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Barn animals and apple stamps

Kiddos big and small can manage this easy peasy Apple Pumpkin Stamp. The only con: you can't eat the apples afterward. Melinda Lavine / mlavine@duluthnews.com1 / 5
Googly eyes are optional for this Leaf People craft. Make a person or a mermaid. Lift bridge not included. Melinda Lavine / mlavine@duluthnews.com2 / 5
These Animal Mason Jars take some time, but the end result is a classy-looking craft to hold treats, fall goodies, you name it. Melinda Lavine / mlavine@duluthnews.com3 / 5
This Confetti Pumpkin calls for scissors, Washi tape, a craft pumpkin and patience. Melinda Lavine / mlavine@duluthnews.com4 / 5
Get in the fall mood with these autumn-inspired crafts: Apple Stamp Pumpkins, Leaf People, Confetti Pumpkins and Animal Mason Jars. Melinda Lavine / mlavine@duluthnews.com5 / 5

Fall's a good time to hunker down. Tea, football, laughing in sweaters. It's also time to get crafty. Here are some easy and affordable autumn-inspired DIY projects.

Animal Mason Jars

This classy-looking, low-cost project is easy to personalize. I chose gold barn animals, but use whatever figurines in whichever glossy, shiny or matte spray paint you're into — and adjust the size to your liking, too. I opted for small Mason jars, so I purchased a 3-ounce can of spray paint, but adjust according to your project size. Warning: This one takes a while in between coats.

Mason jars with solid lids

Plastic toy animals

Crazy glue

Spray paint

1 small piece of sandpaper

Newspaper or cardboard

Lightly sand top of Mason jar lid and bottom of animal's feet. Dot a small amount of crazy glue on animal's feet and press onto lid. Hold 15-30 seconds and follow glue directions. Ensure animal is securely fastened, touch up if necessary.

In a well-ventilated area, place lids on newspaper or cardboard. Read spray paint directions, and apply one layer. Set a timer for 10-15 minutes. Repeat, until lid is well-covered. (It took about three layers.) Take care to paint the animal's belly and the outer rim of the lid.

When dry, fill Mason jar with fall staples: pine cones, leaves, acorns. Or makeup tools, a votive candle, treats (solid lid jars are food-friendlier).


Apple Pumpkin Stamps

Adults are needed for apple slicing, but aside from that, the kiddos can take over on setup and cleanup. An added bonus: this is super low in cost. Fun fact: my mom still calls me "Pumpkin," or "Pump Doop" when she's in a really good mood.

1 apple

Orange craft paint

Green craft paint

Paint brush

2 sheets of white paper

Cut apple in half with a knife and dry with paper towel. Squirt orange paint the size of a silver dollar onto scrap paper. Squirt a little green paint on a different scrap piece.

Dip flat side of apple slice into orange paint, ensure it's well-covered. Stamp white paper. Repeat. Dip brush with green paint and create a stem on each pumpkin. Optional: Make jack-o'-lantern faces with permanent marker.


Confetti Pumpkin

I wanted a falling leaves/confetti effect, so I had more strips at the bottom, but get creative and use more colors and different pumpkin sizes if you like.

White craft pumpkin

Washi tape


Cut 1-inch or smaller size pieces of Washi tape. (The type I used had a peelable back.) Consider the size of your pumpkin and cut tape in half for thinner strips or keep width as is. Repeat. Peel off back and stick tape onto pumpkin as you like.


Leaf People

Leaves of all sizes, colors and shapes


White paper

Optional: Markers and googly eyes

Arrange your leaves to create a leaf person, mermaid or animal, wherever your imagination takes you. Glue your arrangement onto paper. Hang on refrigerator; show off to friends at parties.


Melinda Lavine

Lavine is a features and health reporter for the Duluth News Tribune. 

(218) 723-5346