Hot glue gun and gluesticks
• A 12-inch piece of ribbon, twine or thick, sturdy yarn; two pieces if your letter has more than one peak, such as K, H, M, and so on.
• Hand pruners



Begin by laying your letter flat on a table. Lay a stick across one end of the letter for size, and pinch the stick to mark the length. Use the pruners to trim the stick to fit the size of the space, being careful not to snip your fingers. Run a line of hot glue along the stick, and press it into place.

I found it easiest to work from one end of the S to the other, but there really is no right or wrong way to do it. You'll have to work the sticks around the curves of your chosen initial, but filling in the gaps is a cinch — if the sticks don't match up quite right, and you can see the material of the letter between them, simply go back over the area by tacking on another twig.

Little broken bits, bark, and your scrap twigs will work great for filling in the gaps along the the curves. It's kind of like putting together a puzzle, but with less stress! There is no right or wrong end picture.

Once your letter is fully covered, flip it over. Match the ends of your ribbon, twine or yarn, and tie a single knot. Then, place a glob of glue about 1-2 inches from the top of your letter. Lay the knot into the glue, and use a stick to press it in place. As the glue begins to harden, use a stick to sort of fold the edges of the glue over the ribbon for some extra stability.

Let it dry overnight, and then hang it up on your front door, or on a wall inside your home.



Light it up

When I think about fall, I think about being warm and cozy — not the sweltering, 100-plus-degree with the heat index of our lovely Midwestern summer, but relaxing and snuggling up in front of a bonfire, or on the couch with some yummy-scented candles nearby.

For a gift one Christmas, my dad gave me a heart-shaped box filled with a dozen or so votive candles, each with a different scent. I have coveted them for years, but there's one that smells like spicy pumpkin, and another that smells like a spicy apple — and they are too delicious to be contained any longer.

All of our votive holders are spoken for, though, so I decided to throw together two simple, quick, yet festive jars with items you may already have around your house — or yard. I made one from a standard glass candle holder, and the other from a jam- or jelly-sized jar.

For these holders, you'll need:
• A glass votive holder, and/or a jam or jelly jar with the label removed
• Hot glue gun and glue sticks
• Ribbon (I used burlap and lace), or twine
• A handful of thin sticks or twigs
• Hand pruners
• Scissors


Wrapped in lace
For the quicker of the two, I found burlap and lace ribbon on one of my recent trips to the craft store. If you find a similar ribbon, jump to the next step. If you would like to replicate the look on your own, simply layer any ribbon or lace and burlap ribbon. To do so, wrap the two around your jar for size, add a couple of inches for your edging and trim the excess. Lay the burlap ribbon piece flat out on a table, and run a thin line of hot glue down its center. Then, holding the lace or ribbon at either end, lay it on top of the glue, and use a stick to gently press it into place.

Then, depending upon where you would like your ribbon to run — across the top center or base of the jar — run a thin line of glue just a hair shorter than the width of your ribbon. Lay the jar or holder on its side and press the ribbon into place. Wind the ribbon about halfway around the jar and place another thin line of glue onto the glass, then press the ribbon into it. When you've reached the end, fold the ribbon over slightly to hide the edges, run a line of glue on the beginning of the ribbon, and press the edges into place.

In the sticks
Begin by turning your candle holder or jar on its side, and grab a stick. Line the stick up vertically along side of the jar, pinch where you would like it to end, and use the hand pruners to carefully trim the excess. Run a line of glue down the stick, and press it into place. (Tip: If you'd like, the sticks may stand taller than your glass or jar. To do this, simply run the glue along the stick for the length of the jar and press it into place, leaving the rest of the stick to tower above. Once your glass is completely covered, hold the base of the stick tightly against the glass and trim the top to the desired length.)

You may place the sticks as closely or as far apart as you'd like, and follow the pattern around. I tried to vary the length of my sticks because I liked the way that it looked.

When you've made it all the way around, wrap ribbon or twin around the sticks, and finish it with a knot or bow.


Laura Anderson Shaw is the editor of Radish. Did you make one of these projects? Post a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #RadishCrafts, or email a photo to editor@radishmagazine.com for a chance to be featured in an upcoming issue of Radish.




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