DIY Table Runner Created with Real Fall Leaves

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Freshly fallen autumn leaves are some of the season's most colorful sights. So why not bring some of that beauty indoors with this table runner? Made from real leaves, it's an eco-friendly way to use a natural resource that would otherwise end up in the trash bin. And what a lovely way to accent your fall table.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Things You'll Need

  • Fall leaves
  • Scissors
  • Paper towels
  • Thick books
  • Burlap
  • Craft glue
(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 1: Cut Stems from Leaves

You will need about 30 leaves for every foot of table runner. This table runner was just over three feet and used about 100 leaves. Cut the stems from the leaves with scissors and discard them.

Tip

  • Pick freshly fallen leaves rather than leaves that are already dried. They are more pliable and will flatten more easily.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 2: Clean the Leaves

Wipe the leaves with damp paper towels to remove dust and dirt.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 3: Flatten the Leaves

Place the leaves between the pages of thick books like a dictionary. Within each book, position 5 to 6 leaves about every 50 pages.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

You will need several books to accommodate all your leaves. (Good thing I collect dictionaries.) Stack them up, and place a heavy object on top of them. Let the leaves dry within the books for at least 48 hours.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 4: Cut a Strip of Burlap

Decide how long you want your table runner, and cut a 3-inch wide strip of burlap to the desired length. The burlap will act as a foundation for the leaves, making the table runner more durable and allowing you to move the runner around without breaking the leaves. You can use another type of fabric, but burlap looks good underneath the leaves, especially if there are openings that reveal the burlap underneath.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 5: Remove Leaves from Books

After at least 48 hours, check to see if the leaves are flat and dry, and remove them from all the books.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 6: Glue Leaves onto the Burlap

Apply craft glue to the back of the leaves, and position them on the burlap.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Keep overlapping the leaves until the burlap is covered.

Tip

  • Keep lifting the burlap from your work surface to make sure the glue is not seeping through.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 7: Widen the Leaf Covering

To make the table runner wider, glue leaves on top of the ones that are covering the burlap. For a 10-inch wide runner, extend two to three leaves past the burlap edge.

Tip

  • For a table runner that's more pleasing to the eye, position the leaves so that the points face outwards. The shape of the leaves will be more distinct this way.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 8: Display on Your Table

Place the table runner along the center of your table, and accessorize with other fall elements. Let the autumn entertaining season begin!

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

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