Falling for leaves

One of the best parts of autumn is watching the leaves change from summery green to gold, rust and orange. The trees almost glow. You can keep those colors by capturing them in cards—a great project for parents and kids to create together. And more than the leaves, your children will remember the time they spent with you.

Materialspaper towelsleaveswax papertwo-ply facial tissue, separatedwhite glue (such as Elmer's)glue stickpaintbrusheswhite cardstock or paperscissors ruler


1. Take a walk and collect colorful leaves (on a sunny day so the leaves are dry). Lay the leaves flat between paper towels and stack heavy books on top. Wait several days.

2. When the leaves are pressed, cover your work area and gather the supplies. For each card, cut one 8-by-5-inch sheet of wax paper and one of cardstock or paper. In a bowl, dilute the white glue to equal parts glue and water.

3. Fold the wax paper in half (so it measures 5-by-4-inches), unfold it and lay it down. The space to the right of the crease will be the front of the card. Coat the wax paper with a thin layer of diluted glue and arrange the leaves on top. Cover the wax paper and leaves with a one-ply sheet of tissue. Paint another thin layer of diluted glue over the tissue and press out the air bubbles (gently, so the tissue doesn’t tear). Let the cards dry.

4. When the glue is dry, trim excess tissue and flip the wax paper over. Coat one side of the cardstock with the glue stick and press the sticky side onto the wax paper. This is the inside. Fold the card in half to finish.

5. Variations: Use colored cardstock or tissue. Or skip the wax paper and glue the leaves directly onto cardstock. Cover the whole sheet or just the leaves with tissue and paint with diluted glue.

Cut smaller sheets for gift tags or larger ones to frame. Help your kids identify the leaves you’ve collected with books from your local library. Next spring, make cards using pressed flowers.

TIP: Check the scrapbook aisle of the craft store for colored 8-by-11 cardstock or paper. Cut the sheet in half for the inside of your card.

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