DIY Autumn Leaf Bunting :: Earthy and Ethereal

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DIY Autumn Leaf BuntingWe tried a new variation of our autumn leaf bunting the other day. This one is another stained glass bunting using wax paper.

I’m loving the look. Earthy yet ethereal.

I know I always say this, but it was easy to make. Here’s a simple tutorial:

No-Sew Autumn Leaf Bunting


  • Autumn leaves (I used pressed & dried but would be interested in seeing how fresher autumn leaves would work)
  • Wax paper
  • Iron
  • Newsprint or other paper
  • 1/2 inch ribbon
  • Hot glue gun
  • Metallic Sharpies (optional)


Leaf Bunting Step by Step Instructions

  1. Arrange your autumn leaves on a sheet of wax paper in roughly triangular shapes. Set another sheet of wax paper over the leaves.
  2. Place a piece of newsprint or paper under and over the wax paper/leaf sandwich and iron on high to melt the wax and fuse the wax paper and leaves together.
  3. Cut triangles out of the wax paper/leaf creation, preferably around the leaves rather than through them. You can freehand them as I did or create a template for uniformity.
  4. Arrange your leaf wax triangles in an order you like and cut a piece of ribbon about a foot longer than the triangles.
  5. Using a hot glue gun, add a strip of glue along the top of a wax triangle. Set the ribbon on top and press lightly. Repeat with the rest of the wax triangles until all are glued to the ribbon.
  6. Decorate the autumn leaf bunting with metallic sharpies (optional).

Fall Leaf Bunting 19

Maia and her friend Stella are drawing on the bunting in this picture (over a table well protected with contractor’s paper).

Daphne’s hand is shown drawing in the step-by-step collage above.

While I created the bunting myself while they were at school, they all enjoyed decorating it. Maia mostly traced the leaf veins as she often does when doing leaf doodles and drawings. Stella drew hearts and faces. And Daphne drew earnest scribbles.

Fall Leaf Bunting 32

I hung our new, decorated autumn leaf bunting in the front window. It adds a nice fall touch, don’t you think?

Fall Leaf Bunting 26

The sharpie decorations aren’t necessary for the bunting, but add a nice touch.

Fall Leaf Bunting 27

I included some doodled leaves inside the wax bunting, but the effect is muted and not worth it (as you can see with the top leaf in this photo). The sharpie drawings on the outside of the wax paper show up much better (the two bottom leaves).

Fall Leaf Bunting 21

And, just to show you what is below the autumn leaf bunting: a basket of pinecones, another of painted paper leaves (one of the activities in the autumn crafts book), Maia’s feather collection, and a sweet cloth doll.

No Sew Autumn Leaf Bunting

By the way, I’ve been using bunting, garland, and banner interchangeably but don’t know if I’m correct in doing so. Is there a difference? Anyone know?

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  1. rosie says

    Hi Jean!
    I love this! I think I will make one for my living room! BTW, good thing you tried out the home-made modge podge recipe. I have never used modge podge before but and going to get some this weekend and do the rock/leaf activity. Can’t wait! Have a great weekend!

  2. rosie says

    p.s…..I should have gotten someone to edit my post before I sent it! Should be “am” instead of “and”…………. :>)

  3. Natasha says

    So looking forward to doing this with my daughter while crazy little brother is sleeping :) loved the photos of your living space as well thx for sharing. Would you mind telling me about what appears to be an ingeniously covered tv and media unit in the corner? Would love to do something similar in our home…

  4. says

    Oh! – these are just beautiful! And simple! (I love a simple art project!!)
    The Little Ones and I have been going on ‘leaf hunts’ most days, and I think this will be the perfect way to use/display the piles of leaves we have sitting in our foyer!
    p.s. I call them bunting, but more because I love the word – it just sounds so happy, doesn’t it?!

  5. says

    Let me know if it works with the autumn leaf rocks!! Maybe try full strength glue? Or less watered down. And not the elmer’s school glue, but the regular elmer’s glue (Mary Ann Kohl told me the school glue can be wonky).

  6. says

    I really, really love this, and I would never have thought to make something like this. We don’t even have any wax paper; I’m going to have to run to the store in the morning.
    We also go on leaf hunts almost every day, and we have leaves all over the house in varying stages of dryness. I’ll share a photo of our garland once it’s finished.

  7. says

    I would say ‘bunting’ for something like you’ve made with flags hanging on a string. ‘Banner’ to me is something straight-edged and long. Garland is something with things hanging off it, but not necessarily flags. So if you glued the leaves straight to the ribbon that might be a leaf garland.
    But I should caveat all this by saying that a) this is all out of my head, not a dictionary and b) I am a Brit, and the differences between US and UK English are myriad, and intriguing….!

  8. Sarah says

    Please help, loved this idea and had great fun collecting our leaves and arranging them but no matter what I try I cannot get my wax paper to stick to each other. I’m using a hot iron on no steam but am just ending up with crispy leaves. Any ideas what I am doing wrong or where I can get hold of wax paper that definitely works. I’m in London. Thanks for all your ideas

  9. says

    Sarah, I used the Cut-Rite brand of wax paper. Maybe different brands have varying amounts of wax? I had to make sure that there was plenty of plain wax paper around each leaf, because the two sheets of wax paper adhered to each other well, but where there was a leaf, they didn’t adhere to the leaf itself. Does that make sense? If you can’t find wax paper that works, you could do a combo of the kind you have with some crayon shavings (like this: OR just put the leaves in between contact paper (sticky back paper) cut into triangles for your bunting. The contact paper is more transparent so will look a little different, but will still be beautiful!

  10. Val says

    I shredded some candle wax and sprinkled some of that under and over each leaf to help adhere to the wax paper.