You can truly be inspired by nature every single day. All you have to do is stop and look all around you. When my kids and I were walking to school the other day, they started picking up leaves of all shapes and sizes. I love how my daughter turned to me and asked about making Framed Leaf Art.
When we teach our kids about nature, it isn’t long before they start to enjoy the beauty in it as well. Before we realised it, another Christmas gift was being created and might I say, quite a work of art.
What you’ll need
- Fallen leaves, thin bark, and any other natural materials you may want to use
- Frame(s). We bought these frames from Kmart for only $12 each (AU)
- Printed A4 templates of both the chicken & kookaburra including templates of the shapes
- Aquadhere CLEAR exterior woodwork glue
- Double-sided tape
- Thick cardboard
- Ruler & pencil
- Weights to hold down the leaves when gluing (we used heavy clean objects)
To add the template to the cardboard backing you first need to cut out the frame insert from your sheet of cardboard. Inside the frame will be the insert it came with. Place this on top of the cardboard and trace around it. Then cut it out and make sure it fits inside your frame. If you are using a picture mount as we have in our frame, then you will need to measure from the top, sides, and bottom of your newly cut insert to find the centre. We added a tiny dot in pencil where the 2 top corners of the template will be stuck down.
Add double-sided tape to the back of the templates. Starting at the top, remove the backing tape from the top only. Line up the 2 dots on your cardboard with the top 2 corners of the template and stick them down. Work your way down the template removing one piece of backing tape at a time to ensure it stays in position.
Cut out the individual template shapes on the 2nd page. Sort through your leaves and materials and choose the larger flat ones. You can use the templates for the comb (top of chicken’s head), beak, feet & eye to cut out the shapes in the leaves by holding the template shape on top of the leave and cutting. For the wing, cut a piece of thick cardboard using the wing template. Select leaves that will work well on your wing.
Stick down the comb, beak and feet first using the glue. If the leaves are not flat, place a weight on top of the leave until they have stuck. Next, work on your wing and use a weight to hold it down flat until it dries.
- Make sure you don’t stick the weight to the wing
- Make sure you are working on the right side of the wing
- Don’t panic if you can see white glue, as this will dry clear
- Use scissors to shape the leaves to fit the template
- Use weights to help the leaves stay flat
Thinking about how feathers are layered, start at the tail and work from the back so that the leaves look like feathers. You can also print out a real kookaburra and chicken and get the kids to look at the markings for guidance.
Stick down the wings & eyes last and you can fill in any gaps. Make sure your artwork is dried before placing in the fame.