Learn a fun way to recycle your leaves this winter with this DIY!
Come winter, most of the foliage that once colorfully clung to the trees has dropped to the ground. And what’s left but piles and piles of leaves, lining the sides of streets and covering our lawns. Recently, I figured out a creative way to breathe life back into those fallen leaves — ever hear of leaf skeletons? Something akin to springtime pressed flowers. For a fun winter project, learn how to make leaf skeletons below!
What you need:
Leaves (oak and maple leaves work best!)
Super washing soda (I found this in the cleaning supplies aisle at Walmart!)
First, go out and collect some leaves! I filled a small pot with about 10-15 leaves. It doesn’t matter if they are dry or wet. I found that oak and maple leaves work best based on their shape, but any kind will do!
Fill up a pot with 4 cups of water and 3/4 cup super washing soda. Add the leaves to the pot and make sure they are covered with the mixture (it’s a good idea to use gloves when dealing with the super washing soda!).
Bring the pot of leaves to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let sit on the stove for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. The mixture will start to turn very murky and brown. Feel free to add more water and a bit more washing soda so the pot doesn’t dry out while simmering.
After the leaves have simmered for about 2 hours, they will become very brown. Carefully remove them from the pot and place them in cold water. A glass baking dish or plastic bin works well!
Take a soft bristled paintbrush and begin to brush away the leaf skin while the leaves are in the cold water. BE VERY CAREFUL! The leaves are very, very delicate. Brushing in a soft, circular motion works best. This takes a little bit of time, but it’s worth it!
Once you have brushed most of the leaf skin away, you will be left with a leaf that best resembles lace. Place each leaf on a paper towel and allow to dry.
Now that the leaf skeletons have been made, it’s up to you on how you’d like to use them! I decided to incorporate watercolor paints and make leaf prints with them.
I placed the leaf skeleton down on a piece of watercolor paper and painted on top of the leaf. Once the surface was covered, I lifted it up to reveal a beautiful leaf print!
The leaf skeletons would also look great lightly dusted with metallic gold spray paint, then placed in a glass bowl or strung onto a garland!
+Have you ever made leaf skeletons? How would you use them? Let us know in the comments below!
Check out more DIY projects on the BLDG 25 Blog!