Autumn leaf garland

When we went out to Hebden on my birthday we had loads of fun collecting brightly coloured autumn leaves…and we had a plan! We decided we would try and laminate them in order to preserve them and their fantastic colours and decorate our living room!

Now this post comes with a warning: DON’T go using a posh laminator and get your leaves stuck in the motor causing irreparable damage and or a house fire then blame me! You have to buy a cheap crappy laminator and be really careful and mostly pray the whole time that it won’t get all jammed. I made use of the reverse button on mine a few times as well as unplugging it twice in order to extricate leaves in pockets that had gone all wibbly wobbly and were about to get stuck.

SO now you’ve been warned, you can carry on reading!

The first thing you need is a laminator:

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And some laminating pockets, pouches whatever you call them. I got the really cheap ones in Tesco.

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The next thing you need of course is a lovely bowl of leaves. Now for this you need to be careful because if you put slightly damp leaves through the laminator they get all full of condensation inside and the plastic doesn’t stick well. You need to let the leaves dry…but if they dry curled up (like mine did) then when you try and spread them flat they start to break up. Best thing is to get your slightly damp leaves and press them with kitchen roll under books. I didn’t do that though, so I have interesting crumpled up leaves for my garland. Not the end of the world.

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Now the tricky bit is trying to fit your leaves in the pocket. You don’t want them over lapping because you are going to cut them out. You need to leave a cm around each leaf at least (maybe more to give them wriggle room, they move as they go through the laminator).
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Try and leave the stalk on the leaf, it looks more effective if you can…although it means you get less leaves in each pocket.
  Don’t they look gorgeous! All shiny! You can see they aren’t perfect, some of the points are folded slightly.  The next job is to cut them out. I like to leave a 5mm or so gap around the edge of each one.

  Then punch a hole through the top of the middle lobe
  Find yourself a nice ball of string…


And don’t just thread the leaves on, tie them in place so you don’t get them sliding about.

 Here’s a rather marvellous close-up of one of our laminated leaves. You can see how cracked this one is but I think it kind of adds to the charm! And here it is! Our beautiful leaf garland hanging in pride of place in our living room! Leon totally gate-crashed, it was me and Imogen that made it and strung it up 🙂
  
 You can just see our bird feeder stuck to the outside of the window, there! That deserves a post of it’s own 🙂

Grab yourselves some leaves and have a go at laminating them! Leaf memories for your autumn box that you can get out year after year!

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