Thursday, October 9, 2014

Leaf Skeletons

This week I have been busy! I am designing a new community project that should be ready to launch by this weekend, so stay tuned.

But I have also been experimenting with making leaf skeletons to include into my journal pages. My experience so far is that is will always be an experiment as the outcome or success of each leaf doesn't seem to be entirely predictable. And I apologize that the photos aren't very clear, but you'll get the gist.

Start by boiling thick, heavy, wax coated leaves in 4 cups of water and 3/4 cups of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (NOT baking soda) for 1.5-2 hours.  I used Bay leaves from a volunteer tree in our back yard, Laurel and Ivy leaves. Then rinse and lay in a plate with a bit of water to keep the leaves moist. Now the tricky part. Using your fingernail, start scraping away the pulp from the top side of the leave, careful not to tear through the fine veins underneath. It's a tad tedious. Rinse the plate and leaves often so that you can see what you're doing. 
Then turn the leaf over and scrape the finer, thinner membrane off the underside. This is much easier to do that the top part. You'll notice that I haven't scraped the leaf completely clean, I find leaving some of the pulp on makes the leaf more interesting for using in journaling.
These 2 leaves I air-dried overnight. I just re-dampen them and place them in a book to press them flat. 
These are my some of my favorites. At different times of the scraping process I laid them in bleach. I watched them so that they didn't become completely white, then rinsed and continued scraping. I LOVE the varigated results. The 3rd leaf from the left has ONLY had the back membrane removed, then put in bleach then pressed. I didn't remove any of the top pulp.

Let me know about your results! Oh, and of course, I had to use one immediately...


  1. This process is so you, Lauren. I would do this if we were doing a class or workshop on messy processes/techniques - actually that sounds like a fun workshop to put together - but wow, this seems so time intensive even though the results look way way worth it.

    1. I will think about a may be just the perfect place for people to play with the IS a bit tedious!


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