Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Super easy fall leaf tutorial

Fall is my favorite season.
I like everything about it, especially the leaves.
Not surprisingly, I've always wanted a nice, big pile of 1:9 scale fall leaves. A couple years ago, I stumbled across a simple sounding tutorial for miniature leaves. It used real leaves and a readily available paper punch. 
I bought the punch, gathered the leaves and went to work. The results were not spectacular. The miniature leaves were pretty, but impossibly fragile. I'm hard on my toys, so I need props to be at least kind of sturdy. These were never going to work for me. I brushed them into the trash and tossed the punch into a drawer. I didn't touch it again until a couple weeks ago, when I saw a fall leaf tutorial on My Froggy Stuff's YouTube channel.
This tutorial used that same punch plus watercolor paints... 
and printer paper. 
Since I still had a need for 1:9 scale leaves, I decided to try this again. My technique is based on Froggy's with a few extra steps. First, I painted the paper in fall colors. I used many, many layers...
and painted both sides. 
I let the paper dry, then coated it with watered down Mod Podge to strengthen the paper and deepen the color. 
When that was dry, I punched out some leaves.  
These are okay as is,  but too one-dimensional for my tastes. 
Using a colored pencil, I added some veins and a little shading. 
I also gently curled each leaf to make it look more realistic. 
I repeated those steps many, many, many times and slowly but surely created a pile of beautiful, sturdy fall leaves.
A lot of the things I make are hard, but this is easy. It's tedious, but it's super easy.


  1. Thanks I tried the leaf punch on real leaves and they just broke apart so easily I gave up this is much better thank you for sharing!-Ellen

  2. I actually bought the same punch last year and have been meaning to make some leaves. I was going to use colored paper but painting the paper looks more realistic.

  3. So cool! I was wondering how you did that! I need some for my photo show set-up!

  4. You can also use a small stylus to draw veins, which makes it more 3 dimensional. Another one of my someday projects... Thanks for the post!