FALL IS HERE. Unfortunately, in Alaska, fall is NOT synonymous with gorgeous leaves and long sunny warm days. By the time our calendar says it’s fall we’re only three weeks away from snow and that’s just not fair. Earlier this year I wrote a post called 10 Things to do Outside Before it Snows and one of the things to do was get out and pick some gorgeous fall leaves. If you did happen to get out, pick some leaves and get them dried, well then it’s time to pull them out. If you didn’t get leaves this year make a mental note, or mark your computer’s calendar, to get out next fall and pick some.
1. Color It! I love the look of leaves that have been colored over. It’s very simple to do, place a leaf vein side up, lay a sheet of paper over it and gently color over the entire thing. Every vein shows up, this is a great segue to a lesson on “how do trees breath” or it can simply be an art moment - no lesson needed.
2. Glue It! We took our dried leaves, an empty pickle jar and and made lovely candle holders. You can go heavy duty on the leaves and cover it completely. The other option is one or two leaves placed on each side for a spare look. Watered down glue and a paint brush make getting leaves to stick gloriously easy for even little kids. If the leaves crumble, well heck, call it "leaf glitter" and enjoy the moment.
3. Cover It! We also used jar candles and applied the same techniques from above. Simply cover the label with leaves and on around the jar as needed to make it beautiful. Voila an easy gift for someone you love.
4. Dip It! Make those dried leaves last a little while longer. Collect some candle stubs, melt them in a coffee can set inside a pan of water - NEVER MELT DIRECTLY ON HEAT! Once the wax melts carefully dip the leaves to cover, let them drip off for a moment and lay them on a piece of waxed paper to dry. Lovely and long lasting, you could use them on your Thanksgiving table.
5. Iron It! Mentioning waxed paper above made me realize we must remember to use it for this next craft. Lay a sheet flat, add a few leaves, fold the paper over and using an old iron, seal it shut - the wax paper will melt and stick to iteself. These "stained glass" pieces can be hung in a child’s window or given as gifts.
Image via kokokokids.ru
6. Build Them! Use the leaves to build simple animal shapes and use a glue stick to hold them in place. This site has an amazing collection of animals made with leaves. My kids and I have NOT taken this one up yet, but looking at it again, I know we need to.
So many fun and simple ways to use leaves in the house. My favorite way to use leaves though? 7. Let them simply be in my garden and on my grass, I’ll tell you why. When I was taking my Master Gardener's Class the State Biologist told us they are called leaves because you should leave them. I told my sons and they have never let me forgot it, when I get huffy with leaves on the grass they love to remind me.