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9 Clever Uses for Fall Leaves At Home (With Pictures)

Pile of fall leaves_Elena Elisseeva_Shutterstock

Fall is a wonderful time of year. It marks the end of the long hot summer and ushers in shorter days, cooler nights, and holidays spent with family. One thing that comes with fall is leaves. Fall leaves look great when they are in the trees, but they can quickly become a burden when they start to fall and clutter your yard.

Most people look at falling leaves and see yard work. Hours spent raking and bagging can be a chore, but it doesn’t have to be. There are numerous different ways to use fall leaves at home that make the chore of collecting and disposing of them creative and fun.

Here are 10 clever uses for fall leaves that you can easily do at home this autumn.

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The 9 Practical Outdoor Uses for Fall Leaves

One of the best ways to use fall leaves is outside in the garden. Dead leaves are ugly to look at and a hassle to deal with, but they have a ton of natural benefits for your garden. Fall leaves can help jump-start your spring garden, protect your winter garden and even help your lawn. Here are four cheap, easy, and clever ways to use your fall leaves at home by putting them to work outside.

1. Turn Them Into Lawn Feed- duluth news tribune

Turn Them Into Lawn Feed- duluth news tribune
Photo Credit: duluth news tribune
What you will need: Fall leaves, lawn mower
Difficulty: Easy

Shredded leaves are great for more than just mulch. They can also be used to feed your lawn. Studies show that lawns fed with shredded leaves are often healthier than those that are not. And that is good news for anyone looking for a good use for their leaf litter.

All you need to do is mow over the fallen leaves without a bagging attachment. Ideally, you keep the blade low, so the leaves are caught up and shredded. Let the lawn mower distribute the leaves on its own and then leave them be. The shredded pieces of the leaves will break down and become tasty natural plant food for the grass underneath.

2. Use Them as a Blanket for Flowers- the spruce

Use Them as a Blanket for Flowers- the spruce
Photo Credit: the spruce
What you will need: Fall leaves, cold flowers, gloves, a barrier for the leaves
Difficulty: Easy

Leaves typically fall in great numbers during autumn. This is good news for anyone who has a hard time keeping sensitive flowers alive through the cold months. Leaves can be used to keep your flowers warm in the winter. A thin layer of leaves around and over plants sensitive to cold will help to keep them alive.

Some gardeners pack the leaves tight inside of a cage or net to keep the plants underneath nice and warm through the winter. After the cold snaps are over, simply remove the leaves and check on the plants underneath. They will have done much better with a solid leaf blanket over them than if they had been exposed to weeks of winter cold on their own.

3. Compost Them- one green planet

Compost Them- one green planet
Photo Credit: one green planet
What you will need: Fall leaves, water, a turning implement, gloves, time
Difficulty: Moderate

Compared to the other uses for autumn leaves, composting can be a little trickier. Instead of just shredding and distributing, compost piles need weeks of time and attention to succeed. In order to effectively compost fall leaves, you need to pile them, shred them, pile them again, wet them, turn them and then wait. Getting the mixture just right can take some trial and error. You can’t get the leaves too wet, but you also can’t let them dry out. You also want to pick good leaves that are ideal for composting as opposed to leaves that will hinder a compost pile. If you manage to trudge through to the end, you will have organic and nutrient rich compost for your spring garden beds after the winter.

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If you are not a person who is into gardening, do not worry, there are plenty of other ways to use old fall leaves around the house that do not involve digging in the dirt. Fall leaves are the perfect material to use in seasonal arts and crafts. What is more autumn than red leaves? What ties Halloween and fall-themed decor together better than a pile of dead leaves? Here are six clever ways to use fall leaves at home that do not necessitate having a green thumb.

4. Create an Autumn Wreath- the happier home maker

Create an Autumn Wreath- the happier home maker
Image Credit: the happier home maker
What you will need: Fall leaves, wreath cable, hot glue, twist ties
Difficulty: Easy

Spruce up your front door with a beautiful autumn leaf wreath with leaves from your own yard. This plan calls for an artificial leaf garland, but with a little bit of time and attention, you can replace that with leaves from your own property.

Simply get a strand of wreath cable, some leaves, hot glue, and some ties, and begin to arrange your leaves in a tasteful pattern. When you are done, close the cable into a circle and simply hang it on your door or in your home. This is a great way to create an amazing fall-themed decoration using vibrant fall leaves you can pick up in your own front yard.

5. Craft A Leafy Centerpiece- hallstrom home

Craft A Leafy Centerpiece- hallstrom home
Image Credit: hallstrom home
What you will need: Fall leaves, clear containers, a table runner
Difficulty: Medium

Another easy way to turn annoying leaf litter into something charming is by using fall leaves to create tasteful centerpieces. This plan uses amber bottles and brown leaves to create an eye-catching focal point for an outdoor table setting. However, the possibilities for this idea are nearly endless.

You can put colorful fall leaves into vases, jars, and other clear containers to create a clever visual effect for an autumn get together. Whether you want to decorate the family table for Thanksgiving or add some non-spooky decor to your Halloween scene, this is a great way to incorporate leaves into something simple and fun. You are only bound by your own creativity and imagination with this awesome idea.

6. Press and Save Them- rhythms of play

Press and Save Them- rhythms of play
Image Credit: rhythms of play
What you will need: Pretty fall leaves, a heavy book, laminating machine (optional)
Difficulty: Easy

One thing that people of all ages have been doing for decades is finding particularly good-looking leaves, pressing them, and saving them. This is a great activity to do with kids or for someone who has a love for autumn or trees. This plan shows you how to press leaves using a standard book or cardstock for a different approach.

All you need to do is collect up your favorite leaves, being careful not to damage them, then let them dry. Once they are dry, you can put them in a heavy book and let them sit. Afterward, you can use the leaves in future art projects or laminate them, glue them to card stock or store them in an album. You can save leaves from big life events, leaves from a variety of different trees, or just leaves that speak to your soul. This is a very versatile way to reuse leaf litter that would have otherwise just dampened your day and clogged up your yard.

7. Create A Scarecrow- 2 little hooligans

Create A Scarecrow- 2 little hooligans
Image Credit: 2 little hooligans
What you will need: Leaves, old clothes, wood for framing, string or staples
Difficulty: Medium

Scarecrows are an American classic and one of the most iconic images for autumn. The good news is that scarecrows are fairly easy to make yourself at home. These plans do not use leaves, and that will leave your scarecrow looking flimsy and wan.

The good news is that it is very simple to stuff the old clothes with leaves to fill out your scarecrow a little bit. All you will need is some string or staples to secure the openings so that when you stuff your leaves into your new lawn ornament, they do not fall out. In just a few hours, you can have a scarecrow all your own. Use whatever old clothes you like to turn your scarecrow into whatever kind of character you can imagine.

8. Cover Your Pumpkins- girl loves glam

Cover Your Pumpkins- girl loves glam
Image Credit: girl loves glam
What you will need: Fall leaves, pumpkins, decoupage or hot glue
Difficulty: Easy

This handy idea turns an average pumpkin into an interesting fall piece. Everyone has standard orange pumpkins and warty gourds lying around during autumn, but few people have hand-crafted pumpkins covered in beautiful fall leaves. The plans call for an artificial pumpkin, but since you are planning on using real leaves from your yard, it is safe to use a live pumpkin as well.

All you need to do is layer your leaves over the pumpkin and attach them. There are two ways of going about this. You can dry and press your leaves and carefully hot glue them to the pumpkin, or you can use decoupage and brush the leaves on. The benefit of the leaf covered pumpkin is you get to put a twist on a standard fall item. The leaf covered pumpkin is perfect for the front porch or can be used as an indoor decorative piece as well.

9. Unique Autumn Leaf Bowl- christines-crafts

Unique Autumn Leaf Bowl- christines-crafts
Image Credit: christines-crafts
What you will need: Pretty fall leaves, a balloon, decoupage, a brush, shrink wrap
Difficulty: Hard

If you are looking for a unique and inspired way to use fall leaves, look no further. These plans will help you create a beautiful and completely custom leaf bowl that will stun your friends and neighbors. By carefully layering leaves over a balloon and holding them into place with decoupage, you will create a bowl that is perfect for holding Halloween candy or can act as a beautiful fall accent.

The finished product is truly remarkable. It is tricky to get the leaves layered properly and set so that the bowl does not sag or fall apart. If you persist, you will create something completely unique and custom that makes for a perfect fall item.

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Whether you simply want to mow over your leaves and help feed your lawn or collect the most fetching examples and turn them into amazing crafts, there are ideas here for everyone. Fall leaves are beautiful, and they embody the spirit of the season like nothing else. Do not let your fall leaves go to waste but instead, find a new use for them. From decorations to compost, there are numerous different and creative ways to use the leaves that would otherwise clutter your lawn.

Featured Image Credit: Elena Elisseeva, Shutterstock


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