DIY: Leaf Bowl and Fall Mantel

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Does anybody else have any last minute fall projects inspired by Pinterest they have been meaning to tackle? I certainly did and finally got around to making this leaf bowl this weekend. I am really happy to share this project with y’all today because I think it will be the perfect addition to any Thanksgiving tablescape. Keep reading for the full tutorial!
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First step is to gather all the supplies.

  • I found two bouquets of leaves on clearance at Big Lots for $2.50 each. Honestly, I probably only needed one but I am glad I bought both to choose from a variety of sizes.
  • You will also need a ton of Mod Podge
  • A sponge brush
  • A bowl to fill in as the mold
  • and Cling Wrap to cover the bowl

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I de-veined ┬áthe leaves by separating them from the branches to make them easier to work with. This was a really easy process. You just have to make sure to pull at the right spot to make sure you don’t tear the leaf.

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Next, I covered my bowl with many, many layers of saran wrap. It was probably too much saran wrap. After I finished the project I saw this video tutorial on YouTube that suggests spraying the bowl with cooking spray before applying the saran wrap to help it cling to the bowl better. I’ll make sure to remember that step next year. I covered my workstation, prepared my mod podge and got to work.

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I started at the center, strategically placing the largest leaves at the bottom to make the bowl more secure. I basically eyeballed each leaf to make for the best color combination possible. I let the bowl dry about 30 minutes, added a final layer of mod podge and left it to dry overnight.

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The following day all that was left to do was to separate the bowl from the plastic wrap and trim off any excess glue leftover. I realize that I probably used a bit too much glue but at least I know its sturdy.

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I bought some of my favorite candy to fill the bowl with and I was done!

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The bowl is now happily sitting on my mantel that has been decorated for fall. It is placed right next to an apothecary jar filled with some wine corks and a flameless candle trio I am currently loving.

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On the opposite side is a pumpkin I chose from a pumpkin patch I went to at my nephews birthday party atop some curled up leaf garland. Perched in front of the pumpkin is the adorable wood owl my nephew bought me for Christmas last year, he knows me so well.
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And that’s it! I’ve definitely enjoyed this fall season but am so ready for winter.

What projects have you worked on lately?

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Pinspire Me: Mantel

As I mentioned in a previous post, the Ikea Lack shelf has been defeated! I purchased a floating shelf from Ikea’s famous Lack line for under $20 to use as a faux mantel over my fireplace. I am embarrassed to admit that this purchase was made over 9 months ago. That’s right, 9 whole months spent leaning on the wall or hiding behind the couch. My best friend, my little sister, a good friend and I all attempted to fasten it to the wall, a task seemingly simple according to all the youtube tutorials I studied. Alas, during my family’s visit for my little sisters graduation, my father figured out the golden ticket I was missing all along, metal wall anchors!

Now that the shelf is up I am determined to style it this weekend! I had completely given up on ever having to complete this task, but am so excited to devote my weekend to the little shelf. Below are some photos of a few of my favorite mantels compiled from my recent Pinterest searches. Hope you enjoy!

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I fell in love with the simple decor here. Although this is a Spring/Easter mantel, there are a few things I’d love to take from this example. The tulips add movement and color without being too overpowering, paired next to the busts allowing the eyes to move from left to right and really take in the entire shelf. I just have to mention that mirror as well! I love the geometric shape and that crisp white color, everything about it looks so elegant.

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Another simple and doable example here. The semi-gallery wall with the similar frames really caught my attention, all framing that vintage mirror. I really like how simple the shelf was kept as well, my first instinct is always to clutter clutter clutter. The three vases featured here really encourage me to keep it simple while I decorate this weekend.

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When simple meets chic. There are literally 5 things decorating that fireplace that each make a huge impact. Those two abstract watercolor paintings pair perfectly as the focal point on this shelf. Paired with two basic flower vases and the stylish metallic gold pig, everything about this seems perfect.

Through my research I have found a lot of great tips to style the mantel. My goals for the weekend are to find similar objects that, when paired together, make a big impact. Also, something that is easy to change out once the holidays roll around. I think I have my work cut out for me, but I am definitely excited to see what I come up with, I hope you are as well! Stay tuned for the reveal sometime next week.

Til then, I hope everyone has a great weekend!