This has been an epic year for autumn foliage. I saved quite a few leaves inside the pages of a book, but wanted to get them out in the open. With Halloween coming in just a few days, I came up with this quick (really!) craft that the whole family can get involved with. The leaves you see here are a mixture of 1-year-olds and 1-week-olds. The 1-weekers, being more pliable and less crunchy, were much easier to draw on.
Start by selecting seven or eight leaves that you've previously pressed. Draw jack o' lantern faces on them using a fine-point, felt-tip marker.
Next, you'll be gluing the hanging thread to the stem of each leaf. I separated the strands from a two-foot length of embroidery floss; those strands are just a tiny bit thicker than regular thread, making them easier to work with.
Hold the end of a thread to the base of a stem, and dab a bit of tacky glue onto the stem with your other hand. Then, wrap the thread around the gluey stem, as shown. No need to make a microscopic knot!
Do this with all of the leaves, then let them sit and dry for a half-hour or so. Take this time to walk to the park or the woods and find your perfect stick to hang your leaves from. It should be somewhat thin, not too brittle, and dry, with no flaky bark. The photo below shows off the one I chose.
Then it's just a matter of tying the thread ends to the stick. If you tie with a single knot, the thread will be loose enough that you can adjust the length. Vary the lengths so the leaves won't crash into each other much. Once the lengths are where you want them, tighten each knot and use your fingertip to apply a bit of glue. Tie clear plastic cord or fishing line near each end of the stick, and hang! I like my mobile in front of a window, where the light can come through the leaves, and the leaves are reflected in the glass.
Come back tomorrow for a totally different, nature-based Halloween mobile!
I'm Debbie Way, an artist and writer who enjoys making things.