Autumn Craft: DIY Leaf Relief Painting

DIY leaf relief painting

This month’s Craft Challenge theme is autumn. My goal is always to create something different and exciting for each of these challenges and this month is no different. I struggled a bit with this one because I’m not quite in the mood for fall yet. It’s sunny and 90 degrees in my area and leaves are still green. I haven’t quite hit the sweaters, boots and pumpkin latte craze yet.

To get there, I did a brainstorming session with a friend (thank you, Aarika). We kept coming back to leaves. Do you remember doing leaf coloring in 2nd grade? You put a leaf under a piece of paper and color over it with a crayon to bring out the texture and outlines? We’re going to make the adult version of that today.

It’s a really fun project, and I really enjoyed making it. I’m going to paint several more this week and frame them for some festive decor. Follow the tutorial below to make some of your own!

 

leaf relief painting materials

Materials needed for leaf relief paintings

  • foil
  • leaves
  • sponge brush
  • acrylic paint
  • paper towns
  • thick paper
  • craft bond / adhesive
  • light grit sandpaper or steel wool

Supply notes:
Go outside and find some leaves, flowers or other plants.

Make sure the paper you choose is pretty thick. I used paper from a mixed media notebook. You can also use watercolor paper, bristol board or some other variation.

Choose steel wool over sandpaper if you can.

 

painting workspace

Step 1: set up your workspace

Usually, this isn’t part of my tutorial because your workspace is a given. However, this one can get a little sticky (pun intended).

Make sure you lay down newspaper or paper towels all over your work area if you’re working indoors. Craft bond is pretty sticky and it takes some time to get it out of clothes, off your skin and table.

Crafter’s tip: If you’re working over wood like I am, and happen to get the adhesive on your table, dab some vegetable oil on a towel and wipe it up. The oil releases the bond on the wood. Make sure you use cleaning products to wipe up the oil when you’re finished!

 

texture for painting

Step 2: adhere paper towels to the paper

Spray the adhesive on your thick paper and cover it will a paper towel.

I used paper towels with swirl designs because I wanted extra texture for the  background. You don’t have to use a bold texture if you don’t want to.

 

leaf base

Step 3: adhere the leaves

Spray the adhesive again and press the leaves into place.

 

foil cover nature art

Step 4: adhere the foil

Spray the adhesive again and press a sheet of foil overtop of the leaves.

 

leaf relief with foil

Step 5: bring out the natural texture

Ball up a paper towel and press lightly over the veins and outlines of the leaves and their stems to bring out the texture. Be careful not to rip the foil.

 

brush painting technique

Step 6: paint the foil

Using your sponge brush, dab the paint onto the foil like in the image above. You want to lift the brush and set it back down to ensure the paint gets into all of those little crevices.

Then, pull your brush from one end to the other in a typical painting motion. Get rid of the texture the sponge brush created by dabbing on the paint.

Let it dry.

I decided, half way through painting, that I wanted to go with the red paint, so I painted over it a second time with that color only.

I suggest painting on a second layer of paint either way.

Let it dry.

leaf veins through acrylic paint

Step 7: sand down the paint

Very lightly sand down the paint on and around the leaves so that the veins and foil shows through. Be careful not to rip the foil.

This is going to be a very slow process, but it is so worth it in the end.

 

DIY leaf relief painting

When you’re finished, you’ll have something that looks like the above. I love the way the foil makes all of the lines pop!

Next time I am going to try paper towels with less texture and black or dark blue paint. I really enjoy the red but a higher contrasting color will make the leaves stand out so much more.

The Craft Challenge

This project is part of the Craft Challenge.

Be sure to check out Emily’s craft over at A Pop of Red! She will have her tutorial posted later today.

 

Amanda Salinas: Wannabe Photographer?

The sky above the clouds

Amanda Salinas has carried a camera around with her sense she was 15 years old. She realized a film camera really did limit her and she wanted to learn more. A few years ago she got her hands on a new EOS 60D Canon and she started seeing the world in a way she’s always hoped to see it. She currently lives in Oregon with her husband.

Amanda calls herself a wannabe photographer. I think not. She is a photographer. I’ve followed her blog for quite some time now, and am always intrigued by every photograph she posts. She takes some great landscape and nature photography as well, so I’ve decided to focus on that area for this post. All of her photos are great though, so you should check out her site for more!

 Photography: waterfall in the woods beautiful sunlight on the field Zen Garden Waterfall in the Green Farm landscape photography A windmill in the flowers field of flowers beautiful night sky crashing waves seagull above the waves lighthouse
Bridge over the water

I Went For A Walk | Nature Photography

Fallen leaf|Make Something Mondays

I went for a walk yesterday and snapped a few pictures along the way. It has been a while since I’ve gone for a loooooong walk just enjoyed the scenery. So I thought you could enjoy it with me. Hope you like it!

leaves on the ground |Make Something Mondays flower|Make Something Mondays fense|Make Something Mondays barbed wire|Make Something Mondays |Make Something Mondays sunshine|Make Something Mondays weeds|Make Something Mondays pink flower|Make Something Mondays white flowers|Make Something Mondays purple flowers|Make Something Mondays

DIY Shadow Box Memories

DIY Shadow Box MemoriesMost of my readers know that I spent all of last week at the beach. I knew I was going to miss it as soon as I got home so I prepared this Make Something Mondays (I guess Tuesday in this case) as a way to remember it. I decided to make a shadow box to preserve the memory. It is always a great way to remember a vacation or event.

 

DIY Shadow Box MemoriesThings You Will Need:
Shells
Sand
Picture
Shadow box

 

DIY Shadow Box MemoriesStep 1:
Pin the picture to the top of the back of the shadow box.

 

DIY Shadow Box MemoriesStep 2:
Add the sand and shells to the bottom of the shadow box.

 

DIY Shadow Box MemoriesStep 3:
Reassemble the shadow box and shake the sand and shells around for a more natural look.

 

DIY Shadow Box MemoriesThis is, by far, the best way to preserve memories.

A few years ago a coworker of my mom’s asked me to draw a picture of his family and add roses (from a wedding) to it. So I made a memoir box, similar to this one. The drawing is not a good one but he seemed to like the final package. It is more about the event and the memory than the  drawing itself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moss Graffiti: Boredom Buster

Moss graffiti

Have you ever seen moss graffiti before? I’ve seen in on Pinterest before but I honestly thought it was all photoshopped… you can’t make moss gross like that. Making the photo in Photoshop would be so easy too, so I just dismissed that as the only option. Well, I was wrong. I was looking around on The Bored Ninja today and accidentally found a tutorial on how to make it. Now, that is exciting! Turns out, it is environmentally friendly as well.

It kind of reminds me a chia pet…

If you want to make it you will need:
Moss
Water
Bucket
Blender
Buttermilk
Paint brush
Spray bottle
Retention gel

How to make moss graffiti

Images © The Bored Ninja

Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees

I recently just learned about these trees called Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees. I did’t even know that something like this even existed!

via environmental graffiti

 

Rainbow Eucalyptus TreeThese Rainbow Trees are the only species of Eucalyptus tree found in the northern hemisphere.

 

paint brush treeThe different colors appear as the bark sheds so, the colors are an indication of the trees age.

Freshly shed bark will turn green. This color darkens over time and changes from blue to purple and then reaches orange and maroon tones.

Eucalyptus_deglupta-trees

 

 

 

Winter Wonderland?

winter wonderlandAlright, I wouldn’t call it a winter wonderland… Let’s face it, anything that has the word winter, snow can not be considered a wonderland, in my opinion. Snow looks pretty from the window but from outside it is a different story.

I had time to paint last night for the first time in quite a while. This was what happened. Maybe sometime this weekend I’ll get a frame so I can get it up on Etsy!