Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Dirt: skeleton leaves

Have you ever made skeleton leaves? You can buy skeleton leaves in craft stores but I wanted to try making some.

I found several “how to” tutorials online. The first one is from Heather at The Other White House. Heather used laundry powder and states in her post that she tried various recipes and this one is the only one that worked.

The second tutorial I found on ehow. This tutorial uses baking soda and baking powder. It’s an alternative to using laundry powder which is caustic to skin and produces fumes.

I thought I’d try the baking soda and baking powder recipe first since I had those items on hand and it seemed safer.

Here are the directions via ehow:

1. Place a large pot filled with water on the stove and begin to heat it. Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of baking powder to each quart of water in the pan.
2.  Add all of your leaves and allow the water to boil. Then reduce the heat to have the water mixture simmer.
3. After about an hour, check your leaves. Some should be soft and mushy looking. Remove a few of these to begin to turn them into skeleton leaves.

I gathered camellia, ivy and geranium leaves and simmered them according to the directions. After an hour and a half the geranium leaves were a complete mush and not usable. The camellia leaves hadn’t softened a bit. The ivy leaves seemed ready and so I used a soft brush as directed and gently tried to sweep away the green flesh.

I ripped several leaves but managed to salvage these three. I didn’t get all the green flesh off these leaves. Even though they’re not perfect I still think they’re fascinating to look at.

I think I will try the laundry powder method next time.  I should have listened to Heather at The Other White House since she had tried several recipes. Live and learn…

This project is linked at the following: All Things Heart and Home Make it Yours @ My Backyard Eden NightOwlCrafting Anything Related  lil luna link party button    A Crafty Soiree Party Button Photobucket   Lovely Crafty Home    

And other link parties that I participate can be found here.


  1. They are absolutely amazing! Magical and so inspiring!
    PS: It's time to GIVEAWAY! Cromanticamente is ginving away a set of colorful and romantic hair-accessories! Come to see it, maybe you'll be the LUCKY winner!

    Check it out!

  2. I had no idea you could make these..fascinating!

  3. The already look cool!

    I tried some time ago also some recipes which didn't work at all... so I am curious to test the laundry powder method! Thanks for this tip! :)

  4. Stopping by from Saved By Loved Creations - love your blog. And this project looks super cool :)

    Now following!

    henry  happened

  5. have never ever heard of these.. so delicate!.

  6. I've never heard of these either, but they are SOOOO pretty! I've bookmarked and can't wait to make some! I just love how these look - like your own little science experiment!

  7. These are so delicate and lovely. Never saw them before this, but glad I did now!
    Thanks for sharing,
    Pieced Pastimes


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