I wanted to make a fairy light out of a mason jar and put in leaves for a woodland-ish sort of feel. Thanks to Instructables, we received a shipment of Dremel tools for a Dremel Build Night at the Rabbit Hole Hackerspace and decided this would be a great time to experiment with making leaves!
Tools for Leaves only:
Dremel Rotary Tool with sanding bit
Scrap pieces of thin wood
Items for Fairy Light:
Large Mason Jar
String of Fairy Lights (easily bought on Amazon/Ebay)
Step 1: Cut Out the Shape of a Leaf
Using the bandsaw, I cut out basic leaf shapes. I didn't use any particular pattern, just whatever I thought a leaf should look like. I then used the Dremel to sand the edges of the leaf.
Step 2: Start the Leaf Shaping
With the Dremel sanding bit, I experimented with both creating more definition with the veins of the leaf and the leaf itself. I found that it looked more dramatic to do the leaf "meat" rather than the veins. So that's what I did!
Step 3: Shape the Other Side!
So once I had one side done, I did the other side, but wanted to add a bit more definition, so I alternated where the leaf "meat" was defined. In the second picture, you can see that focusing on that caused the leaf to look rippled, much like leaves are in the fall.
Step 4: Make a Whole Bunch of Them
The process is pretty zen, just cut out shapes, sand, repeat! Different woods make different colored leaves. Oak tends to give a reddish color, Poplar tends to do greenish/purples, and Maple tends to do paler colors. It becomes a very nice pastel smattering of fall-colored leaves.
Step 5: Add Finesse
After having made quite a few leaves, I learned how to add a little finesse to the leaves. For vein branching, when sanding, towards the end of the vein, I rotated the sanding bit anywhere from 45-90 degrees off the angle of the main leaf vein I had been shaping.
You can see the result best in the second picture!
Step 6: Make the Light!
So I bought a single string of fairy lights which I like better than normal Christmas lights and stuffed them haphazardly into the mason jar. I then put the leaves randomly around and among the fairy lights. Voila! Super easy and it looks beautiful!