How to Make Skeleton Leaves

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Leaves are naturally beautiful, but they don't last for very long away from the tree. Luckily, skeleton leaves - leaves that have been reduced to their framework of veins - can help to adorn your house with both the beauty of nature's creations, and the charm of a little bit of craftiness.

Things You'll Need

  • Leaves
  • Sodium carbonate
  • Tooth/paint brush
  • Clean the leaves throughly, to remove any dirt or debris. Press some leaves between the pages or covers of two large books - telephone books, catalogues, etc. Put the books in an out-of-the-way location, and let the leaves sit, undisturbed, for several weeks.

  • Carefully remove the leaves, and place them into a bowl of sodium carbonate (also known as washing soda, or soda ash).

  • Let the leaves sit in the washing soda, until the flesh of the leaves turns loose and pulpy.

  • Remove the leaves, and rinse them carefully in cold water, to rid them of the washing soda.

  • Gently, brush away the pulp with a toothbrush or paint brush, until only the veins remain. This is your 'skeleton leaf.' Blot the leaves dry with a paper towel.

Tips & Warnings

  • Washing soda is most commonly available in the laundry aisle of your local store, and also at pool supply stores. Alternatively, you can simply let the leaves sit in the sun in a dish of water. The pulp of leaves will decompose naturally, but more slowly than with washing soda.
  • Washing soda has a pH of 11, and is quite caustic. Handle it carefully, and wear gloves.

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