Create beautiful, realistic autumn leaves that will last forever! Perfect for Thanksgiving.
Materials One yard Natural kraft•tex (for 20 assorted leaves)Liquitex® Professional Acrylic Ink!™ in Red (Napthol Crimson), Yellow (Medium Azo), Blue (Phthalocyanine Blue), Brown (Transparent Raw Umber), Iridescent Bright Gold, Iridescent Rich Bronze, and Iridescent Rich Copper Leaf templates (provided or trace from real leaves) Small paintbrush and bowl of water Brown Pigma Micron 05 fine line marker Brown thread ScissorsInstructions
1. Trace leaf shapes onto kraft•tex using brown Pigma Micron marker and leaf templates; add veins. Flip templates over occasionally to increase variety. Don't worry about precision–irregularity looks more natural.
2. Stitch veins with brown thread using free-motion stitching (lower feed dogs, size 90 topstitch needle). Backtrack as necessary–again, precision is not important as vein lines are often wobbly and irregular.
3. Paint leaves with Liquitex® Professional Acrylic Ink!™, adding water to ink to dilute as desired. Layer the colors and dry between layers (a hairdryer can speed up the process). Add highlights with metallic inks. Let dry.
4. Cut out leaf shapes–remember that irregularity is best!
5. Paint back of leaves lightly, leaving some brown kraft•tex showing. Let dry.
6. To give dimension, crease leaves at middle vein to bend edges up or down.
The versatility of these beautiful leaves is endless! A few ideas: Arrange loosely in a bowl or on a decorative plate. Accent your fall table settings with leaves strewn across the table. Make into napkin rings by hand stitching to a ring or band. Create an entire wreath of leaves or add leaves to an existing wreath. Tuck leaves around the bottom of a fall pillar candle. Decorate the top of a box, notebook, or journal by gluing or hand tacking leaves. Make a unique package topper by hand tacking three leaves together; add raffia. Punch a hole for a ring in one or more leaves to create a key ring. Pin leaves to a fall-themed bulletin board. Arrange overlapping leaves for a dimensional table topper and hand tack together. Hang leaves with invisible thread in front of a window for an unusual window treatment. Write names on leaves for Thanksgiving or autumn party place cards.
Joni Reed Cooley