Monday, October 17, 2011

Falling Leaves Decoration

This idea was inspired by Disney FamilyFun Magazine's Leaf Mobile craft. We changed it a bit to hang from our dining room light fixture instead of branches since it was rainy, and Mia wasn't interested in using branches, anyway. The end result is festive and I love how the leaves sway gently whenever someone walks by. It's a beautiful way to keep the best part of fall around just a little while longer, even though the trees are rapidly becoming bare.

  • actual leaves
  • heavy book/s (for pressing leaves)
  • clear contact paper
  • hole punch
  • scissors
  • fishing line
  • paper trimmer (optional)

  1. Collect colorful fall leaves and press them between the pages of a heavy book (we used two) for a day or two.*
  2. Using a paper trimmer or scissors, cut various sizes of squares and rectangles of clear contact paper that are about an inch wider than the leaves. You will need two identical contact paper squares per leaf.
  3. Peel the backing off of one contact paper square and place sticky side up. Lay a leaf on top and press down gently. Peel the backing off of the second contact paper square and place sticky side down on top of the first square, lining them up as best you can.
  4. Punch a hole for hanging, and then trim away excess contact paper, leaving about 1/4" border all the way around the leaf.
  5. Cut lengths of fishing line and tie one to each leaf. Tie the leaves to your light fixture (or branches if you prefer.)
*Note: Yesterday I read in the paper that you can preserve fallen leaves using glycerin. It is supposed to help them retain their colors and not become as brittle. I have not tried this before, but I am curious about it. If you have experience with this technique, I would love to hear about it. Martha Stewart says that you should do the following to preserve your fall leaves:
  1. Wipe away dirt or moisture.
  2. Mix two-parts water with one-part glycerin.
  3. Layer the leaves in a pan and pour the solution over them so that they are completely immersed.
  4. Use a plate to weight the leaves down and keep them covered for 4-5 days.
  5. Remove leaves and wipe clean with a soft, dry cloth.

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