Autumn crafts

I received a set of beautiful dishes for my birthday, they are white with red, orange, and yellow leaves. As my birthday was last month and the weather was still sunny and hot, I put the plates away to wait for it to feel a little more like fall. I’ve decided to start using the dishes, but now I need something a little extra for my table. I want to make bright red, yellow, and orange leaves to scatter like confetti along my table.

Supplies:

Air-dry clay

Paint (in your choice of colors)

Craft knife

Rolling pin or something to roll the clay flat

Directions:

Roll the air-dry clay to about 1/8-inch thickness.  (Remember if you are using a rolling pin, it needs to be dedicated to crafting and not used for food after using for clay)

Find a pattern.  You can draw a pattern on paper or cardboard, you can freehand the shape directly to your clay, or you can press the shape into the clay using a silk leave or a fresh natural leave. (If using a leaf press the underside into the clay and it will leave the imprint of the veins and stem. Do not try to use a dry leaf that has fallen, it will crack and crumble and stick to your clay.)

Using a craft knife, carefully cut around your leaf pattern. Remove the remaining clay from around the leaf. Using a toothpick, old pen, or the back of your craft knife draw in your stem and veins, remembering to make the lines bolder in the middle and lighter as they move toward the edges of the leaf. At this point you can decide if you want to let your leaf dry flat or dry it in a way to give it a curve. (Place paper towels or old newspaper under the edges to give it a slight curl, or drape it upside down over a bowl to give a more cupped look)

Follow the package directions about drying time, usually only a few days. Placing the clay in the sun will speed drying time. Your leaves can be painted as soon as the clay is dry.

These leaves will be very light, so they would be perfect made into jewelry. Make small ones and glue them directly to earring posts or punch a small hole in one end before drying to add jump rings to make dangle earrings. A larger one could be made the same way and used to make the pendant for a necklace. One could punch the holes in both ends of small leaves, connect several with jump rings, add a clasp and have a pretty autumn bracelet.

Or make them larger and string them together to make a fall mobile to decorate your home until it’s time to unpack the Christmas decorations.

Here’s to a great fall. Happy crafting!

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