Thanksgiving is coming! I always want to use fall leaves for my decorations, but I find that they are usually dried up by the time the holiday comes around. This is a fun way to get fresh-looking leaves that don't crinkle or crumble and it gets your kids involved in decorating!
- coffee filters
- food coloring (I love this McCormick assorted bundle)
- small baking dish or pie pan
- a few sheets of newspaper on a cookie sheet or flattened cardboard box (to protect your work surface)
- hot glue
- twigs of varying length
- differently shaped leaves (the more different, the better!)
- cardboard (I used recycled cereal boxes)
1. Dye the coffee filters: prepare a dye bath by filling the dish with about an inch of water. Squeeze a few drops of food coloring in and mix well. Dip a small stack of coffee filters (about 10-15) into the dye bath. You can fully dye them in one, or you can create a tie-dyed effect by dying half a filter in one color and quickly dying the other side in another color. Leave in for a few seconds, until the dye has spread to your desired effect and remove quickly.
2. Put the dyed stack on the newspaper-lined tray or flattened box and place in a sunny area and allow to dry for a few hours.
3. While the coffee filters dry, trace the leaves you collected onto the cardboard and cut them out. These will be your stencils for the coffee filter leaves.
4. Once the coffee filters are dry, start tracing on them with your cardboard stencils.
5. Cut the coffee filters into the leaf shapes you traced.
6. Hot glue the coffee filter leaves onto the twigs. I grouped the leaves by color, but you can arrange them any way you like!
7. Display in small glass jars or vases. You could also glue them onto a bigger branch to make a fun fall centerpiece on your table.
The dyed coffee filters make such pretty scraps!
You can paint stripes on the stems if you like!
Check out my book, Paper Goods Projects, and the Coffee Filter and Cupcake Paper chapter for lots more paper ideas! Happy Fall!