Before you start your decorating projects, however, there is some preparation involved to prevent unwanted bugs or critters from entering your home and right onto your fall table setting. There are several ways to prep branches, leaves, pine cones and such. Here are a few for you to consider.
Branches come in many colors and thicknesses, which comes in handy when decorating for the fall. Once you choose the branches for your project, remove any leaves and sharp ends. Try a light-grit sandpaper to smooth any harmful edges, and wipe off any debris. You can submerge the branches in soapy water using dish soap, or you can also try a 50/50 mixture of bleach and water. Allow the branches to soak overnight and let them dry completely. If your project requires painting the branches, consider spraying them with primer first.
You can preserve the many fall colors in healthy leaves with stems by soaking them in a glycerin and water solution. Use one part glycerin and two parts water. You need enough to submerge the leaf completely in a shallow disposable pan. Use rocks or stones to weigh down each leaf and allow them to soak for two to five days, checking on the progress often. Be sure to keep the pan away from pets and children. Dry them with a paper towel. The color will preserve and they will remain pliable. This may take some trial and error with different types of leaves.
Pine Cones and Acorns
Natural elements like pine cones and acorns can be used in a plethora of creative craft projects. To ensure that little critters don't sneak their way into your glass vase, warm them in your oven first. Line a cookie sheet with foil, placing your pine cones and acorns on top. Warm them at 200 degrees for one hour. This will help open closed pine cones and get rid of pine tar as well.
Another option for branches, leaves and pine cones is to spray your gatherings with insecticide and seal them in a plastic bag over night. With these simple suggestions you can bring a natural and organic rustic look into your home without any unwanted visitors.