12 DIY Ways to Use Real Fall Leaves
When the leaves start falling, don’t rush to rake them up—or completely pulverize them by jumping in a pile over and over and over! As tempting as that may be, reserve a handful or two for some fall-inspired DIYing. These 12 ways to use real fall leaves will transform your living space into a fun, fall wonderland that looks just as festive as the outdoors! And don’t worry: while some of these projects list faux foliage as a material, we’re fairly certain that freshly fallen leaves can stand up to each of these projects.
1. Giving Thanks Gold Leaf Garland: We love the sentiment behind this leaf DIY: each gold painted leaf is personalized with something to be thankful for. This beautiful garland acts as a great reminder to pause, say thanks, and celebrate! (via The Sweetest Occasion)
2. Leaf Pillow Cases: Turn leaves into the ultimate fall stamp with just a bit of black fabric paint. This bold leaf graphic transforms these plain, decorative pillows into a stand-out piece of living room decor. (via Butiksofie)
3. Gold Lead Mobile: As you know by now, mobiles aren’t just for nurseries anymore, so do trick out your ceiling with this dashing gold leaf mobile. Don’t the gilded leaves look gorgeous falling from the natural twig hoop?
4. Clay Leaf Bowls: Don’t be intimidated by this super pro-looking DIY clay leaf bowl. We’ll put things into perspective: a 3-year old made this dish. Yep. And it looks really amazing. Kudos to mom who helped every step of the way and who’s fully responsible for its beautiful, iridescent finish, which you can get by spraying gold paint on a base coat of bright acrylic colors. (via Debbiedoo’s)
5. Leaf Place Cards: Save that gold spray paint for this easy DIY that turns fallen leaves into personalized place cards. You can bet that this is how we’ll be dressing up our table for our office feast next week! (Brit + Co.)
6. Painted Leaf Banner: Take the bold approach when it comes to natural leaf garland (we would!). These color block leaves look so clean and modern, they could for sure decorate your room all year long. (via Scrappy Happiness)
7. Leaf Printed Linens: We’re obsessed with this amazing way to customize your Thanksgiving table. An almost ghostly leaf pattern amps up a plain linen table cloth to epic autumn proportions. (via Funtober)
8. Stamped Metallic Leaf Plates: This might be the perfect way to deck out that set of white thrift store plates in time for Thanksgiving. Food-safe metallic paint gives a handsome shine to the stunning natural graphics. (via Wayfair)
10. Glitter Leaves Garland: Embrace the dark browns and rich golds of autumn with a glittery twist. Hang this garland anywhere in your pad that could use some extra sparkle. (via 6th Street Design School)
11. Fall Leaves Bowl: This delicate leaf bowl is quite the head turner, all thanks to an ample amount of Mod Podge and a foam ball form. If you want to use real leaves for this DIY, make sure they’re freshly fallen so that they’re flexible enough to bend without breaking. (via Shelterness)
12. Pennant Leaf Garland: We love the idea that a leaf-collecting outing with the fam can turn into a day of making together. Be sure to get the kids involved in this easy DIY, which uses dried leaves to embellish a pennant banner made from old books. (via Simple As That)
Have you used real leaves in a fall-inspired project? Tell us in the comments below!
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
You X Ventures for Unsplash
Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
Kobu Agency for Unsplash
You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com