I apologize in advance to the blogger whose site I visited but did not note the url. She had put together an autumnal theme using real leaves she had bleached to a ghostly effect. They were really cool! But fragile. Her idea of bleaching leaves gave me the idea that ultimately led to - taking a short-cut. What follows is the progression of my not-always-logical-thoughts:
I thought perhaps I might be able to do the same thing myself, only quicker than soaking the leaves in a pan of bleach overnight and then drying them out, and perhaps by-passing the fragility thing... Ha! Ha ha ha! Joke on me.
I first tried painting a bleach/water solution on to the leaves with a water color brush and letting them dry on newspapers spread out over my kitchen counters. No change in color occurred. Then I tried painting on straight bleach. Nope, no change in color with that method either.
I'm not particularly patient. Without doing any internet research on the subject, I decided after about an hour or so of futzing around with bleach and leaves to go for the gusto. I collected many more wet fallen leaves on my front lawn and driveway (it was stormy outside last weekend and windy, there were a lot of leaves from which to choose). I set up a spray paint area in the garage, which for me consists of laying layers of newspaper over the concrete garage floor. I then set the leaves down on the newspaper fairly close together and yet separated.
I spray painted them one side at a time, first using hammered metallic bronze and then a few spritzes of gloss white on each side to finish them up. I did NOT dry the leaves before spray painting; I thought the water droplets remaining on the leaves might give me an interesting effect, and I was also thinking that if I put enough spray paint on the leaves, some of that moisture might be trapped on the leaves and they wouldn't curl up and "die" in a day or two.
It didn't take long for the leaves to dry. Because of all the moisture still in them, they were easy to manipulate.
I pulled out of my stash a large "champagne" shaped decorative glass, filled it with hazelnuts, and then stuck the leave stems in, one by one. This is what I ultimately arrived at:
|Close-up of the textured effect of spray paint over wet leaves.|
Overall, I was very pleased with how my leaves turned out.
|Another close-up. It is so cool how some of the leaves turned out looking ghostly, some turned out looking|
gold, and some turned out bronze-colored.