Thursday, September 13, 2012

Book Page Maple Leaves • DIY

I have been making a variety of arrangements with the autumn leaves I crafted out of old book pages. They are so easy to work with. Check out my previous link for additional ideas here. Today, I'll share the step-by-step instructions on how to make maple leaves. Yesterday I showed you how to do oak leaves here.  The process is the same but the sizes and numbers of the strips varies from leaf to leaf.

Supplies needed: 
  • Old Book - not too old with brittle pages
  • Cutting blade- Exacto
  • Cutting mat
  • Metal ruler
  • Paper glue- I used Elmer's Craft Bond Memory Book Glue Pen (Wet)
  • Paper Clips
  • Scissors
  • Spray paint in fall colors

  • Cut the about 5 pages from the old book.
  • Using the cutting tool and the metal ruler cut the pages into strips vertically.  I made some leaves using 1" strips and some using 5/8" strips. Both widths are fine and the variety is good but use the same width within each leaf.
  • Cut the strips into the following lengths. You will need this many for each leaf. I cut a stack of each size.

2 - 2"
2 - 2 1/2"
2 - 2 3/4"
6 - 3 1/4"
2 - 3 3/4"
1 - 4 1/2"

  • The individual steps for assembling these strips follow but here is an illustration showing the assembly order.

  • After cutting the strips, I arranged them in the order listed for the the skeleton of the leaf. I refer to the skeleton which are the veins in the center and it is the pieces shown in black on the diagram above. 

  • I then curled each of the strips slightly by pulling it over the edge of my work surface. I did not curl the tallest, center piece.

  • It was helpful to line up the pieces in order. Notice, the curls go in opposite directions on each side of the long center stem.

  • Glue all 7 pieces of the skeleton structure together in a stack putting glue along the bottom edge. I glued up about 1/4". Follow the order and curve direction shown in the diagram at the beginning - 3.25, 3.75, 3.25, 4.5, 3.25, 3.75, 3.25".
  • I used a glue that took about 15 minutes to dry. I could then reposition strips as I needed. I tried it with my adhesive strip dispenser put that didn't allow me enough flexibility. I found that Elmer's Craft Bond Wet Memory Book Glue Pen worked well.

  • Paper clip the stack together to hold it in place while it dries and you continue working.

  • Collect the paper strips for the outside of the leaf. They are shown in red on the diagram above. 2.5, 2.75, 2, 3.25, 3.25, 2, 2.75, 2.5"
  • Curl each of them by pulling them over the edge of your desk.
  • Glue them into the appropriate places on the leaf using the diagram to guide you.

  • Add paper clips to each glue point as you proceed.

  • Start another leaf as this one dries. You will want a collection to decorate with.

  • Once dry, remove the paper clips.
  • Using scissors you can clip the tips of each point to soften the points. (Optional)
  • Set-up a spray painting area in a well ventilated location. The weather was beautiful so I worked outside.
  • Collect spray paint in fall colors. For the maple leaves I used red primer, red, burgundy, orange and lots of yellow.

  • Spray lightly and from different directions. Do not cover the paper. You want the lettering on the old book page to show through.
  • Maple leaves turn to so many glorious colors in autumn from rich reds to brilliant yellows and every shade of orange in between. Aim for variety when painting your leaves.

Allow the leaves to dry and then use them in arrangements, combined with oak leaves, birch leaves and even green live pine boughs!

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©2012 Ashbee Design, Marji Roy

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  1. You are so creative! Thanks for a great tutorial. I did a Fall arrangement with book page "leaves" but never thought of using paint on them. Great idea!
    Babs...popping over from BNOTP.

    1. I took a jaunt over to your blog and took a look at those leaves. They look terrific on the door decor. Thanks for sharing.