Autumn is often a time of year that sees families march into the woods on a mission to forage berries, conkers and pine cones in order to get creative with their finds as the nights draw in.
However, whilst these sort of outings begin with the intention of indulging in some arts and crafts upon returning home, you can almost guarantee that a week later the berries will have been left to ferment in the carrier bag that they were collected in, the pine cones will be rolling about all over the house, and the conkers have probably been used as some kind of weapon by a gaggle of unruly children (and sometimes even adults!).
In order to avoid your good intentions being dashed this year, consider the creative projects that you can undertake as a family before you set off on a mission for raw, autumnal materials. Read on for some top autumn foraging tips...
Pine cones are a seasonal favourite that look so much better in your home than they do on the woodland floor. Take your family around your local woods and collect a good number of pine cones that you can find lying on the ground. Once you’ve got them home, get rid of any really dirty ones and then set about customising them for use as a centrepiece to your Christmas table.
Lay newspaper over your work space so as not to get glue and glitter all over your kitchen sides or dining table, then roll a pine cone through some glue and then some glitter to create the effect as seen in the photo below:
Another idea would be to spray paint a number of cones white, silver or gold and put them into a large glass dish or bowl in order to create an effective focal point for a dining table or sideboard. You might want to consider adding glitter to some of the painted cones too in order to add a bit of festive pizzazz to your creation.
Finally, you could consider creating a festive garland or wreath; decorate the cones with spray paint, glitter and any other treatments that take your fancy and get your hands on some bendy wire. In order to bulk the garland or wreath up a bit it’s a good idea to pick out some artificial flowers in warm festive colours – red poinsettias are a particular Christmas favourite that can be seen on the majority of festive garlands. Sort the pine cones, baubles and flowers into the form that you want your garland or wreath to take and then wrap the wire around each piece individually in order to secure them.
If you're looking for some creative ideas which have nothing to do with Christmas then take a look at this useful site.