Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fall decor trends feature rustic charm with homespun elegance

(ARA) - The air is becoming crisp, colors are changing and cozy sweaters are starting to make their way back into your wardrobe's rotation. Autumn has arrived, and its natural beauty shines radiantly to warm the heart and inspire fresh crafting ideas.

"This fall season, warm colors, rich textures and creative details stand out," says Susan Atchison, manager of trend development for Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. "Interest in homemade crafts and do-it-yourself decorating projects has never been stronger."

Clever crafts can help to create an autumn atmosphere that is simply elegant or pure fun for the family. When thinking about your fall DIY projects, try some of these ideas to capture your creative spirit when decorating your home or planning your next festive get-together:

1. Fabulous fall decor with versatility and value
Start by decorating your table with exceptionally affordable wool felt. Available in plenty of mix-and-match autumn colors, felt can be sewn, glued, colored or cut – the sky is the limit.

One easy option that provides a beautiful visual presentation is to cut out shapes on a felt cloth. For example, draw scattered maple leaves all over two different colors of felt and cut out the pieces. Layer the two felt squares together on your table for a windblown, just-fallen look.

What to do with the felt leaves you just cut out? Create a harvest-themed wreath with a classic yet contemporary look. Decorate an18-inch grapevine wreath with miniature lights, felt leaves and any other favorite fall items you have around your house or yard.

2. Classic adornments with surprising details
Need a great fall centerpiece? Rethink the classic pumpkin and try decorating with unique embellishments. For a beautiful fall-themed pumpkin, choose gold-toned wire and bend to create fun leaves and vines, attaching to the pumpkin's top. If you're looking for a Halloween theme, decorate the face of the pumpkin with masks and feathers to create different characters like a witch, owl or masquerader.

One way to save money and create a cherished piece of decor you can use year after year is to decorate a reusable pumpkin like Fun-Kins. These light artificial pumpkins are easy to work with and sure to become wonderful works of art.

3. Fall food made fantastically fun
Food is a must at any fall gathering. When the temperature cools, many of us are turning on our ovens to bake delightful must-taste treats. Rich and decadent brownies are tantalizing no matter what, but how about taking them a step further? Serve them kabob-style with marshmallows, fruit and a drizzle of icing to make them irresistible. Arrange on a tray for a beautiful presentation and watch them disappear in minutes.

If you're looking for a dessert with a theme, use uniquely shaped silicone baking pans. Try baking brownies in a jack-o’-lantern muffin pan. After they cool, pop them out, turn over and decorate their faces.

4. Double your fun with homemade costumes
If a costume party is in your future, you'll need something fun that stands out. The homemade costume is officially back and allows your creativity to shine. Brainstorm with your child to figure out what you both want to be for Halloween and then hit up a craft store to get the necessary supplies. What's the newest trend for costumes? Two-in-one options that have the ability to quickly convert from one character to the next.

For example, a sparkling dress can serve as the base for both an astronaut and a robot. With simple accessories and removable changes, your little girl can attend one party as a robot and then zoom off to another as an astronaut. Plus this is a fun alternative to traditional girls' costumes without losing the glitz. Reversible options also work for double-duty costumes. For example, try keeping one side of a cape black so you can be a witch and the other side gold. Add a feathered boa and you can become a queen in an instant.

For more information and to get supplies for creating homemade fall projects, visit www.Joann.com.

Courtesy of ARAcontent



Craft Project ideas
Courtesy of Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores

Masked Fun-Kins - Owl

Supplies and tools:
* Fun-Kins carvable pumpkin
* Black mask
* Feathers: 2 Half Hackle plates, 2 Pheasant pads, 1 package Pheasant Plumage Almond
* 9-by-12-inch craft foam: black, brown, yellow, white
* Black glitter glue
* 1 1/2 yards 3/8-inch brown ribbon
* 2 gemstones
* Tacky glue
* Scissors
* 2 ball-head straight pins
* Patterns available at www.joann.com.

Directions:

1. Remove elastic from mask.

2. Glue Half Hackle feathers near the top of the mask on each side. Glue Pheasant pads to overlap the Half Hackle feathers and extend nearly to the nose of mask.

3. Cut a yellow craft foam beak following.

4. Cut eyes from black, white and brown craft foam. Glue smaller black circles to white circles and cover black pupils with black glitter glue. Cut brown circle in half for eyelids. Draw a line of black glitter glue along the bottom of each eyelid. When glitter glue is dry, glue eyes onto mask, over the feathers. Glue eyelids onto eyes as shown.

5. Fill in the area above beak with single Pheasant Plumage feathers. Cut and glue two brown craft foam triangles to the top corners for ears.

6. Tie brown ribbon through mask holes. Tie mask around pumpkin. Secure mask to pumpkin with straight pins.

Approximate crafting time: 2 hours plus drying time

Skill level 1: No experience needed


Wire-Embellished Fun-Kins

Supplies and tools:

* Fun-Kins carvable pumpkins
* Floral accent wire: gold, copper, bronze
* Wire cutter
* Round-nose pliers
* Paper and pencil

Directions:

1. Draw maple and oak leaf shapes on paper.

2. Using drawing as a guide, bend a length of floral accent wire with round-nose pliers and fingers to the approximate shape of leaf. Cut excess wire to create a 4-inch stem. Puncture pumpkin with the stem and insert leaf.

3. Using a new length of wire, create curly vines by wrapping wire around a pencil to form shape. Loop wire vines around the pumpkin stem.

Approximate crafting time: 1 hour each

Skill level 1: No experience needed

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