Monday, October 24, 2016

Autumn Leaf Sculptures


Hello, Dear Friends, I hope you are enjoying these 
beautiful Autumn days. 

Thank you so much for your sweet visits! 
xoxo


Today I would like to share with you a craft 
that I previously posted way back in 2011
when I first started blogging - Leaf Sculptures. 

I have enjoyed these leaf sculptures every year since, 
as you can see by these photographs that I took this morning :)

I thought these were worth sharing once again......



Imitate Nature by crafting decorative leaf sculptures.

This is an idea from a vintage Martha Stewart Living Magazine. I love that magazine and have had a subscription since the very first issue. I have always wanted to make these, but they looked difficult. I am happy to say, they are very easy. I would not recommend this craft for young children, as there is oven baking and sharp craft knives involved, but older children might enjoy it with parental supervision.

Go outside and select a variety of sturdy leaves with prominent ribbing on the undersides.


Roll out a piece of craft clay (the kind that can be baked in the oven - I used 'Sculpey'. One 794g - 1.75 lb box.) Roll clay approx. 1/4 inch thick. Protect your surface and rolling pin with waxed or parchment paper. Place a leaf on the clay, cover it with waxed paper, and roll evenly until the leaf makes a clear impression in the clay.


Remove waxed paper. With a craft knife, carefully cut the clay along the outline of the leaf. Allow extra width around thin stems.



Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Roll a piece of aluminum foil into a tight tube. Curl the tube into a loose ring or horse shoe shape. This serves as a support for the leaf as it bakes, giving it a more natural, undulating shape.


Bake the clay according to manufacturer's instructions. (Approx. 15 min.)


Once completely cooled, you can paint the leaves, giving them beautiful Autumn hues. The directions in the magazine called for water-based transparent lacquer, but I couldn't find that in my craft store. So I used acrylic water-based craft paint, the kind that comes in the small bottles. They come in many different colors. I chose subtle Autumn colors of True Ochre (gold), Burnt Sienna (reddish), Golden Brown, and Timberline Green ( a soft mossy green).

I watered down the paint, approx. 50-50 for the first coat. I brushed on the gold as an undercoat on all the leaves. Don't forget the undersides and the edges. I used the foil covered baking pans and rolled tubes to set the painted leaves upon.

Once I was finished with the base coat, I let that dry about 30 minutes and then I mixed the rest of the colors with water, but used a little more paint this time in the ratio. A little goes a long way, so only use one good squirt of paint at a time, about the size of a quarter and a tiny amount of water.


I then added color from the edges inward. I used the darker Burnt Sienna around all of the edges. I used the Golden Brown to fill in the middle. The watered down paint will softly fill in the lines and creases, giving it a 'true to nature' look. I used the Timberline Green on one small leaf.


When the leaves were thoroughly dry, (I left them to dry overnight), I gave them a final coat of Acrylic Matt Varnish. (Not Glossy) This is also water based, but don't water it down. You can find this where the craft paint is sold. It seals the leaves and allows you to gently wipe them down with water to clean them. (Do not submerge in water)


When you are done, you will have beautiful leaf sculptures to display on your mantel or table. The larger leaves can be used for serving nuts, candy or crackers.




I hope you try making these easy Leaf Sculptures 
some rainy Autumn day! 

xoxo

Today I am linking with:


Won't you join the fun? 

31 comments:

  1. this is a great tutorial, with wonderful details!!! i did not have my usual fall spirit and i did not decorate much. i brought in some real leaves to spread around...i also used decoupage on some leaves but they did not turn out real well. your leaves are beautiful, well painted, they look real!!!

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  2. These look so lovely and an excellent step by step guide.
    Thank you.

    Enjoy your Autumn Days

    All the best Jan

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  3. What a beautiful idea! The leaves you chose are perfect and you did an excellent job in explaining how to make them. Thanks so much for sharing and have a wonderful week!

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  4. Such a wonderful idea, they really do look amazing. Great tutorial.

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  5. Brilliant, so effective.I'll have to have a go. x

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  6. These are beautiful!! You made it look easy and gave fantastic directions - but I suspect mine would not be quite so pretty. I love the way you painted them - they look very realistic!

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  7. Thanks so much for taking the time to share this craft, Karen. I have tried to preserve leaves many different ways, but never thought about sculpting them like this, and I would love to try, because yours turned out so beautifully. xx

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  8. These turn out so beautifully Karen! Great work!! They're so cool that they're functional too. Very pretty and perfect for the season. ;)
    xoxo

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  9. These are beautiful Karen! You did a great job with the paint colours to get them so natural looking. I'm definitely going to try this myself :) Thanks so much for the tutorial.
    Wendy

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  10. What a cute, cute idea, Karen. This is something my older grandgirls would LOVE to do. I hope we can get together to make some of these before Thanksgiving. I bet if you used small leaves and make elongated stems on them (and rolled the stems into a circle) you could make napkin rings out of them, too. So many ideas! You did a fantastic job painting yours!!! I love them. xo Diana

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  11. On my goodness, these are beautiful! They look so real the way you have painted them. Thank you so much for sharing this amazing project. I just returned from Michael's..I should have read this before so I could buy the clay. My best to you dear friend, Pat

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  12. Dear Karen,
    your autum leave sculptures are georgeous! What a lovely idea!
    Wishing you a wonderful week, sending much love and hugs and blessings, my dear friend, Claudia xo

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  13. Your 'baked' leaves are fabulous! Thank you for the idea - I wish I had time... Have a lovely day Karen!

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  14. Oh Karen, they are beautiful! I too appreciate especially the way you painted them - they look very natural! The photo number 11 is my favourite; all those wonderful leaves fit so well together.
    Thank you for the great tutorial! xx

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  15. Oh my, your leaves are stunning. They look so real!!! Thank you so much for the detailed lesson Karen.
    Have a wonderful week :)x

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  16. I love your Autumn decorations. Thank you for sharing this craft and explaining it so well. Each leaf looks beautiful and you're artistry is inspirational. Wishing you a good week, Karen.

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  17. Sorry Karen - I meant 'your artistry' and I really mean that - you are so creative and a wonderful homemaker. Thank you also for taking us on your walks around your area. Love Linda :)

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  18. Oh I love these, they are so pretty. You are so clever. Hug B

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  19. Wow, these are so beautiful and realistic! Your painting job is perfect. I am definitely going to do this! Thank you so much for sharing. Have a great day, Karen!

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  20. The sculptures are gorgeous♥

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  21. These are absolutely beautiful leaf sculptures and so easy too! I really like them displayed in your home. Have a lovely day!

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  22. That is so cool, Karen. How very creative you are. What a wonderful Autumn craft to work on. The golden leaf looks so pretty next to your orange pumpkin. The girls used to have craft night, and made clever things at Christmas time. The leaf sculptures add a special little something to your home, Karen.

    ~Sheri

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  23. Love your leaves! A great craft!

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  24. Hi Karen, WOW I love this project. Your tutorial is excellent and they look so good on your table. Just so real with the way you water colored them. You are so talented my friend. I will have to try this. Going to save your instructions and pin this too. Thank you for sharing!! xo

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  25. Oh be still my heart! I am in love with the leaves! I have a thing for leaves and so this craft is a must try for me. It sure beats waxing leaves every year that eventually fall apart. Your painting on them is just perfect. Hopefully I can do as nice of a job :-)

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  26. These are beautiful Karen! You did such a great job painting them to look so natural. xo Deborah

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  27. SO cute!

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pluckyrecipescraftstips/

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

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  28. Hi dear friend ,, que lindo trabajo ,, yo adoro el otoño por su lindo colorido ,, espero que tengas un buen resto de semana

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  29. Oh my Karen these are just FABULOUS!!! Before I started reading and just looked at the leaves I was sure they were real, love how you shaped them and the coloring is just perfect, thanks for sharing how you made them!

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  30. In pictures, they look absolutely real! Well done!

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Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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