The making of a leaf garland and metallic pumpkin topiaries for our holiday home

What started out as a day of "just going to rake and trim vines", turned into a DIY leaf garland project.  I am thrilled at how it came out.  I have made many fresh evergreen garlands, but this is a first for me with leaves.  How long did it take?  Once I got into the rhythm I would say the whole project totaled 4 or so hours.  Next time, I will not hesitate to ask a group of friends over to help me make it in exchange for a cup of warm soup or chili by the fire pit after.  

Fall front door decor, fall porch
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fall porch decor

Any green that is popping through from the trumpet vine will be brown before I know it.  That said I was careful not to add any green leaves to the garland since I knew it would bother me while I waited :-).  

My garland was made with oak, maple, and hickory leaves.  At first I was collecting "perfect" leaves that had no holes or broken edges, but realized that once they were bunched together, even the sad broken ones looked great.  

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Collect leaves with long stems.  The larger the leaf, the faster your project will go.

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Attach your leaves together in a small bunch, for at least the first grouping.  I was making bunches and attaching them as shown below, like I do with greens for Christmas, but I found it went much faster if I just held the bunches on and wrapped them tightly on the string. 

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Attach your first bunch onto the string.  The sting is going to be your base of the garland.  For my front porch, I collected and put trumpet vines up  thinking I would use that as the base, but ended up bringing my project inside, so I switched to the string.  

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Add the leaf bunches in layers and all in the same direction.  I made two garlands that were then attached in the middle, at the center of my front door, so that the leaves would be in a downward position on each side. 

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These photos are showing the backside of the leaf garland.  Since it is going to be used against my house, I was okay with the unfinished back.  If for some reason your garland will be seen from all sides, you could attach two garlands, back to back. 

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To make the project easier for me, I made the garland in pieces. This gave me the opportunity to stop and start the project when I wanted, in stages.  

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This is how it all began.  Cut trumpet vines attached to each other and wound together.  I was going to attach my bunches directly to this, but decided just to use it as a base.  Once the leaf garland comes down, I might use it to attach or tuck in greens for Christmas.  

Creating the metallic pumpkin topiaries 

New England crafting
carving a foam pumpkin
painting metallic pumpkins

After painting these foam pumpkins with three different metallic shades, I cut out section from the bottom that would slide over the stem of the pumpkin below it.  I chose to do it this way so that I could easily take the pumpkin topiary apart and store it away for future use. 

Mini pumpkins were sprayed for a wreath and table decor. 

Mini pumpkins were sprayed for a wreath and table decor. 


While I was making one of my garland sections, I realized how many more things I could make.  I had a leaf wreath for many years that was preserved with glycerine, but I tossed it last year (yes, I am kicking myself for doing so now). 

 A battery operated candle was used, even with a glass hurricane around the wreath.  The dried leaves are highly flammable. 

 A battery operated candle was used, even with a glass hurricane around the wreath.  The dried leaves are highly flammable.