This fun fall fireplace hearth is an easy DIY and creates precious memories with your children
Fall is still far too warm here to use our fireplace, so I feel comfortable decorating the hearth. We likely won't have a fire until December, which gives me plenty of time to cover it in all the pumpkins and glitter! Sorrynotsorry, hubs. Also critical to the South is to not use real pumpkins. No kidding y'all, I learned this just last year: The heat makes them rot. And rot fast. So while this would be more fun with real pumpkins, I bought fake for longevity. The bonus is that I'll have them for years to come, and will probably get all sentimental on too much wine with how little these hands and feet are compared to how big my boys have gotten.
I'm reminiscing and my children literally just did this craft two weeks ago. Anyway... On to the DIY!
Here's what you'll need:
- Faux pumpkins (I did a mix of white and orange)
- Acrylic paint (I did silver and gold but anything that fits your decor would be great)
- A wet rag you can use to immediately wipe the paint of your children's hands because those kids move quick and want to get that paint on EVERYTHING.
Apply the paint to your children's hands or feet liberally. Take your faux pumpkin and stamp their painted hand or foot on it. I got two stamps out of the paint application before I needed to apply more. Be as fast as you can with stamping the pumpkin, as the plastic is slippery and the print gets distorted if your child slides his or her hand around. I found that the younger the child, the easier it was to use feet instead of hands. Henry is 2 and was juuuuuuust barely old enough to not be too squiggly for the hand print. Feet are definitely easier for babies and toddlers! The excellent part of acrylic on the plastic pumpkin is that if a print gets smeared, just wipe it off and try again. The paint will come right off so it's easy to do a few "practice" stamps before you start to get some good ones.
Let the pumpkins fully dry, about 2-3 hours. You can do what I did and do a combination of painted and non-painted pumpkins, or paint all of them. After they're dry, tie bows on the stems. First, I cut the ribbon into equal lengths for each pumpkin. Then I tied them on to the stems, using a knot just like you do when you tie a shoe. With the shape of my pumpkins (short and wide) I found that it looked best with a small bow with long end tails, so I shorted the round part of the bow.
To make the bow more pretty, I cut about a 2 inch piece of ribbon, then folded it in on itself into thirds. I then wrapped that around the center knot. This ribbon had small wires along the edges, and that was enough to keep the piece around the center. But if your ribbon of choice doesn't, use a glue gun and adhere the decorative piece over the center knot of the bow. Finally, I cut a deep V into the ends of the bow for a more polished look. This also helps the ribbon from fraying, so yay bonus!
From this point, it's all up to you how you want to arrange them! I found some glittery acorns at a craft store that I thought were fun, but my toddler also found them fun so they're being moved into a glass bowl on our formal dining room, lest they end up all over the house and half chewed by dogs and tots. I have some additional pumpkins to add to this mix, but they're more Halloween than just a simple fall, and hubs' eye roll game would be strong if I started decorating for Halloween before mid-September even hit. I'll add those to the mix once it's time! The ribbons can also be switched out to a more Halloween-themed ribbon. Just keep the bows in storage for next year, because that decorative ribbon aint cheap, amirite? You could also keep these out through Thanksgiving and add gourds to make it more seasonal.
This DIY fall fireplace hearth is easy to do! The painting only takes about 15 minutes from start to clean up (my timed pace for two kids and two pumpkins) and my bow hacks make tying your own ribbon easy. They're great to transition into Halloween and into Thanksgiving, too. Happy Fall, y'all!