Workspace Wednesday – Autumn Leaf Art

Workspace Wednesday at www.elistonbutton.com - Eliston Button - That Crafty Kid

Hello there lovely Buttoneers! If you are a regular reader of the blog or if you follow me on Instagram or even on Pinterest, you will know by now how much I love Autumn…

I love the colours of Autumn, the warm golds, the rusty oranges, the breathtaking browns, the sun dipped yellows….pure perfection!

So, naturally, on my workspace today it is full blown autumn – I’m not even kidding – you should see the mess! I started playing around with the leaves and wondered how I could make them full of arty/crafty goodness…and voilà! An idea was born…

Workspace Wednesday - Autumn Leaf Art - Workspace Wednesday - Autumn Leaf Art at www.elistonbutton.com - Eliston Button - That Crafty Kid – Art, Design, Craft & Adventure.

I started by gathering my leaves – this is the fun part! I love walking through the crispy, crunchy explosion of colour at this time of year and was really happy to collect it all up and bring them home with me. 

Autumn Leaves - Workspace Wednesday - Autumn Leaf Art at www.elistonbutton.com - Eliston Button - That Crafty Kid – Art, Design, Craft & Adventure.

I grabbed my white Gelly Roll Sakura Gel Pen (Any white gel pen would work but, these are my favourite and really hold their colour and have a great ink flow) and started doodling on the leaves.

I love, love, love the contrast of the crisp white against the auburn reddish-browns and they were so silky smooth to draw on to.

Drawing on Autumn Leaves with White Ink - Workspace Wednesday - Autumn Leaf Art at www.elistonbutton.com - Eliston Button - That Crafty Kid – Art, Design, Craft & Adventure.

I played around with different patterns, not worrying too much whether the lines were straight or perfect or whether they kept within the lines. Again, regular readers will know how amazing this is for me as a total perfectionist! It was actually really freeing, I felt calm and relaxed and let my hand swish away along the lines and create beautiful imperfect patterns. I found this looked so much better than if I was too rigid with my illustrations. 

The natural curves and edges rolled over the natural veins of the leaves and gave a really organic feel to each design.

White Leaf Veins - Autumn Leaf Art - Workspace Wednesday - Autumn Leaf Art at www.elistonbutton.com - Eliston Button - That Crafty Kid – Art, Design, Craft & Adventure.

These feathery looking patterns were one of my favourites as the white hand-drawn lines contrast beautifully against the brown leaf, creating a painted effect – I had to show my fiancé the original leaves because he thought I had painted the photograph below – I wish I was that good! 🙂

Feather Leaves - Workspace Wednesday - Autumn Leaf Art at www.elistonbutton.com - Eliston Button - That Crafty Kid – Art, Design, Craft & Adventure.

Illustrations on Leaves - Workspace Wednesday - Autumn Leaf Art at www.elistonbutton.com - Eliston Button - That Crafty Kid – Art, Design, Craft & Adventure.

I got seriously carried away creating different patterns and designs. One idea led to another and the inspiration and creativity flowed – Seriously…can I do this for a living please!? I love the Aztec inspired designs so much but there is something really beautiful about the simplicity of the original idea, where I followed the natural lines of the leafs veins with the gel ink pen. 

Illustrations on Leaves Close Up - Workspace Wednesday - Autumn Leaf Art at www.elistonbutton.com - Eliston Button - That Crafty Kid – Art, Design, Craft & Adventure.

Aztec Inspired Leaf Illustration - Workspace Wednesday - Autumn Leaf Art at www.elistonbutton.com - Eliston Button - That Crafty Kid – Art, Design, Craft & Adventure.

Large Illustrated Autumn Leaves - Workspace Wednesday - Autumn Leaf Art at www.elistonbutton.com - Eliston Button - That Crafty Kid – Art, Design, Craft & Adventure.

I then played around with paper punches (and prayed like hell that weren’t going to mangle up inside my paper punches!)

I bought this little frog punch when I was last in France and I love his intricate little feet!

They punched out really well (Word of Advice: make sure that the leaf is really dry and crispy before punching to keep your paper punch clean and mush free!) and I was super pleased with the outcome…

Little Frogs Punched out of Autumn Leaves - Workspace Wednesday - Autumn Leaf Art at www.elistonbutton.com - Eliston Button - That Crafty Kid – Art, Design, Craft & Adventure.

…I don’t know which I love more, the cut out outlines or the little leafy frogs themselves! So adorable! 

Little Leaf Frogs - Workspace Wednesday - Autumn Leaf Art at www.elistonbutton.com - Eliston Button - That Crafty Kid – Art, Design, Craft & Adventure.

Of course I just had to try buttons! I used my beloved Martha Stewart button paper punch and embosser and it worked a delight! As I mentioned before, make sure the leaves are crispy and dry for the best results as well as a mush-free paper punch. The embossing part around the edge of the button came out really well but the whole finished leaf button worked a lot better on the dryer leaf.

I just love the leaf vein texture on the light brown one – I wish they were less fragile, imagine the possibilities!

Punched Buttons out of Autumn Leaves - Workspace Wednesday – Autumn Leaf Art at www.elistonbutton.com - Eliston Button - That Crafty Kid

Punched Buttons out of Autumn Leaves - Workspace Wednesday - Autumn Leaf Art at www.elistonbutton.com - Eliston Button - That Crafty Kid – Art, Design, Craft & Adventure.

Voilà! Super easy and beautifully eye-catching mini pieces of autumn art for your home! So easy in fact, that anyone of any age could have a go and it is an extremely inexpensive way of having a play and decorating your home! There really is no right or wrong – even if you say you aren’t creative (I’m looking at my sister on this one!)

I truly believe that everyone has the ability to be creative if you just give it a go – you may even surprise yourself!

Illustrated Leaves amongst Natural Autumn Leaves - Workspace Wednesday - Autumn Leaf Art at www.elistonbutton.com - Eliston Button - That Crafty Kid – Art, Design, Craft & Adventure.

Illustrated Autumn Leaves Close Up - Workspace Wednesday - Autumn Leaf Art at www.elistonbutton.com - Eliston Button - That Crafty Kid – Art, Design, Craft & Adventure.

I had so much fun playing around creating Autumn leaf art and I am so in love with the outcomes. There are so many things you could do to decorate your house for the season with these gorgeous colours and designs but I have a lovely idea that I promise to share with you next week so keep your eyes peeled and get collecting leaves and illustrating your designs! 

Have you had a go at autumn leaf art before? Have you braved the paper punches on those crispy leaves? Do you decorate your house for the Autumn season? I would love to hear all about it! 

Meet me for a chat with a cup of tea in the comments below. I’ll click the kettle on!

14 Comments

  1. 15th November 2019 / 3:02 pm

    Love these leaves. What size gel pen did you use?

    • Eliston Button
      Author
      21st November 2019 / 12:06 pm

      Hi there, I use a Gelly Roll 08 gel pen!
      Have fun xx

  2. Carol
    29th November 2019 / 3:06 pm

    I love this so much. I live in Texas, so our fall leaves are few. I found some Pin Oak trees while shopping. I know people thought I was a crazy lady, chasing leaves around the parking lot. We had an early cold snap, so we had some color on our trees. You have opened a whole new world fir me. Thank you

    • Eliston Button
      Author
      4th December 2019 / 1:36 pm

      Aww! This is so lovely to hear, thank you so much. Autumn leaves are definitely a gorgeous canvas to illustrate! I’d love to see what you create – If you are on Instagram be sure to stop by and show me!

  3. georgene scott
    15th May 2020 / 3:27 am

    I have started to play with leaves…painting them that is. I also collect seed pods and paint on them. This is spring time, so no lovely fall leaves, so have to check for dry leaves in the woods. So many of them are not in very good shape since they have been laying around for some time. Have tired a few methods to keep them from crunching away as I paint. Do u use anything for preservation. I have been using a combinaton of coloring tools…white gel pen, markers, acrylic paint.. Have found that Photinia leaves (spring brings out new growth of red leaves) are quite sturdy and carry paint well.

    Any tricks u might want to share?

    • Eliston Button
      Author
      15th May 2020 / 2:53 pm

      Hi there, I am so happy you are trying out the leaf art! It’s so much fun isn’t it!
      I love the idea of paint seed pods too – I bet they look beautiful!
      I personally try to collect various different leaves to trial and error the process on. This way you get to know the different textures and how well they preserve in the creative process too!
      As far as the leaves not crunching, I’m not too sure but it’s fun to be as delicate as possible to try to complete a leaf! 🍂

  4. 2nd August 2020 / 9:23 pm

    I love the way you use nature in your art. I think it is a great idea which I would love to try. My question is: you mention that you collect the leaves when dry. How do you prevent them from crumbling either during or after zentangling? also, if the leaves are not completely dry how do you stop mold from developing? Thank you .

    • Eliston Button
      Author
      4th August 2020 / 11:06 am

      Hello! Thank you so much for stopping by! I’m so thrilled you love the autumn leaf art and hopefully I can answer your questions! With the leaves and the possibility of crumbling, I always try to choose leaves with an already flat canvas to work with which automatically reduces the risk of breakage and crumbling. A few will have crumbled along the way but I find that half the fun! I really love the non-permanent nature of the leaf canvas and love to watch the progression of the leaf over time and see the art perhaps change alongside it. A bit like an ever changing canvas!
      As for the decay, I always choose leaves that are completely dried out to ensure that they don’t decompose this way. A damp canvas wouldn’t be as effective to draw on either compared to a crisp one. If you take a look at my Autumn leaf mobile tutorial you will see a more ‘permanent’ way of displaying the leaves too! I had mine for a few years and only got rid of it because it wouldn’t have survived a house move!
      Hope this helps and feel free to ask more questions if you have them!
      I’d love to see your creations too when you have a go! Enjoy!
      Love Rachel x

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