The many lives of autumn leaves: A weekend project (with free high resolution pictures)

How to keep enjoying all the breathtaking colors of the autumn foliage long after the season is gone? Here’s my suggestion for three fun and simple projects that you can embark on with your kids. It starts by going outside, finding and collecting different leaves (pretty, atypical, fulvous…) and pressing them between the pages an old book.

Last weekend, for our extended fun time, Zoe and I decided to uncover our precious selection of leaves for the first time (although I was peeking from time to time) and make a pressed-leaf art on canvas, a project similar to the one below that we did together some time ago with daisies.

Pressed flowers on canvas

But, quite soon (after several ahs) we came to the conclusion that the beauty of these leaves can be encapsulated in a different way before they’re glued into … an infinity. How? Zoe proposed (kids are so resourceful) that we try something new and introduce them to our scanner.

1. Scanned Nature

Here are some designs that we came up with. All images can be downloaded for free in high resolution (scroll down for links).

five o'clock Autumn landscape Perfectly Lovely Couple three caballeros Golden dreams

Links to download in High-Res:

Five O’clock

Autumn Landscape

Perfectly Lovely Couple

Three Caballeros

Golden Dreams

2. Pressed Leaves on Canvas

Now, it was the time to make our original idea happen. We painted a layer of black acrylic paint over the surface of two small stretched canvases and allowed them to dry completely. Then we picked two leaves that were best for this project. A truly heartbreaking decision! But someone had to make it.

pressed leaves on canvas1

To glue the leaves to the canvas, we used a decoupage glue. As you can see, we were quite liberal with it. When the first coat was completely dry and transparent, we applied the second one.

pressed leaves on canvas2

pressed leaves on canvas3

All done! Still sticky, but already beautiful.

finished project_pressed leaves on canvas

3. Homemade Card

Finally, we decided to make a card for a special person in our lives. It was as easy as a “gluing together” three things: a heavy watercolor paper, an empty yellow-ish page from an old book, and, yes, a pretty leaf. Since the paper was semi-wet from all the glue, I picked whatever was nearby to ensure the card remained flat until dry.

homemade leaf card2

pressed leaves on canvas5

homemade eco friendly leaf card

When we finished cleaning up, I decided to change my desktop image and replace it with our scanned autumn art. I feel I’m now much better prepared for the coming winter :)

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