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Enjoy Extra Special Fall Leaves As Art! Mod Podge and Stretched Canvas Make It Simple!
Submitted by Pam on Mon, 09/16/2013 - 21:43
Finally!! A WIP completed and hanging on the wall! These very curious and uniquely beautiful fall leaves definitely deserve an extra special display!
Having never before found leaves with such peculiar patterns and lovely coloration, I just HAD to pick them from their tree and bring them home! Once I pressed and dried them for a few weeks, I sealed them in Mod Podge, which not only restored their gorgeous colors, but also their original leafy suppleness.
And then a period of casting about trying to find the perfect way to display them. Actually, I have been "casting about" for well over a year!
At some point this past winter, I stumbled on a great sale - packages of mini canvas stretched onto little wooden stretcher bars. They were available in several sizes and shapes. Perfect for displaying my leaves!!
Creating the little canvas "frames" is so easy and all that is needed - besides pretty pressed and dried leaves: Mod Podge (I prefer original formula in Matte finish), small size stretched canvas, and matte finish acrylic spray.
HOW TO MOUNT FALL LEAVES TO MINI-CANVAS "FRAMES"
NOTE: Pressed/dried leaves will keep for quite a long time - I have stored them successfully for a couple years between layers of newspaper. However, in the case of these leaves, once dried, I sealed them front and back in a layer of Mod Podge to reduce any chance of breakage.
If you decide to mount leaves onto stretched canvas, I recommend you seal them front and back with Mod Podge before mounting. Don't get in a hurry to get them on the wall!!! Letting them dry thoroughly - 48 hours is good. (At least 24 hours for each side.)
NOTE: If you purchase stretched canvas that has not been treated with a coat of gesso, it will be necessary to brush on a gesso coat and let it dry thoroughly before proceeding.
1. Play with canvas shapes and leaves until you create a pleasing grouping. (I like to make tiny marks with pencil as placement guides.)
2. Brush an even layer of Mod Podge over the entire surface of the canvas. I apply a fairly generous amount of Mod Podge - not too thin but not globs of it either. It is nice to retain the texture of the canvas. Press your leaves into the wet Mod Podge and once you are satisfied with the placement, use the brush to smooth out any little globs or lumps of product. Let dry overnight.
NOTE: Keep an eye on your leaves during the first few minutes of drying as occasionally an edge or tip will detach from the surface.
Press in place for a couple minutes using your finger or..
…the end of a paint brush.
3. Should your composition require that two stems intersect, cut one of them and place the cut ends on either side of the uncut stem so that your leaves and their stems are flat against the canvas.
4. Once the first layer of Mod Podge is completely dry (24 hours), apply a second coat covering the surface of the leaf and the entire top surface of the canvas. (It is not necessary to cover the edges of the canvas with Mod Podge unless you want to.) Let dry overnight.
5. Apply a second coat of Mod Podge, let dry 48 hours and then seal with Matte Acrylic Spray. (I like to seal the top surface AND the edges with acrylic spray - helps keep the edges clean!)
Hang and enjoy!
NOTE: I really wanted the detail of the patterns in this collection of leaves to stand out and therefore I choose to use stark white canvas. However, painting the canvas surface in a complimentary or related color before applying leaves would also create a lovely alternative.