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Krista Rao blogs about crafty adventures with her kids

I LOVE the fall time. The cool crisp air, leaves changing colour, busting out the crockpot, long hikes and wearing slippers around the house. There is however one element of autumn that I really dislike THE SMELL. The smell of wet rotting leaves and wet dog paws tromping through the house sends me over the edge. Our solution: apples spiked with cloves… just like Laura and Mary made to freshen their home in Little House in the Big Woods (which we are currently reading and LOVING).

This activity was super easy, perfect for this apple picking season and was loved by everyone in the house (2.5 yrs to adult). Here is a little tutorial the kids and I put together:


  • apples
  • whole cloves
  • something to poke tiny holes in the apples (toothpicks would do nicely)

Step 1: Choose your apple and start poking tiny holes in any design you wish

Step 2: Take the cloves and plunge them pointy side down into the holes in the apple that you have made.

Step 3: Admire your progress as you go along.

Step 4: Continue to poke and fill the apples until your design is complete. I chose basic stripes while Ava thought monogramming her apple was the way to go… I agree!

Step 5: Leave the apples out to fill your house with a really delightful scent! The theory is that the cloves in the apples will keep them from rotting… hereʼs hoping.

Krista Rao is a stay-at-home-mom of two. When she and the kids aren’t on some sort of craft mission, she’s making children’s items from reclaimed materials. Check out more of Krista’s adventures at Green Thimble.

Photos via Krisa Rao

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