In our old house I used to make garlands for our mantel all the time. They were invariably quick and easy; paper, card, felt balls, pine cones, feathers, crochet - I used to have a lot of fun creating seasonal arrangements on that mantel. Our fireplace was cream marble and always seemed cold to me, as though it needed lots of decorating and warming up, but at least the neutral colour of the mantel and wall behind it always made a good backdrop for a display. (You can see lots of photos of our old fireplace by clicking on the "mantel" label on the right hand side.)
I don't know why but I stopped doing that with our new mantel in this house. Partly it's the length of that huge slab of oak, and partly it's the funny lopsided chimney breast, but I still don't feel like I've really sussed out how to dress or style our current mantelpiece. A few things dotted there look lost, so I tend to go for the more is more approach, and just fill the space. I don't know if that really works either.
But I felt it was time for a bit of seasonal prettification of the fireplace and an autumn garland was in order. And while I was making it I remembered how much fun there is to be had in once of these quick (and easy) craft projects. So much of what I make now takes weeks at least, usually months - sometimes a few years! - so it was fun to have made something in a couple of hours.
I gathered together all my oddments of felt and chose my colours. I had a mixture of the acrylic stuff you buy in places like Hobbycraft combined with off cuts of pure wool felt. The wool felt is immeasurably nicer in colour, tone and quality, and has a slight stiffness to it which makes for a good shape on the garland, but I just made the best with what I had. Then I sketched some leaf shapes and cut them out on scraps of paper.
Pinning the paper templates to the felt, I drew round them in fading ink pen then cut them out.
I threaded a needle with two plies of brown embroidery thread and stitched through the stalk of each leaf.
Then hang in your chosen spot (mantel, mirror, dresser, shelf, banister....) and admire. A while ago I tapped a couple of small picture hooks into either end of the piece of oak above our stove and I use this to secure anything I hang there.
Happy autumn crafting!