I wanted to make some sort of decoration that brought the colors of autumn into the house without sticking to the typical autumnal color palette. I set out to decorate willow branches I had left over from the spring with leaves made out of colorful, patterned paper. It's a fun project that is instantly gratifying, and now that I've made this, I realize I could probably just keep it out year round.
Several sheets of patterned paper - you decide based on how much variety you want.
Several sheets of solid paper
Strong, fast-setting glue (I used gel super glue)
Tree branches (I used willow, but you could use just about anything)
Optional: leaf paper punch
Match up the patterned paper with a corresponding color of solid paper. I made mine so there was quite a bit of contrast, but you could try to match the colors as well. Using the glue stick, glue the two pages together.
Once the glue is dry, cut out leaf shapes in various sizes using either scissors or a paper punch.
After all of the leaves have been cut out, get your glue ready and determine where you want to put the leaves on the branches. The willow branches I used where great because the places on the branch where it was starting to bud created little slits that were a perfect place for sliding in the paper. I applied glue with a toothpick just at the bottom of the leaf, with the patterns facing outside. Let the leaves lay flat against the branch until well after they're dry.
When the leaves are dry, use your fingers or a pencil to curl the leaves back and give them more depth and shape.
Stick the branches into a vase and place in a prominent place, adding color to dreary autumn days.