Since I moved in a couple months ago, my walls have been pretty naked. Some of that is just because I didn’t have very much wall space at the old house, and some is just because I haven’t managed to get my dad to help me get my deer prints up. My room’s “theme” is deer and rustic decor in fall colors, and I’m struggling to fill empty space and bring the room together. But decor is so expensive! I don’t have a job, so I can’t bring myself to pay $20 a piece for something that’s just on the wall. I started looking for nature-based decor that I could make at home to take up a chunk of wall space.

And so this beautiful wall hanging was born! It started with Pinterest posts of painted leaves in picture frames, and turned into a search for wall hangings. I went outside and gathered some Black Oak leaves from a tree growing in my yard, and painted them gold, red, and orange. The gold turned out the best, as the metallic sheen covered up any streaks or pooling caused by the texture and veins of the leaves, so I chose to stick with just the gold. I would brush the leaves with a stiff paintbrush to get a majority of the dust off without hurting the leaf, then paint one side, allow it to dry and paint the other side.


With the branch on the wall, I was able to work in a “join as you go” sort of method and make decisions as I went along. For instance, seeing the way they hang and move and wanting to define the ends. I wanted to make sure the leaves stayed put and didn’t tangle with one another as the air moved in the room. So I weighted them with the premature acorns the same Black Oak was dropping.


Painting and hanging the leaves took ages. Most of the day was spent waiting for leaves to dry so I could hang them and make more room for painting on the desk. I didn’t mind the wait, but it’s definitely not a quick project, and someone wanting to get it done faster may want to go buy some spray paint to speed the process along. I feel like spray paint would also allow better coverage for the leaves if you chose to use colors.


I really love the way this little art project turned out, and how it brings so much more life and movement to the corner of the room. It constantly moves as the air moves in the room, making the leaves twist and spin and sway. The gold paint catches the light and glitters. It cost me nearly nothing, since I was using what I had around the house and in my neighborhood.


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