Skip to main content

{TUTORIAL} Natural Leaf Cone Tree

After mentioning in my last post the virtues of using natural leaves to make wonderful cone trees, I decided to take my own suggestion and make one! 

With Fall around the corner, fallen leaves will soon be in abundance.  Sadly, one of our shrubs was sickly and didn't make it through our months of triple digit temps and scarce rain, so we now have a supply of leaves readily available.

I picked a small pail full of dry leaves in varying shades from greenish to burnt orange in color and checked them over carefully to ensure they were insect-free.   Didn't want to give any lazy critters a free ride into our home!

The supplies I used were:

~~Cardboard (paper mache) cone
~~Natural leaves
~~Hot glue gun (to attach leaves to cone)
~~Matte Mod Podge (to seal leaves)
~~Soft artist's brush

To begin, I clipped the stems from each leaf to enable them to lay a little flatter against the cone.  Then cut several leaves in half lengthwise and hot glued the halves around the entire base of the cone horizontally to cover about 1/2 inch from the bottom of the cone.  This will prevent any spaces of cardboard (paper mache) showing thru the leaves along the first row of  vertical leaves. 

At this point, I just began hot gluing the leaves to the cone vertically, slightly overlapping the sides of the leaves.  I only placed hot glue on the upper half of the leaf.

Repeated this process for the remaining rows.

For the very top of the cone, I used a flexible leaf and wrapped it around the tip to form a point, hot gluing it in place. 

To seal the leaves, I gave the leaf covered tree a coat of Mod Podge in Matte using a soft artist's brush.   In hindsight, it would have been best to apply the Mod Podge to both sides of the leaves (and let dry) before gluing them to the tree with hot glue.  The Mod Podge is supposed to seal the leaves and helps prevent them from becoming brittle.  I've read that hairspray can also be used as a sealer.

I think the natural color really does provide a nice touch of Fall, don't you?  Will keep you posted on how the color changes as the leaves age.  Have you used natural leaves in décor?  Have you found they age well?  What other natural elements have you used?

Thank you to Must Love Home and Dear Creatives for graciously featuring this post!

Shared with:
The Crowned Goat 


  1. Oh wow this is a wonderful way of decorating for Fall. I think it will be fun crafting time with my girls :) Thanks for sharing!

    1. It would be such fun to do with kiddos! Would probably use the low temp glue and they'd have a blast. Have fun!

  2. Carolyn I just love your Fall Cone Tree - great idea! Pinned to my Fall Board so others will see it too.

  3. Hi Carolyn, I love this idea!! Your leaves are so colorful I thought they were painted..until I looked at the tutorial! Nice job - Christine @ Must Love Home...PS Thanks for sharing on Friday Favorites

    1. Hi, Christine! So funny that you mentioned painting the leaves - have given some thought to doing just that for Christmas if the leaves hold up well - thinking gold might be nice. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Hi Carolyn, Such a pretty nature project. I love the idea of painting the leaves gold too. That would be so pretty and take you from fall to the holidays. Pinned & shared. I will be featuring your tutorial tomorrow. Feel free to join in the Inspiration Spotlight party with any of your posts again.

    1. What a sweet surprise! Thank you so very much for featuring my Natural Leaf Cone Tree on your site! I'm truly honored. This was a really neat project to do and I'm hoping the leaves retain their burnt orange/bronze color thru Thanksgiving - it's been about 3 weeks and they're still pretty. Thanks so much for stopping by my little blog. Have a great day!

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Hi Carolyn, This looks awesome! Your post has been Pinned,Tweeted and shared on Facebook! It will be featured this week on the Friday Favorites Link Party at Come by and see your feature and share what you have been working on this week! The doors open Thursday at 7PM. Hugs - Christine at Must Love Home

    1. I appreciate the feature, Christine! So nice of you to share my project - it's so easy to do that I hope others give it a try - amazing how natural elements can be such fun! Thanks again - wishing you an awesome day!

  7. Hi Carolyn, Your Fall leaf cone tree is very lovely! What a beautiful way to display to colors of Fall! Thank you for sharing at #OMHGWW! So glad you could join us! Looking forward to seeing you next week! Have a wonderful weekend!

  8. Hi Carolyn, I hopped over from Must Love Home. I love fall leaves and this is such a cute idea! I just may need to make one! I have a link party, Share Your Cup Thursday. It's about sharing the things that make you happy. I'd love if you'd share some time! This week the thumbnail is super small. Missed clicking the larger size. Never done that before. lol! But usually it's a large pretty photo.

    1. Great to meet you, Jann! Thanks for the invite - I popped over and shared at your party! No problem re: the thumbnails - very nice party! Have a great week!

  9. That's a really cute idea! Love how you used what you had in your garden!

  10. Wow, I would never have thought to do this! How creative! Thanks for sharing at My Flagstaff Home!


  11. Loving this! You are so talented. Thanks for sharing this at our party. Pinned and tweeted. I hope to see you on Monday at 7 pm, so we get to party with you again! Lou Lou Girls

  12. What a clever idea for preserving (and displaying) fall leaves! I like to collect pretty fall leaves and use them in my fall decor, but over time they get brittle and start to fall apart, so I'll have to give this a try.

  13. I really like how this turned out, Carolyn. I've never considered using natural leaves in my home décor (mostly because I've hopped from place to place...all that plant evergreen trees...bummer!). I can't wait to hear about how they changed (or if they do change at all). Thanks again for linking up with us at Welcome Home Wednesday this week!

    Sam //


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

DIY Console Table Reveal

Last weekend we took advantage of the gorgeous weather and turned our garage into a workshop as we measured, measured again, cut, assembled and sanded the boards that would result in this beauty ....

To say that we like it is an understatement!  

This journey began with the need to replace our drastically undersized original console table and you can read more about that HERE.

Our inspiration was Ana White's Rustic X Console.  We followed Ana's wonderful free plans to construct the frame using 2" x 2" and 2" x 4" boards.  These were the only boards we had to purchase, as we had the two shelf boards (1" x 12" each) and three tabletop boards (2" x 6" each) on hand.

The finished dimensions are a whopping 76-1/2" x 18" x 32" - a little over 6 feet, making it much more appropriately sized for our 18' long wall (our original console table was only 42".)

You'll notice a few additional foyer changes as well.  The wall was…

Frugal Craft Space - File Cabinet Makeover

After years of having our kitchen island serve as my craft table, I am excitedly creating a craft space in our guest room where craft supplies and equipment can remain set up and ready to go!  I envisioned a large craft table supported by two 2-drawer file cabinets.  The cabinets provide great storage, but were less than attractive and desperately needed a makeover.

The first criteria for the new craft space was to be frugal and to use items we already had on hand whenever possible - basically, the same criteria for any project we undertake. No surprise there!


Two metal 2-drawer file cabinets
Four decorative drawer pulls
Zinsser 123 Primer
Latex Paint
12 large wood paint stir sticks
Paint brush
Mitre saw box or hand saw 
Loctite Power Grab adhesive
220 grit sandpaper
Wood filler

We already had one file cabinet and located another of the exact same height at a local thrift store for only $15.  Along with being thrifty, an added bonus is that older metal file cabinets are made really well…

Our Cozy Stone Cottage

It's been a while since we've updated our little blog but now is a great time to revive it!  We've had an exciting lifestyle change in the works the past several months as we prepared to sell our country home to relocate to this sweet stone cottage in the "city" about 10 miles away.  Well, not exactly a city - more like a small adorable country hamlet - population around 4,000.  

We're told our little stone cottage was built in 1900.  We've yet to discover the full history of our home and hope to research it soon.  We do know that an addition was added and it contains the kitchen.  And we've learned that the stone was not original to the home - originally it was typical wood sided farmhouse.  The photo above is an older one from a few years ago we found online that shows our home in all its well maintained glory.  Isn't it charming?

In a nutshell, a few of the features we immediately fell in love with are .... original wood floors throughout most of…