Today I wanted to share a quick tip with you for making your paper leaves look realistic. Of course paper leaves can never replace the beauty of real fall leaves, but we’ll do our best.
Here’s my strategy for how to make realistic paper leaves.
1. First die cut your leaves. Choose your papers based on the colors of ink you have. You want to have inks that are a shade darker than your papers.
2. Wet your leaves until they are damp. I like to use a small mist bottle, but a spray bottle or wet washcloth will work as well. You want them damp, not so wet that they are falling apart.
3. Crumple the wet leaf very gently. Basically you are wading it up into a loose crumple. (That’s a new technical term!)
4. Uncrumple the leaf. Let the leaf sit and begin to dry just a bit (about 2 minutes.) I think the ink blends a little better when the leaf is still slightly damp.
5. Choose a coordinating ink. You want to select one that is a bit darker than the paper, but still in the same shade so it looks natural. Ink the edges of the leaf, but rather than getting just the very edge, turn the ink pad so you are inking farther into the leaf. Use the ink pad to lightly ink the creases and folds created by crumpling.
That’s it! I like to make up a bunch all at once and create myself a little leaf pile to add to projects throughout fall. I’ve yet to make a pile big enough to jump in, but maybe I should put that on my to-do list.