The First Step When Bringing The Outside In This Fall

Fall is the perfect time to think about bringing the outdoors inside. With all the beautiful colors, shapes and textures in the world around us, it’s perfectly natural to want to decorate your home with these earthy pieces.

The challenge, though, is only bringing in what you want to bring in. Decorating with acorns, leaves and branches may look lovely, but it’s very possible that you’re bringing some unwanted guests inside with you.

So what do you need to do before you start working with outdoor materials?

* If there are holes or broken parts on branches or acorns, don’t bring them inside. They’re evidence of tiny critters living inside them. Take the time to find pieces that haven’t been turned into something’s natural habitat.

* Wash them thoroughly with soap and warm water, especially if it hasn’t rained lately. Leave them on a stack of paper towels to dry completely.

* A special tip for acorns: once they’re dry, put them in a 200-degree oven for about 2 hours, stirring them every 30 minutes so they don’t burn. This will bake the yucky stuff out and help preserve them.

* If you want them to last even longer, you can cover branches and acorns with a clear polyurethane. It comes in both a can and a spray, so choose whichever you like.

From here, you can craft and decorate to your heart’s content. For more great autumn crafts and decorating tips, type “fall” into the search bar at the top of the page. This will connect you to many of the projects I’ve shared over the years. Enjoy!

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