This is a unique challenge blog where we are inspired by and focus on the Vintage; shabby; mixed-media; art journaling; industrial, timeworn and steampunk genres and encompass the talent, flair, expertise and ideas of many artists that we are inspired by. We welcome all types of projects - cards, journaling, assemblage, layouts, albums, atcs, altered art in fact whatever you want to share (as long as it is in good taste).

Monday 22 September 2014

Destination Inspiration - Shabby autumnal leaves

Welcome to another Destination Inspiration post at A Vintage Journey. I have a step-by-step for you today which is linked to my post on Bumblebees and Butterflies last Friday introducing Astrid’s new challenge ‘Colours of Autumn’. I made a mixed media canvas with a pumpkin and leaves theme and while playing with the leaves I tried to show the veins that stand out so prominently at this time of year.

This photo of the canvas shows the light shine through it from the back, I just like the take, but do you think the leaves look realistic enough?
I found a wonderful photo on the internet as inspiration and to keep me focussed.
Autumn leaves
I began by die cutting a selection of tattered leaves in fairly thick card and then, here’s the tip, with a sharp knife cut the veins into the surface before you do anything else. Carefully ‘open’ the veins by bending the card in different directions along the lines.
Next use a distress marker or a very fine brush and a mix of black and walnut distress ink, spritzed very lightly with water, and lightly draw or paint over the cut lines to make the veins show up.
The next stage is misting the leaf with water, here you can see the ink beginning to disperse a bit.
Then scrunch the leaf up to break the fibres down and gently unfold it.
Next mix a couple of stains on your craft mat and spritz with water.
Now dip the damp leaf into the colours
I also had some walnut stain on my mat and I rubbed the leaf into that too. When you are happy with the colours, leave them to dry.
If you find that your veins disappear somewhat …..
… take a black distress marker and re-mark the lines …….
……  and spritz with water …..
Here is another example where the lines faded with heat drying, so out came the marker again ….
another spritz of water ……
…. and watch the ink spread out through the veins and the leaf.
Watch out for the heat drying though as it can make your leaves look more faded.
I also sprayed Biscotti perfect pearls on one leaf and it looks very wintry, perfect for later in the year.
Well I hope this helps for any autumn projects that you are intending to make with leaves.

Have fun and thanks for looking.

hugs Brenda xxxxx


  1. Wow! The leaves really look "real" ! Thanks for sharing the procedure.

  2. Beautiful canvas Brenda. Such lovely autumn colours too. Love the tutorial and must give it a try. Hugs Rita xxxxx

  3. Many thanks for your tips and tutorial, the leaves have a very really natural look, beautiful!

  4. Beautiful great technique with the leaves.
    Amanda x

  5. What a superb tutorial Brenda. You've made those leaves look so lifelike. MUST try this out. Jenny x

  6. Brilliant tutorial Brenda and the finished leaves look fantastic! The really look so real, love them!

  7. The finished canvas is stunning Brenda and yes, the leaves do look VERY realistic. Thanks for the excellent tutorial! Anne x

  8. Great tutorial you amazing leaves
    HUgs Annie x

  9. These leaves are simply beautiful Brenda - so real looking, Thanks for sharing all the details with us. Great tutorial!

  10. Oh Brenda, this canvas is a favorite of mine and so gorgeous! Thank you so much for sharing the process for creating those amazing leaves! I never thought to cut in the veins and that makes such great since compared to folding them at angles! Love this and will give it a try! Hugs!

  11. Brenda the canvas is fabulous, but those leaves look stunning! Thank you for the step by step details - a great tutorial and I shall certainly be giving this a go!

  12. Fab step by step....I shall bookmark this, thanks so much xx

  13. Excellent idea Brenda! Thank you for showing how to do this in such detail x

  14. Scrumptious leaves, so realistic
    Thank you for the tutorial

    Jools x

  15. Brilliant technique and clear tutorial Brenda. Thanks for taking the time to show us how.

    Lesley Xx

  16. Stunning! and brilliant technique- thanks for sharing!

  17. gorgeous project and the leaves are stunning! gorgeous x

  18. Great look! Brilliant effects! X

  19. Gorgeous, Brenda!! Your leaves look like the ones I'm going to be raking up in a matter of weeks :) :) I'm glad those ones are on your canvas :) Beautiful creation!! XOXO-Shari T.

  20. Brenda -- your leaves are incredible. Definitely bookmarking this ... gotta try making my own. Seriously amazing -- Mary Elizabeth

  21. Thank you for a great tutorial Brenda , I must get the die!

  22. How very clever Brenda, thanks for sharing that technique x