With a rainy forecast on the horizon, this weekend might just be the perfect time to stay inside and make some crafts. Here are six fun ideas to try with autumn leaves. You can use fake leaves or real, dried leaves. If the leaves in your yard are damp, follow the steps below to dry and press the leaves first. If you get started today, your leaves should be ready for crafting by tomorrow.
Fun craft ideas using dried leaves
1. Press leaves and glue them to the front of blank greeting cards to send for Halloween or Thanksgiving.
2. Make a leaf wreath for Thanksgiving, or just for the autumn season. Glue pressed leaves onto a 12″ circle of cardboard or Styrofoam. Wreath forms can also be purchased at arts and crafts stores such as A.C. Moore or Michael’s.
3. Make a turkey by outlining your hand or your child’s hand on construction paper. Cut out the hand. Glue colorful pressed leaves onto the back of the hand for the tall feathers. Draw a face on the turkey using colored pencils or markers.
4. Rake up your yard and get a head start on Halloween decorations by using the leaves to stuff old clothes and make into a scarecrow.
5. Create a colorful centerpiece by collecting leaves still on the branch. Place the branches in a clear vase with rocks or marbles in the bottom to balance the weight.
6. Make a fun fall mask by gluing dried leaves onto a plain mask. You could even wear the mask for Halloween.
How to dry leaves:
You will need:
- Newspaper (at least 4 sheets)
1. Spread the leaves out in a single layer on top of two sheets of newspaper. Stack two more sheets of newspaper on top.
2. Place heavy books on top and allow the leaves to flatten and dry for about 24 hours.
3. If you have time, keep the books stacked on top of the leaves undisturbed for about a week and they should be pressed flat. If you want to speed up the process, see the steps below.
How to press leaves:
You will need:
- Dried leaves
- Flat work service
- Waxed paper
- Ironing board
1. Sandwich the dried leaves between two sheets of waxed paper. Set on a flat work service, such as an ironing board. You can also cover your work surface with a pillow case or sheet to protect it from the heat of the iron.
2. Place a thin towel or sheet on top of the waxed paper. Set your iron to medium heat. Carefully iron for about 10 seconds, keeping the iron moving at all times. The waxed paper and leaves will be hot after ironing. Be sure to allow them to cool before handling.
3. Repeat steps one and two until all the leaves are pressed.
4. Cut around the edges of the leaves keeping a thin outline of waxed paper to use the leaves to use for crafting. Or you can slowly peel apart the waxed paper rather than cutting it. A thin coating of wax will remain on the leaves, helping to preserve them.