Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Book Page Oak Leaves • DIY

Yesterday, I shared the leaves I made from the pages of old books. I promised I'd provide a tutorial and I have been working on this since then. Today, I'll show you the steps for creating oak leaves from book pages. Different leaves require different assembly techniques and I'll share several types over the next few days.

Supplies needed: (For each leaf)
  • 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.
  • Cut the strips into the following lengths. You will need this many for each leaf. I cut a stack of each size.

4 - 2 1/4"
2 - 2 1/2"
2 - 3 1/4"
2 - 3 1/2"
2 - 4 1/2"
1 - 5 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.

  • 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 - 2.5, 3.5, 4.5, 5.5, 4.5, 3.5, 2.5".

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. 2.25, 2.25, 3.25, 3.25, 2.25, 2.25"
  • 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 oak leaves I used red primer, red, burgundy, with touches 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.

Allow the leaves to dry and then use them in arrangements, scattered on mantles, added to swags, or in garlands. The uses are endless! But, they look better with other shapes and colors as well. Return tomorrow for maple leaf steps!

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©2012 Ashbee Design, Marji Roy


  1. I love these leaves. So pretty. Something like this would look great in my office. Thanks for sharing. I will definitely try this.

    1. Sara, send pictures when you do. They also can be strung as a garland which would work great the the office.

  2. Thanks for the terrific tutorial.

    1. You are welcome! Working on the Maple leaf now.

  3. Oak Leaf Plan template updated!!!! Did anyone notice the mistake right in the middle of the pattern? I just did and fixed it. As of now there is a new, corrected diagram uploaded. Sorry for the mistake!

  4. These are very kool thanks for the tutorial, I have to try some. I just love them, the colors are scrumptious.