Take It or Leaf It

8 Nov

Successful Leaf Rub

Today’s Two-Cent Tuesday post gives you a prompt to explore the great outdoors and take advantage of the season of Autumn.  If you are in a different season where you are located have no fear you can still do this leaf project in your area if you have access to trees and plants.

Staying true to low-cost activities, today is no exception as you learn how you can create on a limited budget.  This activity requires some time outside as well as inside.  It is perfect for children of various ages, and it is easy to do with limited resources.  Leaf rubbings!

MATERIALS NEEDED:

Leaves.  A variety of leaves in different sizes and shapes work well.  The color does not matter.

Paper.  As long as the paper is not too thick, you can do a successful texture rub with most types of papers.

Crayons.  If the wrapper from the crayon is removed, the side of the crayon can be used in a rubbing, along with the side of the point.

Optional:  Tape, paper clips, or clothes pins can be used to secure a leaf from possible shifting under the paper.

Making use of the falling leaves from trees and plants in your area can be fun. First, gather a variety of leaves. For best results leaves that are still a bit supple work best however, they should not be damp or wet. If a leaf is too dry, it will crumble easily and your rub will be difficult to do properly.

Place a leaf directly under a sheet of paper. Using the side of a crayon rub the crayon against the leaf to reveal its pattern from under the paper. As you rub you will see the veins and details of the leaf shape emerge before your eyes. Try to overlap your rubbings for an interesting look and alternate colors for additional uniqueness. Try incorporating different items from around the house and see what texture you can pick up as relief. Be careful as to hold the paper secure for the best results. Tape, paper clips, or clothes pins can be used to hold down the leaf from slipping but remember to remove it before rubbing the surface or an unwanted texture may be created.

Colorful Fall Leaf Rubbing. Now you can say that you've seen a blue and purple leaf!

Additional:

Water color paints, paint brush, cup of water. A quick “wash” of paint over the paper surface can seep color into the art while the areas with wax crayon will resist the paint, creating an interesting added effect.

Explore More: 

After rubbing, try to crinkle up the paper by wadding it in a ball and tightly smash to make fold creases in the paper. Once folded flat again do a water-color wash over the paper and watch in amazement how your work changes!  Children love to ball up the paper like they are going to throw away their creation.  Simply remind them not to be too rough as to rip the paper. They are happy when they can take several easy steps in a project at their own pace and can experience open-ended art.  I know, this has always been a favorite Fall art lesson plan exploring texture, technique and color mixing.

Texture rub using coins.

This creative exercise may not be a new discovery to try but, hunting for items that will make an interesting rub can be.  Be on the lookout for anything with texture that is fairly flat.  Consider these ideas: lace, buttons, tape and glue adhered to paper before rubbing begins, stencils, puzzle pieces etc.  Use your imagination. Take these suggestions or “leaf it”.  Good luck and have fun creating a unique leaf rub and appreciate nature at the same time.

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