leaf-bowlsEach time my children and I rake the leaves in our yard, I usually mumble something to myself about wishing those leaves were actually good for something! Well, recently when I raked those old leaves to the curb, I suddenly saw lots of possibility! I picked a few of the really pretty ones and set them aside for my latest project.

A leaf bowl is exactly what it sounds like: A bowl made out of leaves! In just a few minutes and with minimal supplies you can whip up your own bowl and add some instant charm to your fall table. This is also a fun project to do with kids, and they can admire their project when it is used as a centerpiece on the dinner table!

To make a leaf bowl, here is what you will need:

  • Several dozen palm-sized leaves. They should still be pliable and not dry. If you wish you may use artificial fall leaves. My Dollar Tree sells packages of them for $1.00.
  • Mod Podge. This is available at all crafts stores and even Walmart for around $3.00.
  • Paintbrush
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Cooking Spray
  • Paint Brush
  • Medium sized bowl

Once you have your supplies organized, put the bowl together!

  • You must prep the bowl you are using as your mold. Do this by spraying the outside of the bowl with cooking spray, then covering it with plastic wrap. This protects the bowl and prevents the leaves from adhering to it.
  • Turn the prepped bowl upside down. Begin placing the leaves on to the bowl and “painting” them with Mod Podge. Use A LOT and paint it on thick to make sure it fully saturates the leaves.
  • Continue “painting” on the leaves until you have the designs you want. Make sure there are no gaps in the leaves and that the entire bowl is covered.
  • Put another coat of Mod Podge over all the leaves that cover the bowl. Allow it to dry overnight.
  • The next day, gently separate the leaves from the plastic wrap.

The bowl mold should fall off nicely and leave you with a sturdy leaf bowl. Place it on your fall table and fill it with small items such as candy, or place it under a glass bowl and use it as a fun serving piece. Either way it is a quick and easy craft that you can quickly put together with items you already have! And it’s a fun conversation piece that will leave your guests wondering how you did it!

I offered to let my neighbors take leaves from my yard to make their own. Hey, now I have a cool leaf bowl AND less leaves to rake!

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16 thoughts on “Thrifty Fall Decor: DIY Leaf Bowls”

Blow up a balloon and do it on there instead of the bowl and plastic wrap and just pop the balloon when dry. Question though – do the leaves change color over time?

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Yes, a balloon would work best I think. Also, I have the same question. The leaves would change color normally, but I am curious as to whether the fact that they are “sealed” within the glue, keeps them from changing color? If you find out let me know! I might try it anyway, and just find out. :)

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Can Modge Podge be watered down at all to make it easier to work with? I tried this craft over the weekend and it was a hot mess — I gave up and tossed the whole thing in the trash. It might have been a bit easier if Modge Podge wasn’t such a thick medium to work with… any suggestions? Thanks.

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What is ModPdge, is it varnish or clear glue
Is cooking spray ,oil ?
I live in Ireland ,I’d love to try this out.

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Modpdge I think would be PVA glue i know when i lined in london i used that for my project hope this helps.

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Has anyone else had an issue getting the glue to dry? The outside (exposed to air) it totally dry, but the inside (next to the plastic wrap) is totally wet after 24 hours… Any tips to make it work better next time? Thanks!

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Can I ask if this is something that will last year to year , or do I need to make them each year ?
Vikki in Texas

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Can I ask if this is something that will last year to year , or do I need to make them each year ?
Vikki in Texas

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I would love to make this with my kids! would anyone want to mail me some? lol I just went to three stores looking to buy leaves (since they are non existent in Florida!) and everyone is sold out. ugh..

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very cute, but I don’t understand why she sprayed the bowl if she was putting plastic wrap on it.

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These make for a nice decorative piece for autumn. My daughter just made one in school last week and brought it home so it was interesting to see it on here.

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let the leaves “wilt” a little overnight, this makes them a little less stiff than using fresh fallen ones, will shape to the bowl better.

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wow it looks like one i bought at target for 15 dollars gee i could have made it myself. thanks for the idea now i can make more.

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So Cute! I wish we had fall leaves here in Palm Springs Ca…I miss fall

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I’ll send you some.

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I think this will be a great project for the kids to make tomorrow….they can make several different ones for each aunt and uncle.

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