Leafy Linens

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This lovely fall project would make a beautiful decoration for a Thanksgiving table, or a perfect gift for school teachers around the holidays.

The first step (as with so many of our autumnal projects it seems!) was to bring home a few treasures from a walk in the park. Look for a variety of leaf shapes, ideally flat and still quite fresh and sturdy.

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Set out the leaves, along with a foam paint brush and fabric paint – don’t use tempera paint here, since the linens will go through the wash. I gave Travis a selection of seasonable colors, such as red, green, and gold. Use neutral-colored napkins if you plan these for a holiday table. We chose to make ours onto white handkerchiefs, which will make great table centerpieces or gifts.

Paint a leaf with a foam paintbrush, ensuring you have a nice, even layer.

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Place the leaf, paint side down, on the fabric, and roll over it with a brayer or old rolling pin. This new tool was Travis’s favorite part of the project, and he eagerly rolled over each leaf.

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Carefully lift up the leaf for the big reveal – neato!

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Repeat with different leaf shapes and colors until your fabric is filled.

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Towards the end, our prints got a bit messy as the brayer itself was coated in paint, so you may want to give yours a wash or two as your work. Travis didn’t mind though, and loved mixing our paint shades.

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We plan to give these to his preschool teachers as the holidays approach!

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