This is a technique I saw posted on YouTube by Debbie Henderson. I just loved the idea and decided to give it a try. I went outside and picked up a bunch of maple leaves of various colors that had fallen from the tree in front of my house. I placed them on Stampin’ Up’s Fluid 100 watercolor paper and ran it through my Stampin’ Cut & Emboss machine (with a little extra shim). The color from the leaves transferred to the watercolor paper.

There are two key elements to this technique. First, you need to use watercolor paper because it’s absorbent. Second, the leaves you use cannot be either too wet or too dry.

I tried using some fresh red leaves that I pulled from a shrub in my yard but when I ran it through the Stampin’ Cut & Emboss machine onto the watercolor paper, they contained too much moisture which leached out all over the paper and made a mess. On the other hand, a leaf that is too dry won’t have enough moisture to transfer much color to the paper. So, if a leaf looks dry and is curling at the edges, don’t use it. But if you see a leaf on the ground that still looks smooth and supple, it will likely work.

One other thing I noticed while doing this technique was that even though some of the leaves had vibrant colors, the colors didn’t all transfer, and I ended up with more of a light green image. It’s possible those leaves were drier than I realized. However, the images were still beautiful and the detail of the leaf came through vividly.

I made several cards using this technique and found the cardstock colors that coordinate best with the leaf colors are Old Olive, Blackberry Bliss, Rich Razzleberry, Merry Merlot and Cherry Cobbler. For a leaf that I picked up that had a lot of yellow and brown in it, I used So Saffron and Early Espresso. But, you can play around with cardstock colors that match the color of the leaves in your area.

Here is a photo of additional cards I made using this technique.

Card measurements:

  • Card base: 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ – score at 4 1/4″
  • Card layer 5 1/4″ x 4″
  • Fluid 100 Watercolor paper
    • This paper comes in 5 x 7 sheets.
    • Cut the 5″ side at 4 3/4″
    • Cut the 7″ at 3 1/2″ (which is exactly in half)
    • You now have two pieces that you can use for two different cards


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