If you’re into arts and crafts, then there’s plenty to look forward to in autumn. Not only is it a colourful and inspiring time of year, but the shorter days and colder weather mean there are lots more opportunities to get creative indoors.
However, it can often be difficult to come up with fun and imaginative craft projects – especially ones that align nicely with the time of year.
With this in mind, we’ve come up with 18 autumn arts and crafts ideas to help you out. Get ready for lots of oranges, yellows, leaves, and pumpkins…
1. Whittled wood spirits
Whittling is a simple form of wood carving that typically only involves a knife and a piece of wood. It’s a calming and mindful activity; one that’s perfect for a peaceful autumn afternoon.
One of the most popular whittling projects is to carve wood spirits. These are wrinkled, bearded deities that have their roots in German folklore, and they’ll make interesting decorations for your home or quirky gifts for your family and friends.
The video below will show you how to carve wood spirits from a simple branch. Or you can check out our article on whittling for more advice and project ideas.
2. Fabric pumpkins
If you regularly host Sunday lunch throughout the autumn months, or you’ve got a dinner party on the horizon, then why not try making these fabric pumpkins from Craft Morning?
They make fun seasonal centrepieces around which to lay a hearty autumn spread. Or, they can simply be used as plush, homely decorations for your living space.
You can use any fabric of your choice to put your stamp on your pumpkins – even an old tea towel!
3. Handmade autumn soaps
Every year, as the weather turns cold and the nights close in, homes across the country are suddenly warmed by the spicy scents of autumn candles. Though it’s not just our homes that we can infuse with the smells of autumn, but us too!
These homemade autumn soap recipes from Life N Reflection are a quick, easy, and creative craft to get stuck into on a rainy afternoon. Plus, it’s one of those handy, practical projects that leaves you with something to use afterwards, and may even save you some money.
Each of the recipes uses a melt-and-pour soap base, so you won’t need to work with any dangerous chemicals like active lye.
4. Dried fruit garland
Want a decoration that looks just as at home throughout the holiday season as it does in autumn, then why not try making a dried fruit garland?
Dried fruit is a tried and tested yuletide decoration, and it can really add to the Christmas ambience in your home. But the oranges, reds, and browns of this dried fruit garland from Gardenista will really pop as early as late September.
5. Chunky blanket
What’s better than curling up under a warm blanket in autumn? Curling up under a warm blanket in autumn that you made!
Whether you’d like to crochet or knit your blanket, this crafting classic is a must if you’re looking for cosy ways to autumn-ify your home. Just pick out some warm autumn colours, choose a pattern, and get started!
6. Autumn leaf candle holder
If you’re looking for a quick, simple, and cost-effective way to add some autumn ambience to your home, then look no further than these autumn leaf candle holders.
Made in minutes with a mason jar, leaves, a water-based sealer, and some twine, the candlelight filtered through the tawny shades of the leaves will set your living space aglow with comforting shades of auburn.
Plus, collecting the leaves will give you a good excuse for a crisp autumn walk. Check out the video below to find out how to make them.
7. Toilet paper pumpkins
A simple but imaginative activity for a rainy autumn day, these toilet paper pumpkins will make whimsical decorations for your home. All you’ll need to make one is a roll of toilet paper, some autumnal-looking fabric, some cotton batting, a brown paper bag, some leaves, decorative wire, and some twine.
Perfect for making with children, the video below will take you through the process step by step.
8. Autumn-inspired origami
Meditative and mindful, origami is a helpful activity for relieving stress and letting your worries melt away. And while you may be familiar with classic shapes like the crane and lotus flower, have you ever considered doing some autumn-inspired origami?
If you’ve never tried origami before but would like to learn, our guide has some helpful advice to get you started.
9. Draught excluder
The current cost of living crisis and rising energy prices have prompted many of us to come up with thrifty ways to keep our houses warm – and these homemade draught excluders from The Guardian are a great way to do just that, all while getting crafty.
Using recycled fabric (one handy tip is to cut the leg off a pair of old trousers) and a cheap stuffing material (like rice, lentils, or even very fine gravel), they’re easy to make and will come in handy over the coming colder months.
10. Autumn leaf coasters
Chillier weather means more comforting hot drinks like chai teas and pumpkin-spiced lattes. And more hot drinks means a greater demand for coasters. So why not kit out your coffee table with some seasonal autumn leaf coasters?
There are loads of ways that you can make these. For one, you can buy some quirky tiles from your local DIY shop, stick some dried leaves onto them with PVA glue, and cover them with clear varnish. The Purple Pumpkin Blog has some great instructions for this method here. Or, you can encase your leaves in clear resin, along with a little bit of autumnal glitter, as they have in this Hobbycraft post.
11. Autumn wreaths
Most of us are familiar with hanging a Christmas wreath on our front door – one adorned with holly, mistletoe, and even baubles – but have you ever considered decorating your home with one during the autumn season?
Some experts think that our wreath-hanging traditions have evolved from the Greeks and Romans, who used to crown the winners of sporting events (like the original Olympics) with wreaths made from laurel and other plants. Others believe that it comes from Christian tradition – with the circle shape symbolising eternal life. Either way, they make an atmospheric addition to doors and interior walls.
This article from Real Homes will show you how to make three different types of autumn wreaths. Or, if you’d like to get creative, why not use it as a guide and try and make your own with things you find in nature? Pinecones, berries, and dried grasses are popular inclusions.
12. Pumpkin decorating
Decorating pumpkins is a favourite Halloween tradition in households all around the country. But while many people like to carve their pumpkins, pop a few tea lights inside, and stick them on the doorstep in the classic ‘Jack’O Lantern’ style, there are plenty of other ways that you can decorate them.
This article from Good Housekeeping includes 80 creative ways to decorate pumpkins, including covering them in dazzling washi paper and pressing feathers onto them. Many of these will look at home in your house at any point during autumn, not just on Halloween.
13. Recycled jumper pillow covers
Want to put those old, moth-eaten jumpers in the back of your closet to good use? Then why not have a go at making a recycled jumper pillow cover?
Old sweaters make quirky, cosy covers that’ll become interesting additions to your living room. Although, if you enjoy hosting people in the garden throughout autumn – as many of us did in the recent lockdowns – their ruggedness also makes them great for outdoor seating.
This blog post from Vicky Myers Creations will take you through how to fashion your own.
14. Autumn scented candles
Whether you’re reclining in a hot tub or curling up on the sofa with a book, sometimes nothing makes us feel more at home throughout the autumn months than a scented candle.
But good quality scented candles can often be expensive, and sometimes, you might not be able to find the scent you want. This is why being able to make your own is a skill that you’ll treasure forever.
This guide from Prima UK will take you through the process of how to make your own scented candles using essential oils. For your first candle, you might have a scent already in mind. Though, if you’re looking for something with a classic autumn smell, why not try one of the classic autumn essential oils listed here? Popular fragrances include orange, bergamot, and, of course, pumpkin spice.
15. Macrame leaf earrings
If you’re looking to up your accessory game this autumn, you might want to have a go at making these macrame leaf earrings from Craftsy Hacks.
Relatively cheap and easy to make, these unique pieces of boho jewellery will look particularly stylish when paired with a suede fringe jacket or autumn-coloured poncho.
And if you’d like a slightly bigger project, why not try your hand at making a macrame leaf wall hanging? The video below will show you how.
16. Crochet Halloween bunting
Want to get involved in the spooky season this autumn? Then why not make some crochet Halloween bunting for your home?
Typical shop-bought bunting is usually made of plastic and it doesn’t last very long, so it’s not the most environmentally-conscious decoration choice. Although crochet bunting can be made from sustainable materials, and can be used time and time again (just don’t leave it outside in the rain!).
This video from Happy Berry Crochet will show you how to make little pumpkins to go on your bunting, while this one will show you how to make ghosts. You can make a few of each and string them together in an alternating pattern. Then, voilà! You have Halloween bunting.
17. Autumnal flower arrangements
Flower arranging is a satisfying great activity to get stuck into all year round. It gives us a chance to express our creativity and bring a slice of nature into our homes.
And while spring and summer arrangements are usually characterised by brilliant bursts of colour, autumn arrangements offer a more subtle, moodier alternative – making the most of all the season’s signature colours, like burnt oranges, deep reds, golds, and even browns.
To get started with some autumn flower arranging, check out this guide from Thrive. You’ll also find some advice in our article; 17 of the most popular and classic flower arranging styles.
18. Needle felt turkey
Tired of leaves and pumpkins? Then why not take a leaf (sorry) out of America’s book and craft a needle-felt turkey? This is an entertaining and meditative project that you can enjoy whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not.
If you’ve never done needle felting before, then our comprehensive guide is a great place to familiarise yourself with the basics. And when you’re ready, take a look at the video below to find out how to make a turkey.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed our list of autumn arts and crafts ideas. Hopefully, it’s shown that whether you’re into fibre art, candlemaking, woodwork, or origami, there’s plenty to get stuck into this autumn.
For more crafty content, head on over to the art and culture section of our website. Here, you’ll find a wide range of articles, like 13 creative and practical craft projects to brighten your day, as well as a variety of guides on different disciplines.