I realise now is probably not the best time to post this – an opportune time might have been when there were actually some leaves left on the trees… but hey ho, I couldn’t risk letting my family see their Christmas presents before the big day, so I’m posting now. This does work with green leaves too – they just need more drying out, so you could always use evergreen leaves like fir, laurel and holly.
To dry out your leaves press them between several sheets of kitchen towel and iron on a hot heat with no steam, then press beneath some heavy books (still with the kitchen towel layer to soak up any sap). You might need to repeat these steps several times over a few days until your leaves are perfectly crisp.
Then decide how many frames you want for your picture, I went for three, but you could do four in a square arrangement, just one, or whatever you like. When you have decided, make your frame template. You might need a set square to keep everything aligned.
My squares were each 10cm x 10cm with a 2cm border between and around the outside edge. This was a good fit for my A3 card which didn’t require any complex maths! I just had to trim 1.7cm from the long edge and 4cm from the short edge then cut the card in half lengthways to get two perfectly sized rectangles. I then arranged my leaves over the template:
I dotted the leaves and template with blutack to keep everything in place then aligned the card on top. Then I flipped the whole thing over (these leaves have already been sprayed once which is why they’re already silver):
Then spray. I used gold and silver, but you could use any colour(s) you like.
Don’t worry about blotches from the spray, they give everything a nice rustic handmade feel. Then the fun bit: reveal:
You can see here, and better in the picture below, that there is a bit of overspray along the outside lines. You may like this effect but I wanted everything really crisp. Perhaps I could have achieved this using spray mount to secure everything, but the leaves are really delicate and I wanted to use them multiple times, I also didn’t want to risk ripping the card.
Luckily, I found that with my really cheap Christmas spray, I could remove it just using an eraser – this property also meant it could be smudged with a finger, to try and limit this, once I had cleaned up the lines I went over everything with hairspray. To get a really clean line I laid a sheet of paper over the picture right up to the edge of the line I wanted to clean and then used the eraser, this made the line sharp and stopped me damaging the picture itself:
As you can see, it worked really well. And now you’re done.
Good luck if you try this out, would love to see the results if using other colours of card and/or spray. A matte finish might be nice too – this sparkly paint is very seasonal!