Monday, November 2, 2009

Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves

If you are like me, you don’t live where there are a lot of beautiful fall leaves to collect. Well, here’s your solution! These paper leaves look almost real and they will last much longer than the real ones. You can use them to decorate your holiday table or use them on greeting cards. I’m sure you can figure out lots of ways to use them. Have fun!

Cardstock (mid-tone colors like sage green or light brown)
Leaf template (provided)
Dinner plate
Rubber or plastic gloves
Paper towels
Dye inkpads (yellow, orange & red)
Heat tool
Colored pencil (pale yellow)


Print out the leaf template. Photocopy the template on to the colored cardstock.
Before working with bleach, make sure you are working on a bleach friendly surface with good ventilation. Place the colored cardstock printed side down on the work surface. Put on the gloves and apron. Pour some bleach on to a dinner plate and locate it next to the cardstock. Dip a paper towel into the bleach. Squeeze most of the bleach out of the paper towel so that the towel is wet but not dripping. Open up the towel and hold it by both hands. Throw the wet towel on to the cardstock. It will land with a THWAP! It will make a random pattern. Pick up the towel and repeat the throwing process until most of the surface is covered in a random pattern. Set the cardstock aside to dry and repeat if you want more leaves. After drying, you will see a high contrast between the bleached areas and the unbleached areas of the cardstock. The bleached areas may not be white (due to the dyes used in the manufacturing of the cardstock) but they will be lighter than the parts that are left natural.
Using the three dye inkpads, rub some yellow, orange and red ink directly from the pads onto the bleached side of the cardstock. Ink the entire surface in zones of color, overlapping here and there. You may use a heat tool to speed the drying process. Use your scissors to cut away about one inch of the bottom and one inch of the side of the cardstock as shown. (these pieces will be used to make stems). Cut out the leaves using the printed lines as guides. For more natural looking leaves, don’t follow the lines too carefully. Make your cuts curve in and around the guidelines. Set the leaves aside.
Cut the reserved two 1” pieces into five pieces and fold them in half lengthwise. Cut just a scant 1/16” off each folded piece at the fold. This will give you a sturdy little stem.
Using the colored pencil, draw veins onto each of the leaves as shown. Tape the stems to the back of each leaf to complete.

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