Hi! It's Alana here, finally posting again! Kara and I are gearing up to do more posting and we have a couple projects to share. The first one is this wreath I put together from leaves I collected over the past few weeks.
The inspiration for this piece came from a beautiful leaf gradient I saw as part of the 10/10/10 group on Flickr. I had it in the back of my mind that a gradient would make a great wreath. When the leaves really started to change around here I picked up as many colors of maple leaves as I could find. I put them in books to press them (finally - a good use for my out-of-date Chicago Manual of Style) and then yesterday I glued them all on a form I cut out of some cardboard. It was really easy and took maybe an hour from start to finish.
First I figured out how big I wanted the wreath to be and cut out a circle wreath form from a cardboard scrap. Once I had the form I started to plan out the gradient, layering the leaves starting with green through yellow and orange.
I went along trying different sizes and colors until I got the gradient I wanted.
Then I moved the leaves one by one off the form, snipped off the stem, and laid them out around the form in the order I wanted them.
I wasn't sure what kind of glue I was going to use. Hot glue would have been overkill since the leaves were pretty thin and brittle. I thought I'd probably use plain craft glue but, being the impatient type, didn't really want to wait around while it dried. So I pulled out my trusty glue dots and gave them a try. They worked perfectly.
If you've never used these definitely give them a try. They are magic. They're especially good for kids crafts when you don't want to deal with glue mess.
I put two or three glue dots directly on the leaf, depending on the size, and then pressed the leaf down on the cardboard, layering as I went from red through the spectrum to green.
Once the form was filled I was done. I took it straight to my front door and hung it up. It was light enough for me to just use some sticky tack.
We have a storm door in front, so I wasn't worried about wind, but you could easily hot glue a loop of ribbon or wire to hang it more substantially.
I'll be curious to see how it weathers. I don't expect it to last more than a season or store well. You could preserve the leaves with a couple different techniques besides just pressing for a longer-lasting wreath. I'll probably just make a new one next year. It was totally gratifying for not much work. My favorite kind of craft.