Here in the southwest desert of Arizona, we don’t really have a typical autumn. The weather is cool, which means that it is finally in the 80s, but there are no scarves, jackets or changing leaves. It’s the changing leaves and Autumn colors of the higher elevations that I love most.
On our trip up to Northern Az last weekend, we had meant to collect some leaves. We came home with only a few, which are pressed in my moleskine journal. I had wanted to make some kind of Autumn decoration for the house, so with some creative thinking, the boys and I decided to make our own leaves.
Now, you may have beautiful leaves that surround your home, but the great thing about these is that they don’t crumble, you need paint, and they involve making a mess. The ingredients for a fun activity with the kids.
Here’s what you’ll need:
A brown paper bag
acrylic craft paints in assorted Autumn colors (yellow, orange, green, red, brown, copper, gold)
paint brushes, sponges, old toothbrush
blow dryer (optional)
1. Take one brown paper grocery bag, tear it open into one flat piece. Tear into 3-4 large pieces and crumple into a ball to give it lots of texture. Flatten out.
2. Prep paints by diluting with a bit of water
3. Slop paint all over paper.
4. Allow to dry. Use a blow dryer to speed the process (optional).
5. Lightly sponge on metallic gold and copper paint
6. Spritz some diluted brown paint with a toothbrush to create speckles.
7. Admire your pretty paper.
8. When paper is completely dry, cut into leaf size squares and cut out leaves (this is where the kids lose interest). If you are lucky to have sizzix machine with leaf shapes, that would be a really easy way to make leaves. I don’t have one so I cut them all by hand. It wasn’t as hard as it may seem. I stacked several squares together and cut several leaves at the same time while watching Glee (again).
9. Glue stems onto twine and hang your pretty garland on a window or around a door.