We were out walking with my granddaughter one warm day and picked up a variety of leaves for a project that my daughter was doing with her Bright Lights girls. They were making bookmarks but I thought I’d like to incorporate leaves into a display piece or framed art for the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday using a Mosaic Moments 8.5” x 11” Grid. The colors of the leaves were so great I wanted to see if I could preserve them a little longer. I tried a few different things some worked and others not so much, let me take you through the steps I took to add texture and color and nature to this project.
What You Will Need:
1. One 8.5” x 11” Mosaic Moments Grid paper available in either white or black.
2. 2 sheets of 8.5” x 11” cardstock one for the project surface and one for planning.
3. A bottle of Mod Podge. I had Glossy, but you may prefer a Matte finish.
4. A foam brush.
5. Paper for mats and your choice of quote or verse.
6. Rotary cutter, Mosaic Moments Cutting Mat, Exacto Knife, adhesive, and metal ruler.
7. Wax paper for leaves and for a work surface for placing leaves while they dry.
How To Begin:
1. Begin by collecting a variety of leaves.
2. Take two sheets of wax paper and place the leaves between them. Use a warm, dry iron to press and seal the two pieces together. Leave for a day or two. This flattens them and preserves them until you are ready to go on to the next step. You may remember this technique from grade school days!
3. Use Mod Podge and a foam brush to coat your leaves. Prep more than you think you will need. As soon as that side is dry flip and coat the backside. If you don’t this side will be hard to adhere, it will bubble, but it will also add a 3-Dimensional component which you may or may not like. It can lead to cracking and missing sections of leaves.
4. Use Mod Podge and a foam brush to cover a piece of cardstock. I used an 8.5” x11” black sheet, but you could cut the paper to the exact size you need to fill, for an 8.5” x 11” MM Grid with 9 blocks by 7, or 9”x 7”. A light coat of Mod Podge will prep the paper. The page will curl slightly but don’t worry! I had Glossy Mod Podge, but you could also use Matte.
5. On a separate page, arrange the leaves to see how they will look, play around move to fill empty spaces. Try not to overlap. Cut the stems off.
6. If the first layer is dry, add another layer of Mod Podge, a little heavier than the first time. Work quickly to move the leaves to the prepared surface in the corresponding pattern as this dries quickly. Press into the Mod Podge and once everything is where you want it to be, coat the top-side of the leaves, sealing them into their spot. Avoid pouncing the brush, it will leave bubbles. If you find that you have bubbles, use the brush to smooth them out. Try to brush all in one direction.
7. Once dry add another layer brushing the opposite direction to give the surface a canvas look.
8. I left mine overnight to dry thoroughly.
9. Use Dotto adhesive in 1” spaced strips to secure the project to your mat.
10. I used a rotary cutter and my metal ruler for the next step. Cut the page into 1” strips and then turn and cut again to get 1” squares. Bear down to be sure you are cutting though all the layers.
11. Figure out which squares will suit you best and begin to attach securely to the grid paper. In this case I used a white 8.5” x 11” and worked from one corner until I had used a “frame” of squares, leaving the center to be used for another project. You can also see my second page done on an 8" x 8" Mosaic Moments Grid with some of the left overs!
The Second Project
12. I covered the individual tiles one more time with Mod Podge. Alternate: You could also cover each tile with Crystal Lacquer and have the nice smooth look of an acrylic tile. This will take more time to dry and you may do one heavy coating or several lighter coats till you have what you want.
Tiles with semi-dry Crystal Lacquer
Tile with Crystal Laquer dried
13. I finished this project with a well-known Bible verse (Psalm 100:4) that is well suited for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Using a fancy font (Freebooter Script) and a double mat I cut it to fit inside this 3x5 block area.
14. You can frame this for year round encouragement, display it for the holidays or give it as a gift!
I decided not to try this technique in a scrapbook page because I couldn’t anticipate if there would be any adverse effects from including real leaves. I’ll admit it’s a bit unconventional but it can be a colorful addition to your home décor, it will certainly be something to talk about!
If you try the project out, we’d love to see it! Post it to out Mosaic Moments Facebook page or share it on Journella.com on the Story Board.
Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!