Fall Leaves Decor with an Autumn Sign

Fall Leaves Decor with an Autumn Sign

Like most people, I adore the colors of fall leaves. But even more specifically, I love leaves that are “mid-change”. The ones that showcase a gradient of colors in green, yellow, orange, and red. So, I decided that I really wanted to try to capture those colors by creating some fall leaves decor.

I found this cabinet door at Habitat ReStore a year ago. It was this gorgeous natural wood that was swimming in a sea of plain white doors.

Wood cabinet door for upcycling as an autumn sign

And I knew that the warm, Earthy hue of this cupboard door would be ideal for an autumn sign.

Wood cabinet door from Habitat ReStore

AND I could try my hand at stenciling fall foliage, too!

This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Using Stencils for Fall Leaves Decor

First, however, there was some prep work that needed to be done on the wood cabinet door.

Removing the existing hardware was at the top of my prep list, even though I’ve left it on some of my previous cabinet door projects.

Removing the hardware from a cabinet door to become an autumn sign

Next, it needed a good cleaning. Like many salvaged cabinet doors, there was a lot of grime and splatters to deal with.

I scrubbed off what I could with a cleaning wipe first. Then, I wiped on some Murphy oil soap which left it gorgeous and gleaming.

Cleaning a cabinet door with Murphy oil soap

NOW I could break out my fall stencils and start transforming it!

I perused several stencils with fall sayings on them and settled on this one that suited me perfectly. Bright white paint seemed too harsh against the warm wood, so I used the leftover cream paint from this project.

Fall stencils for an autumn sign on a wood cabinet door

Using a large stenciling brush, I stippled on the paint over the autumn quote. I had to tape it in the center over the largest letters as there was no room on the sides.

Stenciling an autumn sign n a wooden cabinet door

I stippled paint around the taped parts before carefully removing the tape and stenciling the remainder of the fall saying. When all was said and done, it looked perfect!

Stencil with a fall quote for autumn decorations

Now it was time for the moment I had been waiting for. Painting fall leaves around the border of the sign!

How to Paint Fall Leaves on an Autumn Sign

I assembled nearly 10 bottles of craft paint- a couple of greens, as many hues of oranges and yellows that I had, and a dark red.

Lastly, I also grabbed a leaf stencil I had used once before with metallic paint.

How to paint fall leaves with several colors

To capture the colors of autumn in my fall leaves, I taped the stencil on and started in the center of the leaf with a darker green.

I switched stencil brushes and stippled orange paint at the outer edges of the leaf, working my way in towards the green. I overlapped the orange over the green a bit and that was it!

Fall leaf stencil to make an autumn sign in fall colors

And the moment of truth– did my first attempt at painting fall leaves look relatively authentic?

You know what – I LOVED IT!

Fall leaves decor on a cupboard door

I went all the way around the cabinet door, varying between leaf shapes and using different autumn colors of paint.

Even though I always started the same way (in the very center), I sometimes finished the entire leaf and went back with the center color for more overlapping.

How to paint fall leaves with stencils and craft paint

Fall Leaves Decor with an Autumn Sign on a Wood Cabinet Door

Finally, I was done stenciling on the fall leaves. And y’all…I am so in love with my cabinet door sign.

It’s like a love letter to autumn…

Cabinet door sign with a fall leaf stencil

Now, to be fully transparent, I should tell you that it took 2 or 3 days to finish the leaves. I have a limited number of brushes and I worried about constantly layering paint onto the stencil.

So, I’d do 3 or 4 leaves at a time, wash everything, and start back up the next day after the brushes had thoroughly dried.

But, I’d do it all again if I had to because it was worth it! I thought about adding some salvaged hinges to the sign for a little visual interest, but I decided the fall leaves shouldn’t be covered up!

Autumn sign on a cabinet door with fall stencils

What do you think? I know a stenciled sign on a cupboard door isn’t exactly ground-breaking in its cleverness, but this project was as much about a craft technique to try than the end result.

And if you’re interested in another easy painting technique for fall decor, you’ll love these decorative gourds I made from glass bottles!

Painted gourds from glass liquor bottles as Fall decor

Craft on!


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Fall leaves decor and cabinet door sign as autumn decorations



  1. turned out lovely. You’re smart Sadie!

  2. Very pretty! I love that time when leaves still show their original color, too!

  3. Sadie, you did a beautiful job.

  4. Very pretty Sarah! I love the Fall colors!

  5. vickie l obrien says

    Sadie — I love your email – blog – ideas – they are simple, functional, creative, and most of all beautiful. I’m digging in my stash now for a cabinet door 🙂

  6. Thank you for always sharing such doable projects!! They are always perfect!

  7. Shirley Freeman says

    Thanks for the information.

  8. Wow, this is so beautiful! You’re immensely skilled and creative, Sarah. The fire-y color of autumn leaves is my favorite too. The colors of fall bring the cozy vibe and peaceful thoughts to mind every time.

  9. Oh I love this idea! And I loved that you used an old cabinet door – I’m always looking for new ideas for all the ones I bought from ReStore!

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