Turning Leaves to Art

Before you know it, the kids will be going back to school, and the yard will be filling up with vivid color. Using leaf and lawn vacs helps keep the landscape tidy, but pick up a few leaves ahead of time to put into some eclectic projects. Creating art using the bright, earthy colors that come right from nature is something anyone can do for fun or on a rainy day to keep the kids occupied.

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The key to getting the most out of autumn leaves is preservation. By the time leaves drop, many become fragile. One way to add stability is with a spray-on varnish. When the leaves firm up, they work well for many craft pieces. To start, place the leaves between a sheet of wax paper and lay some books on top to flatten them out. Leave them under the books for several days.

When ready, place the leaves on paper or plastic and spray them down with the varnish. Let each side dry completely. Once the varnish is set, the leaves can be part of a wide range of art pieces.

Making Art

When most people think of art, they image something on the wall or standing on a table. To turn the preserved leaves into a wall-worthy creation, lay them out on a piece of thick poster board cut to the proper size.

Playing with the arrangement will help provide options for different looks. Adding a touch of glue to the downside of the leaf secures it in place. Combining different shapes, sizes and colors makes a diverse statement.

A stylish wood frame creates a piece suitable for the both casual and modern decor. Make multiple pictures to place over a fireplace or to jazz up an entry hall.

For the homeowner looking for something more elegant, mount a single leaf onto a piece of colored board. Once the glue dries, shellac the entire surface ­– both the board and leaf.

The goal is to create a hard coating over the piece to add texture and gloss, almost like a fossil. Once the first coat dries, it may be necessary to add one or two more. Hang a few of these pieces in select areas around the house or create a collection on one wall.

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Lawn and leaf vacs will remove the leaves, but before they become mulch, consider budget-friendly ways to decorate the walls.

Autumn leaves add texture and rich color to any home. Help the kids make gifts for grandma or a favorite teacher. They will love the look and appreciate the fact that it is homemade.

by Nick Walz who is an active blogger and writer who likes to share his advice and tips to the online community. You can contact him on Twitter @Nick_Walz.

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