Leaf craft captures the beauty of autumn

As Thanksgiving approaches, it’s a good reminder to be thankful for how stunning and beautiful fall in Chicago really is.

It’s also a perfect time to find reminders of fall before they blow away.

Create your own salt dough rounds with leaf imprints to mimic the outdoors inside. They can be colorful paperweights or even place cards for your Turkey Day table.

Materials

Salt

Flour

Water

Round Tupperware or bowl

Rolling pin

Parchment paper

Acrylic paint (red, orange, yellow, and brown)

Silk, plastic or real leaves

Glossy Mod Podge

Paintbrushes

Directions

Make the salt dough. Mix 3 cups flour, ¾ cup salt and 1 to 1 ½ cups water together to form a soft dough ball. Knead dough well and add extra flour as needed.

With a rolling pin, roll out dough to 1/8- or 1/4-inch thickness. Use a round bowl or Tupperware container to cut rounds from the rolled dough. This should make at least eight rounds.

Pick leaves for your design. Plastic or silk leaves make great imprints. If using fresh leaves, pick firmer leaves for better results. Press leaves into the dough and carefully remove. Add names or words as desired.

Put rounds on parchment covered cookie sheet and bake at 250 degrees for two to three hours. Rounds should be hard on both the top and bottom before removing from oven. Let cool.

Use acrylic paints to paint the leaf imprints. Let dry.

Water down the brown paint to use as a wash over the entire round. The dark color picks up the veins in the leaf while still letting the other colors through.

Once dry, apply a coat of glossy Mod Podge over the round as a sealer. Let dry completely and be thankful!

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