I am mourning a little... the rain and wind of the past few days has taken a toll on the pretty leaf population in my part of the world. We had an excellent year for them and the maples planted around my property have finally begun to color up the way they should. With the hickory that grow here naturally it is a great combination... like summer sunsets that last for a few weeks.
I should have found time to do this craft with the kids earlier this year but we had an exceptionally busy fall and I didn't. A few years ago (pre child #3 who is now 3 years old!) I gathered some leaves while they were still supple and pulled out the craft acrylic paints and the vinyl table cloth and the boys and I went to town. We painted on the leaves and then used them to 'print' with and the boys used the leaves themselves as paintbrushes. They had a great time and made some interesting art. As always, when I do this sort of thing with them I have to make my own (so I keep my nose and influences out of their art!) I chose to print with the leaves on pre-made blank cards. These are a few of the printed cards I have left. I have used many of the best ones as greeting cards over the years.
An interesting thing happened when I had printed with the same leaf for a while... the older, drier layers of paint on the leaf would soften from the wetness of the new layers and peel off when the leaf was printed with again. This gave a layered and ragged look I was not expecting (see the tulip poplar print below on the right). I really liked it and there was no real way to 'control' the effect which made it exciting and organic, if not a bit frustrating at times. I think if I were to do it now I would use plain card stock 'blanks' cut to a size that would allow me to mat each print with colored card stock before mounting it on the card.
It is a fun way to make yourself some lovely greeting cards (somehow pretty fall leaves make for a lovely condolence card) and celebrate the changing leaves in your town... and make the look last a bit longer too!
Come back and visit soon for another card making idea... this time with all that 'kid art' you don't know what to do with but can't bear to get rid of!