They say the Autumn colours have been better than ever this year. I live in an area with lots of tree-lined avenues, and the sight of the gorgeous colours, particularly when the sun is on them, has found me collecting stacks of leaves with the kids. Having got them all home I then had to decide what we were going to do with them all, so here’s what we did with some of them. You do need a laminator for these activities I’m afraid, but if you don’t have one, they’re not expensive and come in very useful for all kinds of things – not to mention art and craft activities!
Leaf mobiles/sun catchers
You can hang these in front of a window to let the light shine through the rich colours.
Laminate a varied collection of brightly coloured leaves (you can fit several onto one laminating pouch). Once the leaves have been laminated, cut them out (allowing a small margin of plastic around the leaf), punch a hole in the top, and feed a fine cotton or nylon thread through the holes, knotting the leaf into position on the thread as you go. I started with a large leaf at the top, using progressively smaller leaves further down. Tie a small loop at the top. Alternatively you could string the leaves to form a garland or get a little more ambitious and create a proper mobile using old wire coathangers to suspend the threads from.
Stained ‘glass’ Leaf Windows
All you have to do here is take your coloured leaves, and arrange them into a design of your choice on your laminator pocket, before sealing. Children can create their own picture by arranging the leaves, while an adult takes charge of the laminating. A black card window mount will display it to advantage.
For the next 2 pieces, I put several of the laminated sheets we had created together – I hadn’t actually planned to do this, but discovered accidentally that it creates a lovely layered carpet of leaves on your window.
Autumn Leaf Gift Tags
I had a few of the laminated leaves left over from the suncatcher, so I used them as decorative gift tags. I combined them with a plain manilla tag to write a message on, but you could dispense with this and write directly on the laminated leaf with an OHP pen if you chose.
Remember that the colours of the leaves are fugitive, especially in sunlight and won’t last forever, fading eventually to brown. But at least you can enjoy the colours in your home for a little longer after they’ve disappeared from the trees, and even once they have faded, the variety of leaf shapes are attractive enough in their own right.