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.

 

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DIY Leather Beaded Bracelets

diy leather beaded bracelet

I’m going to apologize for this, but I’ve been on a jewelry kick these past two weeks. Earrings last week and bracelets this week. I promise next week will bring new and exciting things. Let me get this out of my system first, though.

Okay, moving on. I love leather bracelets, but I never make them. I always feel like other people can make them better than I do, so I just buy them. That had to change, because you can’t get better at something if you don’t try, right?

I chose an easy design with a little bit of wire wrapping, which I’ve written a few tutorials for. It’s pretty straightforward so I’m confident that if I can make these, any of you can do the same. Want to try? Keep reading.

 

leather beaded bracelet materials

Materials needed for leather beaded bracelets

  • beads
  • metal wire
  • jump rings
  • leather cord
  • jewelry clasps

You can find all supplies needed to make these bracelets at any craft store.

 

Wire wrapping with beads

Step 1: thread the wire through the bead

Cut a piece of wire about half an inch longer than your bead on both sides.

Then, slide the bead into the center of the wire.

 

wire wrapping

Step 2: twist two loops into the wire

Using your round-nosed jewelry pliers, create a loop in the wire on either side of the bead. You should have something that looks like the image above.

Then, repeat on the opposite side.

 

Step 3: add the clasps

Cut the leather cord so that, when folded in half and threaded through the metal loop, it reaches around to the other side of your wrist, but not quite to the center. You want to leave some space for the clasps to come together.

Add the clasp to fasten the leather ends.

Repeat on the opposite side.

 

diy leather beaded bracelet

When you’re finished, you should have a bracelet that looks like this.

If you want to get a little more adventurous, try making another bracelet and styling it just a bit differently.

beaded bracelets with leather straps

I made the one on the left second. This one has 4 beads instead of 1 and the clasps are fastened to the side closest to the beads, rather than on the other side of the wrist.

Let me know what you think! I’d love to hear your feedback.

Happy crafting!

DIY Bead String Earrings

DIY bead string earrings

I disappeared last week. Sorry about that. I needed a mini break from all organized activity. Surely you’ve been in the same boat. But I’m back to crafting this week and I have a fancy set of earrings for you to make that’s quick and easy.

These are the kind of homemade earrings that make great gifts.

  1. They look more expensive than they are (but aren’t cheaply made), so that’s a win for both the maker and the recipient.
  2. They’re super easy to assemble.
  3. They go well with all outfits.

Want to make some? Keep reading!

materials for DIY bead string earrings

Materials for Bead String Earrings

  • Bead caps
  • Fancy beads
  • Earring rods
  • Earring hooks
  • Jewelry pliers (not pictured)

Tips for choosing beads:

  1. Choose beads that aren’t exactly the same size. You can see that some of mine are oblong, others are round and some look squished. Some are even textured.
  2. Choose beads with some shine. Beads that shimmer a little bit look so much better in indoor lighting.

I purchased all of my supplies at Michael’s (of course), but you can pick yours up at any craft or hobby shop.

Bead caps at top and bottom

Step 1: Start with a bead cap

Slide one bead cap to the bottom of your earring rod.

Follow that with a string of beads misshapen beads.

Lastly, top with a bead cap.

It’s like a sandwich of beads!

Note: Leave some room at the top of your earring rod. We’re using that space in the next step.

earring loop for hook connection

Step 2: Make a wire loop

Using your round-nosed pliers, twist the excess wire at the top of the earring rod into a loop. Don’t close it completely.

 

beaded earring

Step 3: Add the earring hook

Slide on the earring hook and close your loop.

Repeat steps 1-3 for the second earring.

 

DIY bead string earrings

When you’re finished, you’ll have this fancy pair of earrings! Keep them for yourself or give them to someone you know will love them.

You could always hang on to them and give them as a Christmas gift. I know, I know, it’s August. But Christmas sneaks up on you. You could be prepared for that.

Let me know what you think!

Happy crafting!

DIY Mini Duck Tape Coin Purse

DIY mini Duck Tape coin purse

Do you know what I hate? Searching for change in my car. There are coins everywhere, but I can never seem to find the one I’m looking for when I need it. It’s the one area of my life (not money, my car) where I could certainly improve on organization.

That’s why, for this Make Something Mondays craft, I’m making a change purse.

Why did I choose to make it out of Duck Tape? Great question. A few months ago I made a garbage bag for my car out of Duck Tape and I LOVE it. The material is strong and I can wash it, which is a great perk. I want the same thing from my change purse because money is very dirty.

Interested in making one with me? Follow the tutorial below.

 

Materials to make a Duck Tape mini purse

Coin Purse Materials

  • scissors
  • key ring
  • Duck Tape
  • plastic baggie
  • hole punch (optional)*

You can get all of the materials for your change purse from a craft shop like Michael’s. Or online. Your call.

Step 1: Duck Tape that baggie

Pull a strip of Duck Tape from the roll without cutting it off.

Stretch it around your baggie starting at the top. Using the zip lock part of the bag helps to keep the row straight.

Then, wrap it around the back and cut off the excess.

Repeat on the bottom half.

You’ll see in the next step that I added a solid black strip of tape. That’s totally optional. I just wanted some extra contrast.

 

Step 2: Duck Tape the top part of the baggie

Cut off a strip of Duck Tape the width of your bag.

Tape it to the top portion and fold it inside. Make sure you don’t cover the zip lock (like I did the first time)!

 

Decorative Duck Tape

Step 3: Cut off another section of Duck Tape

This piece doesn’t have to be a specific length. We’re going to make a handle with it, similarly to how we made our lanyard a few months ago.

 

strip-of-duct-tape

Step 4: Fold the tape toward the center

Fold one side toward the center of the sticky side, and then fold in the other edge.

 

Step 5: fold your handle in half and tape it together

Fold that strip in half and seal it with some more Duck Tape.

 

purse made from Duct Tape

Step 6: Punch a hole in it

This is where the hole punch will come in handy, but you can do this with scissors too. Please be careful if you choose that route.

Punch a hole through the bottom of the handle and the top corner of your change purse.

 

small Duck Tape coin purse

Step 7: Insert the key ring

Insert your key ring and you’re done!

 

DIY mini Duck Tape coin purse

Viola! You have a change purse. It’s like magic, isn’t it?

Alright, maybe not magic. But it’s always fun to create new things, especially when it’s functional and cheap.

Let me know what you think!

Happy crafting!