Whimsical Autumn Leaves Windcatcher

By Kate Riley September 7, 2009

There are crafts that I do with my kids that I deem post-worthy, and crafts that I really wouldn’t write about.  But this one turned out pretty cute, so I thought I’d share.

Since I was going away for the weekend, without the kids, to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary, I decided to take my five year old daughter to the craft store and spend a few hours with her, creating something together for autumn.  We picked out some fabric leaves and amber beads, and decided to make our own wind catcher.

And it’s true. There is something irresistible about autumn leaves blowing in the wind. Call me sentimental, but now I’m longing for cornfield mazes and pumpkin pie.

Here is our creation:

windblower final

If you want to spend an afternoon with your kids or grandkids creating something together, then this is an inexpensive keepsake craft.


  1. 36” dowel rod, width 3/16 of an inch
  2. Fabric leaves (approximately 50)
  3. Beads of choice
  4. Thin twine or hemp string
  5. Spray paint (optional)


First, carefully cut your dowel rod in half with a saw or very sharp serrated knife.

cut dowels

(Optional)  Spray paint your dowel rod dark brown.

espresso spray paint

Knot your twine or hemp string at the bottom and anchor a bead.  Then snip a tiny hole at the top of a fabric leaf and run your string through the hole, knotting it each time, and for every leaf.

twine through leaf

Tie your dowels into a cross shape.  I used a bit of hot glue to keep mine in a T shape, then secured with more twine.

make cross

Hang your wind catcher where you can watch your leaves blowing in the wind.

leaves in wind

I confess, I am liking the amber beads sparkling in the sunlight.  And the fall colors too.

amber beads in light


leaves blowing

Happy Labor Day everyone!

Tune in tomorrow for photos from our Napa Valley getaway.


  1. It’s always nice to do a project with your child that you don’t mind keeping around the house. I’m looking forward to fall decorating myself.

    Hope your anniversary trip was fabulous. How could it not be, it’s Napa Valley.

  2. I love this! I am a preschool teacher and am going to definitely make this for our classroom!
    We made a weather mobile last year incorporating the sun, rain clouds, snow and a tornado.

  3. I Love this super sweat and admittedly easy idea. I think this is just the project for Gideon and me.
    Thanks for all your great inspiration… I will be sure to blog and link back our finished project.

  4. That windcatcher is adorable!!! I love it. We have beautiful fall leaves where I live in NC, but it is a bit early for them to be turning yet. It won’t be long, as there has been a coolness in the air already. Fall is just around the corner. Hope you enjoyed your anniversary trip. I have never been to California, but hope to get out there some day. Love & blessings from NC!

  5. This is a REALLY LOVELY IDEA! The leaves actually look so real and at first I was wondering why one would go to all that work only to have them crinkle and die in a few days.

    Thanks for sharing. I just love it!


  6. Happy Labor Day, Kate! :) I love that you spent some extra special time with your kids before your trip. The fruits of your fun are so cute!!! I like the beads too, and that’s totally something I wouldn’t mind displaying. :)

  7. Oh, how lovely! I am putting this on my list to do. Thanks!
    Question: What paint color did you use on the wall behind the mobile. I’ve been looking for a color similar when we repaint our house.

  8. Love the Windcatcher! My two little ones love to make beaded necklaces and bracelets so I bet they would love this project! Thanks for the idea!

  9. I think my grandson and I will enjoy making this one! We are always looking for something to make together….

  10. This actually turned out quite pretty, and I like the way it must float on the breeze. I’m sure your daughter had fun with her mom time.

  11. Aw – what a fun project. I LOVE it! It’s beautiful! Great job!

    I’m hosting a Fall Festival – I’d love for you to stop by and link your beautiful ideas. ;)

    Have a super week!

  12. So pretty! I just purchased some Fall leaves for another Fall project. Great job on this! Looks like it would be so pretty outside!

  13. Hi there! I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now and I just love it! I used this idea today and really like the way it turned out although I wish I would have made the strands a bit longer like yours. Ah well! I put pics up on my blog and linked to you. Thanks again!

  14. Would love to feature your wind catcher on our site; we would credit you and link back to your site. Our visitors would really enjoy this project. If interested, please contact us thru our Contact Us page on the site.

  15. What a wonderful idea! There are so many beautiful leaves in the garden at the moment … I think Messmonster2 would adore to go jumping in them and pick out some of the more perfect ones for a mobile! I will put some of my ideas onto my blog soon so that you can share with your kids!

  16. Què idea tan fantastica…..muy muy decorativa…..se ve espectacular…la voya hacer…
    Gracias por aportar tanta belleza.

  17. Okay Kate, I tried this last year and my wind catcher was so unbalanced, it was awful. How did you make yours stay balanced? Just the same amount of beads and leaves on each string?

  18. I love your autumn windcatcher! I agree – falling leaves are magical, especially when they twirl and dance on their way to the ground.

    I hope you don’t mind. I linked your windcatcher how-to post to my Porch and Garden Party at firstadream.blogspot.com.

  19. ohhhh I think this would be SUCH a cute idea as a decorative INDOOR piece… Like above my dining room table! Wouldn’t it look fabulous with Thanksgiving dinner and centerpiece? I think so! :)

  20. too cool. I sent my daughter outside today to collect leaves and twigs so she can do this (and keep occupied) this weekend while I work inside.

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