Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Great Leaf Project

For quite some time now, I have been thinking about getting some weather worn leaves to use in my creations. Being spring here in the Yukon, I thought I would collect some leaves that had over wintered, and see if they had decayed somewhat over the winter and be weather worn.
But the leaves that have overwintered here are not decayed yet, as decomposition takes a long time in the North. The leaves I gathered were brown and actually rather boring looking, and so I collected a big pot of them and boiled them for a few hours, and then wiped the dirt off and dried them...... the picture above is how they looked at this point.... still not what I was envisioning.

After a night of sleeping on the idea, I decided to add a small amount of bleach (I actually never to rarely use any bleach, so it was a hard decision for me, but in the end decided to use about 1/4 cup for my leaf project) and an equal amount of water in a tray, and lay some leaves in to see what would happen..... the brown leaves started changing, and after a few minutes became lovely colours.

Using a fork I moved the leaves from the bleach water into a bowl of clean water and washed them off.

They were then laid out on the towel to dry. After they had dried for a few hours I then ironed them flat.

The leaves now have a wonderful colour and pattern to them.

Before I got rid of the bleach water, I put it in a yogurt container with the last handful of leaves I had, and let it sit for a few hours. These leaves were the result of that process.

I had a huge pot of leaves, and after a number of hours of work I now have a huge pile of these lovely leaves ..... the next question was what to do with them. I am sure they will get used in a number of ways, but for tonight.....

I decided to start by using them in these cut out cards... and that is the story of the great leaf project!


  1. A mighty fabulous story too, I might add.

  2. Very creative! I would never have thought to boil leaves! I especially like the really bleached out ones!

  3. Great example of creativity. The colors of the leaves look very much like your color palette. Beautiful!

  4. The leaves are amazing! I wonder if the leaves will continue to bleach out... I'm going to pick up any leaves I find in my path on my walk today and try it!

  5. these are so lovely, love the effect xx

  6. Amazing! Never would have thought of using this process on leaves...but just might now, if you don't mind.

  7. What a great idea Kim with a lovely outcome! I'd love to try this process also!

  8. Kim! What an incredible idea. I love it and want to try it too!