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DIYdiy projects

diy project: autumn leaf bouquet

by Kate Pruitt

I don’t know what it’s like in your neighborhood, but when I step outside here in Oakland, I sense it right away: Fall is in the air! I’m lucky enough to have a few turning trees on my street, so I don’t miss out entirely on the brilliant autumn colors I remember from growing up in NH. Speaking of brilliant autumn colors, I’m thrilled to share this stunning maple leaf rose bouquet DIY from a fellow Kate — clay, fiber and paper artist Kate Hust.

Kate first learned how to make these a few years ago from a retired art teacher in her community, and now they’ve become an annual tradition when fall rolls around. Her instructor taught her to wrap the leaves really tight, so they looked like rose buds,  but Kate has modified the technique a bit to suit her own tastes: She likes to find the really big leaves and make them with large open “petals.” She’s clearly perfected the craft, and I’m so happy that she’s decided to pass the tradition on to us. Thanks for sharing, Kate! — Kate

Read the full how-to after the jump!

The best part of living in Northern Michigan is the changing seasons. For a few weeks every fall, we live in a picture-perfect postcard. Our home is on a street lined with maple trees, so the materials for these are abundant. As I carefully select fallen leaves from my front lawn, picking them up individually, I have to reassure my curious neighbors that this is not how I do all my yard work! Every time I make these, I am convinced “this one is my favorite!” These are a great way to make those few weeks of fall last a little longer, and when given to others, they’re a sure way to brighten someone’s day. — Kate Hust

Materials

  • 10 colorful maple leaves per flower in various sizes (they should be dry & freshly fallen, so they are pliable)
  • short twigs
  • scissors
  • floral tape

Instructions

1. Using one of the smaller leaves, place the colorful side down and fold the points in. Begin to roll the leaf from one side.
2. Take a second leaf and fold the center point down. Place the first rolled leaf in the center, fold down the side points on the second leaf and wrap both sides around the first “bud.”
3. Continue to add leaves, rotating the flower as you go to get an even size. Work with the smaller leaves at the center and the larger ones toward the outside. When you rotate, it also helps to keep the petals tucked in so that it doesn’t unravel.
4. When you have added all your leaves or reached the desired size, pinch the leaf stems tightly and begin to wrap with florist tape. Trim the stem ends by cutting with scissors.
5. Finally, if you are wanting a “long stem,” use a stick and attach to the flower by wrapping it with a bit more florist tape.
6. You’re done!

 

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