How to make realistic paper leaves



For me, Autumn is all about leaves. Yes there are pumpkins, and cozy socks and bonfires but fundamentally without a beautiful backdrop of golden shades, autumn just isn't the same. This year we have been blessed in Herefordshire with fantastic fall weather. This has meant that not only are the colours stronger, but it means that we are able to be outside more to enjoy them.

 


I love crafting with real leaves, but sometimes this just isn't practical so paper leaves can be much more appropriate. Here is a super simple tutorial to make your paper leaves look that little bit more realistic using pigment ink pads.

 

 

These are available from Hobbycraft in a huge array of colours. The ones I have used here are the "Dark Yellow", "Dark Orange" and "Chocolate"

 

 

Step 1

 

You can cut out your leaf shapes however you like. What you can do is create a template by drawing around a real leaf and cut it out in card.

I love using the Tim Holtz "Tattered Leaves" die, just because it is so easy to use and I can churn out a whole bunch in no time. But it's by no means essential.

 

 

 

Step 2

 

Once you have cut out your leaf shapes, take the palest pigment pad that you have and brush it over the leaf from the centre outwards.

 

Repeat this process with the other pads, but as you get darker just brush the very edge of the leaf.

 

 

With your darkest pad just brush the very tips of the leaves.

 

 

Step 3

 

Put your leaf on a soft surface. I have used the embossing pad from my cuttlebug but you can use the back of a cork table mat or even the carpet.

Score the leaf down the centre to create "veins". I have used a crochet hook but any blunt object works fine.

 

 

 Try curling the edge of the leaves or scrunching them up a little if you want them to look a bit more dishevelled.

 

 Use different papers and textures for an unusual effect.

 

 

Here I have stuck them to a foam wreath base to create a lovely door hanging.

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