Looking for a simple fall craft idea? You can make this DIY fall pillow with supplies from your yard. Step-by-step instructions below.

This year I when I went to fall decorate, I put my messy bun up and got my sugar free hot chocolate on in the 97 degree Texas heat and pulled down 14 tubs of fall decorations from the attic…

…and sighed.

I opened tub after tub of garlands of leaves covered with glitter and pinecones and pumpkins with states on them and chalkboard pumpkins and mirrors with pumpkin sayings and acorns that looked like they just got back from Las Vegas.

I wanted to be inspired. I wanted to fall it up and toss that garland over my shoulder and hang it up over the door.

But instead?

In random, weird, completely unexpected and surprising news.

My heart longed for simple.

Can you believe it?



What is this world coming to?

I never met a glittered pinecone I didn’t want to take home and drink apple cider with.

simple fall craft pillow with leaf

I think it was the totes.

All I could see when I looked at them was stuff.  Stuff that overwhelmed me.  Stuff that hadn’t seen the inside of the farmhouse in 10 years.  Stuff that made me want to run for the decorating hills.

Stuff upon stuff upon stuff.

Stuff I was holding on to because I told myself I might need it one day.

I told myself that it might make a reappearance.


I know straw hats you hang on the front door are so 2001.

But just like stirrup pants and bright blue eyeshadow and Dukes of Hazzard, they might make a decorating come back.

So this year?

I’m keeping it simple.

I ordered a few new things and repurposed things I already had and I’m making a few projects that make my heart happy.

Like this easy DIY leaf pillow.

Here are the instructions in case you were planning on keeping it simple, too.

simple fall craft insert cardboard into pillow

Simple Fall Craft: DIY Leaf Pillow


pillow cover (I get mine at IKEA but you can find them here, too)

navy blue paint

leaves (from the yard or from some of those totes)

foam brush

fine-tipped paintbrush

Step 1: Add cardboard

You are using navy blue paint on a white pillow cover.

Proceed with caution.

I used a piece of carboard to protect the front from the back of the pillow before I started to paint.

simple fall craft leaf

Step 2: find a leaf

You can shop your back yard for this item.

But I live in Texas.

It will be a while before the leaves fall.

So instead? I shopped the totes and found three leaves that were the right sizes.

One big leaf and two smaller leaves. You want to look for leaves with a raised spine in the back.

simple fall craft leaf

Step 3: Add paint

With a foam brush, add paint the edges and spine of the leaf.

I just painted where I wanted the paint to appear on the pillow.

We are using this leaf like a stamp, so I painted the edges and the spine.

Be generous with the paint, so you have a clear outline of the leaf on the pillow cover. I practiced with paper before I actually stamped the pillow cover.

simple fall craft painted leaf

Step 4: Stamp the pillow cover

Flip your leaf over and stamp the pillow.

For this simple fall craft, place the leaf with the paint side down onto the corner of the pillow.

Be extra careful that you don’t flick paint onto the cover.

(Again—I suggest practicing on paper before you actually stamp the pillow cover.)

Step 5: Press the leaf

Using the end of the paintbrush, press the leaf onto the pillow cover.

Press all the edges and the spine until you are sure the outline has transferred to the pillow cover.

Next, slowly lift the leaf off the pillow cover.

Your outline should look something like this.

I wanted it to be faint, but this was a little too faint for me.

No worries.

I had a solution.

Step 6: Add other leaves

Repeat steps 3-5 with two additional leaves.

I just placed the smaller leaves on either side of the larger leaf.

I was keeping it a simple fall craft, but you could add leaves all over the pillow cover if you wanted to.

Step 7: Fill in with paint

My solution for the light outline?

I just took a smaller fine-tipped paintbrush and lightly filled in the edges on each of the three leaves.

And then? This is a simple fall craft. No worries.

I let the leaves dry, filled the pillow cover with a down insert.

And now?

Here’s the finished pillow.

It took me about 30 minutes from start to finish.

See what I mean?

2020 has been stressful enough. Who’s with me? Who’s ready to celebrate without all the stress. Who’s ready for hot chocolate and yummy fall smells and cozy blankets and apples and crisp fall days.

And simple.

With extra simple on top. 🙂


Looking for a little more fall inspiration? Here are 13 leaf project ideas from some of my favorite friends.

13 Fall Leaf Project Ideas

Gold Dipped Leaf Place Cards – Modern Glam

How to Make a Paper Quilt Leaf – Happy Happy Nester

Fall Craft Ideas – Jennifer Maune

DIY Gilded Leaf Pumpkins – Tatertots & Jello

Watercolour Fall Leaf Free Printable Series – The Happy Housie

Fall Craft Ideas for Your Table – My 100 Year Old Home

Pressed Botanical Art – Craftberry Bush

Outdoor Fall Tablescape with Leaves – Hallstrom Home

Fall Wood Bead Garland – Lolly Jane

DIY Leaf Pillow – Thistlewood Farms

Dinner Rolls with a Cut Leaf Design – Twelve On Main

DIY Leaf Trivet – My Sweet Savannah

The Worst Project Made with Leaves Ever – Jennifer Rizzo

simple fall craft collage

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
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  1. Image for Caroline Howard Caroline Howard

    Acorns that just came back from Vegas! Haha, my kind of acorn! Kari, you crack me up and your ideas inspire me everyday. Searching my backyard today.

  2. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    You need to give those 14 totes to a Salvation Army so they can sell them! You can always start over if the decorations come back in style!!! Re purpose and clean out!!! Just saying...

  3. Image for Ashley Stringfellow Ashley Stringfellow

    My heart is longing for simple this year too. There's so much going on in the world that my home needs to feel calm and free from clutter and stuff. This pillow is all kinds of perfection and beauty. Thanks for joining us! xo

  4. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    I am sooooo the person who keeps the 14 totes...it’s part of my three degrees in home economics “wisdom” which has created a very overwhelmed keeper of things. Working on letting go..(frozen soundtrack in the background!🤣) and I’m working on simple fall decorating over here, too. But in green, white and yellow as we transition. Always thank you for your inspiration, sweet friend!


    Love the simple and easy to do! Sometimes all the totes are overwhelming. I organized Christmas decor by theme-now it is Autumn's turn. Thanks for all the great ideas!

  6. Image for Nancy Nancy

    Fabulous! I really like this. My home isn’t blue so I would choose something in the autumn color pallet. I’m hoping my 13 year old very talented granddaughter will make this for ME! Thank you for such specific directions. Now to get the correct pillow and cover. Sure hope Hobby Lobby is stocked.

  7. Image for Lynn W Lynn W

    Nicely coordinated with the room!! Very pretty and simple 👍👍. I’m thinking that I need to go and edit out a bunch of Fall stuff when I get the bins out😳

  8. Image for Debra Debra

    Perfection! I only wish you had posted this a day earlier when I dragged out my autumn bins, used about 75% of what I normally do and still felt it’s overkill. Time for me to edit and rethink.

  9. Image for Chas Greener Chas Greener

    Absolutely beautiful friend. I love how they turned out and they still fit the color theme of your home. I would love to join you in a future hop, please keep me in mind.

  10. Image for Kris Kris

    Super pretty. Love the blue. So, my family likes squishy pillows to snuggle up to, but I gotta think that the paint is pretty stiff--do they just gently place the pillows on the floor??? I am joining the group of women who are wondering what magic you weave to get your family to not constantly plop pillows anywhere but where they are supposed to be.


    Thanks, KariAnne, for giving us this lovely Fall pillow DIY! I love your blue pillow and it looks so cute with the rest! I just might have to make this on the weekend! Our Maple tree has been dropping its leaves so they are just a few steps away. Have a great day!

  12. Image for Marlene Stephenson Marlene Stephenson

    I love it when nature is used for decor and yours is so wonderful and pretty. Thank you, i pray i can do this,lol!

  13. Image for Helen J Helen J

    Love the simple....your post at the end of a long day of numbers and agreement reviews and Zoom calls brought a smile ...and it's appreciated!! :-) keep it coming - love your posts and writing style!!

  14. Image for Kathy Menold Kathy Menold

    Keep it simple stupid! This motto keeps replaying in my head as I think about fall decor. I did try to get rid of some things last year and reduce the number of bins but I know I will find way too much stuff when I finally am inspired to pull them out. It would help if the temperature would not be 92!! I promise I am going to donate more and simplify more. I really think natural decorations are so much prettier and we have a big pumpkin patch this year. I hope to be harvesting all kinds of gourds next month. Love your pillow printing. Will share with my daughters who are much more crafty than me.

  15. Image for Sharon Taylor Sharon Taylor

    Karianne - I am so much older than you and this brought back wonderful days of painting with leaves on sweatshirts and other items with the different kinds of fabric paints. I love the thought. Those were the best crafts. To see it on a pillow cover, gives me wonderful ideas. Thank you for sharing your gifts and talents. You are truly a wonderful blessing.

  16. Image for Mary Mary

    Karianne, thanks for this idea. I love fall pillows but not the ones with words on them. And lately that is all I see out there. I can definitely wrap my paint brush around this great idea!! Thank you, thank you!

  17. Image for Botanic Bleu Botanic Bleu

    KariAnne, Simple, with simple on top. Blue, blue and white.... what's not to love? The only kind of Fall leaves we will see in Texas until sometime around... October... maybe November. And then they will be BROWN leaves. I love your blue leaves instead. Judith

  18. Image for Cheryl Cheryl

    What a wonderful project!! I love how your pillow turned out! I understand the stuff part. I have a storage shed full I need to go through, but that is another day for another post, lol!!

  19. Image for Jayne Jayne

    Oh, this is gorgeous! I'm all about simple Fall decorating too this year so these DIY Fall pillows are the perfect craft for me too! Thank you.

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