Collect some pretty fall colored leaves outside. Get a nice variety of browns, reds, greens and olives.
At home, spray them with a polyurethane sealer or glossy sealer spray you can find at Lowe’s or Home Depot. Make sure to spray them outside or in an open garage so you don’t inhale lots of fumes. Spray the front and back. This will make the leaves more stiff so they are not as fragile to cracking when you paint them. The spray also makes them look super shiny and brings out a deeper natural color. The leaves will dry pretty fast – like in 10-15 minutes.
Now it’s time to paint… painting is so relaxing… especially when you can do any design you want. I chose metallic paint colors in green, gold, and bronze. I think adding in some bolder colors like red metallic and navy blue metallic would look really cool too. You can dab on some polka dots, stripes, line the edges in paint, or paint strokes along the veins of the leaves. Just relax and paint with the flow… the more free the flow… the cooler the design. You can’t do it wrong really.
After the paint has dried, get a raffia ribbon and tie the ends of the stems or end of the leaves and let about 3-4 inches of ribbon hang off and cut the excess. After all the leaves have been stringed, tie each one across a long strip of raffia ribbon for the length you want. You can pick a length that will nicely drape over a doorway, staircase, or fireplace.
I laid my leaves out under the fireplace to organize a nice layout. I put one of the larger leaves in the center and spread out from there. I am going to store my garland away after fall and bring out year after year… for as long as it will allow 🙂