This Thanksgiving, keep the décor simple and devote your time and energy to the food and the wine. Autumn leaves are often used to add texture and color to fall arrangements, but they're especially appealing as a centerpiece for the holiday table.
This maple leaf bouquet is not only bright and seasonal, it’s so easy that even a child can make one (I know because my three-year-old daughter assembled this one for me). See more at Design Skool.
Above: Vibrant yellow maple leaves; as beautiful as flowershop blooms.
Above: Step 1: Collect leaves.
Above: Step 2: Arrange the leaves facing the same direction; since leaves are so light and have such short stems, you need to pack them into the vase tightly. Note that even in water fallen leaves will dry out and curl after only a day or two. Like any flower, they will retain their moisture, shape, and color for several days if you refrigerate them. I collected leaves over a week and managed to preserve them in the crisper between two paper towels.
Above: Step 3: Although it’s more work, you can also dry the leaves. There are several methods for doing so, which are clearly outlined at About.com. To avoid curling, weight the leaves with something heavy, like a pie plate.
Above: Best of all, the leaf bouquet is free.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on November 21, 2011.