It’s been a while since I last used autumn leaves for a project – a few years ago I did a project here in which I laminated them to use as suncatchers, and since then I have seen people using leaves for drawing on, and always thought they looked beautiful. However I was never sure what you would do with them afterwards – it seemed the most ephemeral of activities. So this project basically combines the 2 ideas to create something a little more lasting: greetings cards and Christmas tree ornaments.
I used gold marker pen to draw the designs onto the leaves – as you can see, the effect is very rich – rather like stamped and gilded leather I thought. I then laminated them with thick laminating plastic, to create a stiff laminated sheet of leaves, which I then cut out and trimmed to the size I wanted.
For the Christmas tree ornaments, I trimmed the plastic around the leaf to a rectangular shape, and used narrow metallic gold and copper coloured sticky tape folded over the edges to finish them. I then punched a hole in the top, and threaded string through. Alternatively if the leaf is a large one, you can just trim round the shape of the leaf itself before punching and threading.
You could of course choose to use this technique to laminate anything you like, to use in the same way. For example I found that skeleton leaves sprayed gold work well too, or you could use coloured tissue papers, woollen yarn, feathers etc…lots of scope for experimenting! I even tried using wax crayon shavings thinking that they would melt in the laminator and create beautiful patterns, but don’t try that one because it was a complete disaster and I nearly ruined the laminator!