If you have access to the great outdoors, you can make simply fabulous natural note cards. Maybe you have your eyes open to what you can collect from nature, as I do. Spring or fall, you can gather them right in your own backyards or in the park or a common space nearby.
Tiny ‘baby’ leaves come round only once a year in the spring. And autumn holds a spectacular range of hues and colors for collecting as the show reaches its height. If you have the occasional passion to create special natural note cards and arrangements, you can gather enough for a whole year of ideas.
The hunting and gathering is half the fun. Fresh air, sounds of birds, rustling leaves underfoot. It is a memorable way to teach your children leaf, bark, and tree identification and observation skills, as well. Choose varied colors and textures.
Drying usually preserves the color very well if kept out of direct sunlight. The ‘helicopters’ on the left will end up green and red, where as the ones on the card below were all red when I picked them last year.
DIY Sumptuous Note Cards
You will need blank stationary cards and matching envelopes for your note cards- or make your own with pretty scrapbook papers. We had some stationary left overs from years ago, so I am recycling them through time. The cards here are 3 1/2″ x 5″, but use whatever you have.
Regular tissues work great to absorb the moisture of pressing and keep your good books from wrinkling. Alternately, no tissue is needed if you carefully tuck your treasures between the absorbent, non-slick pages of an old phone book, making sure the leaves or flowers are flat and mostly not touching.
It is really not necessary to buy a press – a heavy stack of books on top of it all for weight will do. Tissues and lots of weight makes the flattest leaves for card-making.
After some weeks, you will want to open the books carefully as the leaves will be light-weight and somewhat brittle when they have dried. A sneeze might send them flying…
In our homeschool days with young children, we used bigger leaves – they are much easier and more confidence-building for little hands to handle.
There are so many ways to discourage a child and expecting perfection takes joy out of the adventure of creating. I tried to program our children on these kinds of projects with the approach, “Next time we do this, we’ll know better what and what not to do – this is a practice session!” They were happy to try their best and had fun creating.
It is also a perfect opportunity to make an album of leaves (and trees) from your area.
A non-toxic, non-yellowing white glue is my usual adhesive for leaves, but there are others, so check around and experiment.
For more delicate note cards, a toothpick (to apply glue) or fine tweezers (to grasp stems) may come in handy. Use clean hands. Add your favorite Scripture or quote in pen or pencil. For the text, I used a pencil for a hand-made, vintage look. Sometimes, the more simple, the better, show-casing God’s incredible details we so easily miss!
Personal hand-written note cards are a perfectly beautiful and sentimental token of your affection. Write someone you love today!
The little ‘helicopter blades’ or whirligigs of the red maple tree
“I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.” ~George Washington Carver
“God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars.” ~Author unknown, commonly attributed to Martin Luther
Happy collections! Happy creating!
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