Oak Meadow Craft: Leaf Print Tiles
Leaf Print Tiles are a wonderful way to preserve, study, and enjoy the beauty of nature. This simple craft, found in Oak Meadow’s First Book of Crafts (part of their kindergarten curriculum), lets children of all ages create beautiful keepsakes and gifts. Especially fun as the autumn leaves fall!
What you need:
• Air-dry clay (found in any art supply store)
• Waxed paper
• Plastic tablecloth or laminated cotton
• Two pieces of wood, 18 inches long by 1/2 inch thick
• Rolling pin
• Assortment of leaves with interesting shapes and vein patterns (geraniums, ferns, and reedy grasses work well)
• Knife or pizza cutter
• Cardboard covered with foil (use as a drying tray)
What to do:
1. Cover the table with the plastic tablecloth.
2. Take four or five handfuls of moist clay and throw the lump down on the table several times to squeeze out air bubbles.
3. Lay the pieces of wood about 8 inches apart on either side of the clay lump.
4. Roll the lump into a flat slab with a rolling pin.
5. Arrange the leaves and grasses on the slab, leaving plenty of room for a border around each tile.
6. Lay the sheet of waxed paper on top. Run the rolling pin over this to press the leaves into the clay.
7. Using a ruler, cut out the tiles with the knife.
8. Carefully lift each tile with a spatula and place it on cardboard covered with aluminum foil to dry.
9. As the leaves begin to dry, they will curl up and you can easily pick them off.
10. Allow clay to dry thoroughly. When dry, paint if you wish. You can glue a magnet to the back, or hang it on the wall (you might want to poke small holes in the clay before it dries if you want to hang up your tiles).