Fun Wrapping Paper from Fall Foliage

Fall outdoor rituals are many during these lush months of color and cooler temps. You can celebrate the season and create new traditions right at your closest park or in your neighborhood. If the fall air beckons your family to get outside for a bike ride or a weekend walk, go for it. Observe the changing images around you, including the colorful leaves drifting and swirling in the breeze.

I can’t resist collecting, preserving, pressing, decorating and crafting with leaves. There are so many possibilities — including one of the simplest of crafts for any age: making crayon leaf rubbings on paper. Once you collect leaves, grab your supplies, get to rubbing and uncover designs you’ve never noticed before.

Here’s the stuff you’ll need:

• fresh leaves collected from the ground

• sturdy paper

• a variety of crayons in different colors

• colored pencils (optional)

Here’s the fun:

1. Lay a leaf on a smooth, clean work surface. Place paper over it and hold it down firmly so that it won’t move.

2. Take a crayon and rub it over the paper until the shape of the entire leaf is revealed. Discover the outline and skeleton of the leaf as the veins of the leaf protrude.

3. If you use a colored pencil, hold it at a slight angle, being careful not to press too hard so that it doesn’t go through the paper.

4. Make several different rubbings on one sheet. Vary with contrasting colors, if you wish. You might want to identify leaves by writing the name of their tree by each one.

5. Frame the rubbings, or use for book covers, gift wrap, gift tags and notecards.

TIP: Rub leaves from your garden, too. When the design of a small begonia leaf is revealed, your young child might say in amazement: “It looks like a seashell!” Parsley can look dainty and romantic, and what about arugula and kale?

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