Introduction: Maple Leaf Roses

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I saw a picture of these and wanted to make them as cute gifts for the fall season. They are simple to make and are virtually free! All you need is a good source for leaves and some masking tape.

Step 1: Gathering the Leaves

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Fall is an excellent time to go out and marvel at all the colours! You will need to collect many different leaves for this project. Maple leaves are ideal for this project as the leaves can be any colour, any size, and are broad enough to create the rose petals (as you will see in another step). If you do not have maple leaves in your area, any wide leaf should work.

The leaves that you will want to collect will have to be "fresh off the tree" . If the leaf is too dry, it won't work. The leaf will be brittle and break when bent. Also you want to have the leaf free from debris, and black spots. The leaf becomes brittle with the black spots (which I am told is a disease). Bug holes are ok. You can either pick some off the tree, or from the ground as long as the leaf is still flexible. Gather many sizes and colours. Even green ones!

Step 2: Sort by Size

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Once you have collected a sufficient amount of leaves, (approximately 20 or so) sort your leaves by size. Smaller leaves will be used for the inner petals and gradually use larger leaves for the outer petals. Reserve a few "nicer" leaves for the outside of bouquet.

Step 3: Forming the Inner "petal"

Picture of Forming the Inner "petal"

Now we can start forming the roses from inner petals out. Take one of your smaller leaves and gently bend it in half horizontally. Do not make a crease. If done correctly, the leaf will want to spring back from the bend. If your leaf snaps at the bend, your leaf is too dry.

Gently take the ends of the leaf and fold them loosely toward the centre. If done correctly, it would look like a budded leaf.

Step 4: Next Petal

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Loosely fold a slightly larger leaf in half horizontally. Place the first rose petal / bud in the middle of the folded leaf. Gently wrap each end around the initial bud. Create a "V" (as seen in photo 6) with the overlapped leaf ends.

Step 5: And Another

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Take another leaf (again slightly larger than the previous leaf used) and wrap as outlined in the previous step.

Step 6: Taping the Rose

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Once you have added 4 or 5 leaves and the largest leaf you have would be too small for another petal, tape off the rose. Rip off small pieces of tape (I pre - ripped mine as it makes life easier) and tape around the base of the rose.

If you don't like the look of the tape, you can try wire. A word of caution, I had in initially used wire, but you risk the wire digging into the leaf and ripping it at the base. It doesn't hold the rose shape as tightly.

Step 7: Rinse and Repeat

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Repeat the previous steps until have many roses (or run out of leaves). Keep in mind to have at least 4 leaves per rose.

Step 8: Forming Bouquet

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Tape all your roses together to create a bouquet.

Step 9: Adding Outer Leaves

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Tape on the reserved outer leaves to the bouquet. You can use as many as you'd like.

Step 10: Preservation

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As with all dried leaves, they will dry out and become brittle. If handled gently, you can have these last for many years. They will fade in colour. If you want to keep your roses for a while here are some tips for preservation.

As the outer leaves dry, they tend to curl upwards. Place a heavy object on the outer leaves so they will dry flat.

If you want to preserve the colour a little bit you can dip the roses in paraffin wax. The leaves will have a waxy shine. You can also use a clear coat spray to spray the leaves. No matter what method you use, the leaves will become brittle.

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Bio: I like to try anything once and dabble in a bit of everything.
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