I brought my kids outside to play before it’s just too cold to get out much and they had a great time playing in the leaves. I sat in the grass and admired the leaves around me, but as usual, I couldn’t sit still for long. I grabbed a couple of pretty leaves and started playing around with them. Pretty soon I had this:
I posted a picture of it to Facebook and everyone seemed to like it, so I decided to make another one today along with a bit of a tutorial. These would make a great Thanksgiving centerpiece, even after the leaves have dried out.
First, gather some leaves. Shake them out if you are bringing them inside or you might have a random spider running around your house like I do. For this one, I grabbed a mixture of yellow maple and some smaller red maple leaves. (I tried this with the beautiful Japanese maple leaves, but they were just so small and difficult to work with).
I started with some of the smaller, red leaves. Fold the ends of one leaf over and then carefully roll it up to form the center of the rose.
While still holding the rolled up leaf, fold another leaf the same way and wrap it around your first leaf. The trickiest part of this is holding onto your rosebud while folding and wrapping your next leaf, but don’t worry, you can do it! I have faith in you!
Keep adding leaves in this manner, one at a time to form a rosebud. I did about 4 small red leaves before switching to yellow. You can decide if you want to do different colors or all one color based on what leaves you can find.
As your rose gets larger, you may want to let some of the ends of the leaves stay up rather than getting them all folded over. I like the look of this because it has a kind of wild beauty that I like. Don’t worry about making it perfect. It may look kind of funky at this point. Trust me, it will get better.
I randomly added a few of the red leaves here and there, just to keep it interesting. Again, you can arrange them however you see fit.
As your flower starts getting larger, you can start wrapping some unfolded leaves around it. Just alternate the directions they are facing. It will make it look more interesting than if you try to keep it all uniform.
When you feel like your rose is as large as you want it, grab a piece of florist tape a few inches long. Wrap it kind of high up on the base of your rose, just above where you’ve been holding it. Secure that piece so your rose won’t fall apart, then take your roll of florist tape and start wrapping your way down the stems of your leaves. You can also add a twig here if you want a longer, sturdier stem.
Once your rose is stem is covered, you can start to arrange your rose petals a little more. Remember where I said you don’t need to worry if it looks a little funky? This is where you get to fix it! Pull some ends out. Tuck some under. If it’s looking too perfect and flat just rough it up a bit. You’ll end up with something like this.
You can leave these as is and just let them dry out, or try spraying some hairspray or something on them to preserve them a little better. I kind of like the dried look. Here’s what the one I did yesterday looks like now that it’s dried out a bit.
So, there you have it! An easy little centerpiece project to work on before all the leaves are blown away in the storm!
~William Martin, The Parent’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents]]>