I first read about nature tables when my daughter was just a baby.  I fell in love with the concept of a beautiful little spot indoors that reflected the changing of the seasons and I always had the best intentions of creating one for our family.  As each season arrived I’d find myself unprepared, until finally last summer, as my daughter turned four, I decided to craft a season ahead.  I stalked craigslist until I found the perfect corner shelf, whose lower shelves even the baby could reach, but whose upper shelves would be safe from little fingers.  I pushed aside my guilt over not having a spot for beautiful seashells and other summer treasures, and instead focused on fall.

2008 Fall Nature Table

2008 Fall Nature Table Detail

We have so very much enjoyed our nature table over the last few months.  It’s in the corner of our dining room and often the subject of much attention during the day.  Preschool fall art projects surrounded it, and it amassed quite a collection of pinecones under it from the tree in our front yard.

Winter’s arrival, during the busy holiday season, left me once again unprepared, with little to put on a winter nature table.  Luckily, a bleak nature table is not an entirely inaccurate reflection of the season, so I was just left with the task of putting away our little autumn treasures until next year.

Fall Nature Table Box

I took an unfinished wooden box and painted the bottom brown.  I mixed up my own decoupage mixture with glue and just a little water and used some fall leaf napkins to decorate the top and sides of the box.  It didn’t turn out quite as I had intended.  I should have either been more careful, by making sure the napkin pieces met to create whole leaves, or less careful, by having random bits at odd angles.  The flash of the camera highlighted the glue around the leaves on the sides of the box, but that’s not nearly as noticeable as it appears in the picture.  In any case, it will do to house our little treasures until next fall.

Fall Nature Table Box Contents

We have a couple more little things to add to our winter nature table, but I should be able to share some pictures of it in the next day or two.  And then in February, I’ll start the spring nature table crafting!  Bleak won’t cut it for spring!