Surely there's a better word than "leaf ball" to describe this fall nature craft, but I can't think of a clearer one. Decorative orb? Autumn star? Whatever it is, it's a pretty way to use pressed autumn leaves. Up where I live, a few trees have started to turn color. Now's the time to collect and press a dozen or two, so you'll be ready to make these globes in a couple of weeks—when you've brought out your sweaters from storage, and have returned to drinking tea in the afternoons, and fall is undeniably here to stay. Let's try to welcome it.
These guys are easy to make, but require 7 to 10 leaves of all one type, and of roughly the same size. If you use different sizes, you'll have a lopsided ball — not that big of a deal, but not the effect I'm going for. Your mileage, as they say, may vary.
Start by cutting the stems from your leaves.
Stack the leaves so they're all aligned, then cut a straight line across the base of the stack.
Cut a bunch of one-inch (or so) sections of washi tape and place them somewhere handy. I stuck mine lightly to the edge of a plastic lid. You'll need about 1.5 times as many pieces of tape as you have leaves. (So, if you have 8 leaves, cut 12 pieces. 13, to allow for mishaps.)
Pick up two leaves and align them along the cut edges. Stick half of the long side of the tape to the top leaf, and then fold it around to adhere to the bottom leaf. You've now connected two leaves with a tape hinge.
Do this with all of the leaves. If you have an odd number of leaves, just add a third to the top or bottom of a taped pair. Then, align two taped pairs along their straight edges, and join them with a length of tape.
Keep taping pairs together until they're all attached by their hinges in one "book."
Find one facing pair that doesn't have a tape hinge (if you have one -- if not, just use any pre-taped pair). Place the knotted end of a length of string in the center, and cover it with a piece of tape.
Pick up your leaf assembly using the string. Gently unfold and fold the various tape hinges to get a fairly uniformly-spaced ball. If your ball isn't hanging straight, extend the hinge channel for the string by adding more tape higher up in the center of a couple of the leaf pairs.
That's it! I like how star-ish these are. Get several of them together, hang them at varying heights over a table or mantle, and you'll be cultivating some serious fall spirit.
I'm Debbie Way, an artist and writer who enjoys making things.