Saturday, August 22, 2015

DIY Painted Leaves Tutorial

I published this blog post so late in the season last fall, that I wanted to share it again 
so that everyone has a chance to start collecting those leaves while they're falling! I think 
that you get the best painted leaf results when you press your leaves for at least a few weeks 
before painting them, if not longer. This gives the leaves time to press completely flat, 
and gives the moisture a chance to escape, so look for freshly fallen leaves and press those.
Here is the original post:

After painting acorns a few weeks ago, we were ready to move on to painting leaves! 
This is a simple project that has beautiful results, is a lot of fun, and everyone in the family can participate. I think the variety of shapes of leaves combined with the different paint 
colors is what was so appealing to me about this project. Check it out and let me know what
you think!

First we collected fallen leaves that were mostly brown, but not too dried out. Our leaves

were still a bit pliable but not crumbly. After we collected a nice variety of leaves, I 
placed them between a stack of heavy books for over a week to completely flatten them out. 
The longer you leave them between the books, the better your end result. I recommend 
leaving them between books for at least a week. I flattened a few for three days, and later 
found that after we painted those that they curled up a bit once the paint dried. If your 
leaves are still green, you will want to press them in between sheets of newspaper in between
the books. This will help absorb some of the moisture from the leaves as they dry out. 

Next we gathered our supplies: a variety of acrylic paints (I used whatever I already had at 
home), some newspaper to protect our table top, a few plates to serve as palettes, a variety 
of craft paint brushes, a cup of water to clean our brushes with, some wax paper to place
our leaves on while they dried, and a few paper towels.

 We used a variety of acrylic craft paints

A few fine-tipped brushes were great for painting thin lines and detailed designs

 I started with this leaf. Nice and dry and flat and ready to paint!

I began by painting a thin line just inside the edge of the leaf. I loved the way this 
metallic gold craft paint contrasted with the rust and brown colored leaf. 

Simple lines and dots

I love the vibrant autumn colors

Beautiful end result

I loved seeing everyone's unique, individual style come out when they painted their leaves

fancy leaf 

I think our leaves would look fantastic framed behind glass in a picture frame and hung 
on a wall...

What do you think?
Which is your favorite?

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