Thursday, November 7, 2013

DIY: Beautiful Fall Artwork

Aaah! Fall is in the air! The crisp breezes pick up, the foliage turns spectacular hues and you find yourself tucking your hands into your cozy fleece as you head home for hot apple cider. On your way home, do not forget to pick up a few of the prettiest of falls gifts. Those beautiful leaves!
Today, I will be walking you through the EASIEST addition to your Thanksgiving décor, this gorgeous pressed leaf Welcome artwork!
Here in Kodiak, Alaska, the beautiful Japanese maples are not around...and things turn from green to shades of brown quite suddenly! The bison on the coastline is AMAZING ...but I just miss that drive west on 64! I first made these lovely framed Welcome pieces several years ago as Christmas gifts! They were well received and cherished even though the frames were from the dollar store? Ssssh! Don't tell : )
With just a few different types and colors of leaves and grasses you can transform the free printable "Welcome" PDF at the end of this tutorial. Lets grab a few things and get started!
You will need....
  • One FREE "Welcome" Print out from the end of this post (LOTS of great colors to choose from)
  • Several leaves of varying sizes and colors....grab a few grasses too! ( I pick up twice as many as I think I may need....just in case!
  • Phone book (or if you do not have one still, just use some paper towel and a few heavy books/boxes)
  • Double faced tape or household glue
  • An old 8" x  10" frame...or one from the dollar store! I Like the kind with an easel back, then you can prop it on a counter! 
  • Optional...tweezers and a scissors.
When choosing your leaves, try to get ones that are not spotted or torn.
Choose the leaves that are still pliable, NOT DRY! Even a bit wet is ok!
Grab your good ole phone book...

and tuck your leaves and grasses in between the pages near the back.
Make sure that your items are all in a single layer.
Close the book and leave your items to dry for 24-48 hours.
*NOTE: If you do not have a phone book, use a few pieces of tissue or paper towel.
Make a sandwich...heavy book or box on top, tissue, leaves, tissue, flat surface.)
Now head over to your printer and select one of the free, fabulous "Welcome" pdf printables from the links at the end of this post. You do not have to mess around with fonts, colors or sizing! It has been taken care of for you already. The colors are shown above and listed individually as: Berry, Gourd, Maize, Moss, Acorn, & (not pictured) Black.

When you go to print, CHOOSE THE LANDSCAPE option from your print menu and voila!
Take a few minutes to carefully arrange your brittle leaves and grasses. When you remove them from your phone book and begin to work with them, the best thing to do is to slide them off the paper. Handle them as LITTLE as possible. Try to slide the pieces around, not grabbing them by the brittle edges or they may break. I used the tweezers to scoot them around my Moss "Welcome" sign so I could cut down on breakage and handling.

Do not worry if a few pieces do crumble away, it adds character! Feel free to re-arrange and even add leaves to a IS ART and you can INVENT things : ) I won't tell.
I had an ornery piece of grass, so I trimmed the end into a point to get the look I wanted! Who knew!
Finally, when you are satisfied with your arrangement, use a small piece of double faced tape, or even a dot of household glue to attach your items onto the "Welcome" printable.
Get creative with your ONE OF A KIND ARTWORKS!
Carefully tuck your finished piece into that fab frame and you are FINISHED!
Set this near the front door, on your kitchen counter or as part of your fall centerpiece!
I think these would make GREAT hostess gifts too....who really needs ANOTHER pumpkin pie?! Not me!

I can just see the leaves swirling in a circle and being carried on the breeze
when I look at these...can't you?!

Black (Not Pictured)

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a beautiful day!