With all the lovely autumn leaves we've collected over the past weeks, we've had fun playing with them and using them for lots of different things. Last week we had a go at making a leaf bowl, linking in with some of the autumn books we have been reading.
I came across this idea in a fantastic book that one of my friend's lent me. It's called Make it Wild by Fiona Danks and Jo Schofield and it's full of natural craft and art ideas exploring nature and being outdoors, using sand, wood, clay and ice to mention but a few. There are lots of great ideas for when the girls are older but lots of them can be worked for them now, particularly for Little Chick who is 3.
To make it easier to mould the leaves into a bowl shape we pressed them flat between some heavy books for a few days before using them.
We then took two small bowls and wrapped them in cling film, one with the inside of the bowl wrap and one with the outside of the bowl wrapped.
Little Chick got busy squeezing out the glue. We used a mixture of 50:50 PVA glue and water.
Then she got busy covering both sides of the leaves with the glue mixture. (If you have a little one who is just interested in glueing rather than sticking this is a great activity because it is all about lots and lots of glue everywhere!)
We then placed the leaves over the upturned bowl that had a cling film wrapped over the outside of the bowl. I raised the bowl up by putting a cylindrical pot underneath (I used an empty boullion pot), this meant the leaves could fall above the rim of the bowl and made it a bit easier to layer them on. It wasn't that easy to get the leaves to wrap round the bowl shape and not slowly slither off, as the leaves we had were fairly large and I needed to help Little Chick with this bit.
As you can see from the picture there was lots of glue!
We then carefully placed the other bowl with the cling film on the inside over our leaf bowl.
And turned it up the other way.
We then filled it with baking beans to give it a bit of weight to keep it in the bowl shape. Stones or marbles or anything like that would do. We then left it to dry. Ideally it would have been good to dry it in an airing cupboard but we don't have one so we left it on a window ill to dry. It did take about a week to dry. After a few days I took off the top bowl and then a few days later I removed the bottom bowl and because I'm impatient I used the hair dryer to finally finish it off!
And here's our finished dried bowl.
I just love the beautiful mix of colours.
And here's our bowl displaying some of our autumn fir cones.
This is a really nice craft activity for developing the idea of paper mache but using leaves instead of paper, getting sticky with lots of glue. I think next time we might have a go at making a leaf plate instead of a bowl which would make placing the leaves a lot easier. I wonder what else you could use this technique for?
The leaf bowl is now part of our autumn display of painted pumpkins, collected and decorated fir cones and conkers.