Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Scented, Aged, Sheet Music Leaves Tutorial

Hello Friends!  Remember me?  I feel like I should apologize for being so absent from the blogging world lately!  I hope you'll forgive me!  Other things have taken priority and I am pretty sure most of you can relate!  Life is busy and every now and then something has to take the back burner!  I'm not about to give up on blogging though!  I've been working on a big project (big for me anyways!) and I am really looking forward to sharing it with you soon!  So stay tuned! 

The few rainy days we had here in the Northwest this last week put me in the mood to do a little crafting!  These aged sheet music leaves were simple to make.  I had all of the supplies on hand and I think they add a nice touch of Fall to my shop display!  They are just as charming made with book pages or computer printed images!  Just keep in mind that you'll probably need to use a laserjet printer if you're going to print your images.  Images from my inkjet printer run right off the paper when I get it wet.  I don't know much about printers...is that the printer or the cheap ink I buy?  Anyhow, I had a lot of sheet music on hand and I am liking how these turned out!  Here is how I made my pretty Fall sheet music leaves.
I started by tracing a leaf cookie cutter I had, but you can make a template with a computer image which would work just as well.  I found that I was able to cut through 5 sheets of paper at a time.
These sheet music leaves were far too crisp and white as is to work with the antique look I was going for, so I used the same aging technique I have used for lace, ribbon and doilies in the past.
I spread the leaves out in a shallow pan and poured the leftover coffee that had been sitting in the coffee pot over them.  Whether the coffee is hot or cold doesn't seem to make much of a difference.  Just be sure to have some tongs ready if you're working with hot coffee!  I let these soak for about 30 minutes or so, poking them down now and then when they start to surface.  I like to vary the length of time each batch soaks.  The longer the leaves sit in the coffee, the darker they will be.  Its nice to have a variety of different colored leaves to work with.  Next, I transferred them to a clean cookie sheet.  I have a couple of dollar store cookie sheets that I use solely for crafting.
Here is where I think it's important to know your oven.  Mine tends to run a little low in temp.  I preheat my oven to 200 degrees and stick the cookie sheet of coffee soaked leaves in for about 30 minutes.  This is where the leaves take on that almost-realistic curled, crispy texture and antique tea-stained look!
I love them paired with beautiful dried roses! Now, I bet you're thinking to yourself, "didn't she say these leaves were scented?"  Well, yeah...they smell like an old musty pot of coffee!  But that's not the scent I was hoping for.  When all was said and done, I lightly spritzed my leaves with a wonderful caramel praline scented room spray, then let them air dry a bit more.  A word to the wise...do not spray the leaves before putting them into the oven unless you want the smell to be so strong in your house that your eyes water and your lungs close up!  Yes, I am speaking from experience.  I was concerned about the spray being flammable but didn't see where it said it was on the bottle, so I went ahead and spritzed the leaves prior to drying in the oven.  Not such a great idea!  I don't recommend it!

These pretty paper leaves would be lovely strung together to make a garland, added to a Fall wreath, or simply scattered around to add a special touch to a table scape.  Get creative and have fun!
Don't you just love these big old glass salt and pepper shakers with their rusty tops?  I snatched them right up at a recent yard sale, took them home, cleaned them up (just a bit) and filled them with my dried Eden and Bonica roses.  They were added to my shop display this week along with many other special treasures.  I quickly set out a few items for a photo before I loaded them into my truck.  I wish I could get good pics of my actual shop display to share with you but the lighting just isn't ideal.
Thank you for your sweet visit today!  I hope you're enjoying these last couple "official" days of the summer season and looking forward to a cozy Fall!  I know I am!  I will actually be flying to salt Lake City for a few days to visit a very dear friend and her family this weekend!  I can't remember the last time I flew anywhere...pre-kiddos, I guess!  Besides some good, quality girl time, I am looking forward to the opportunity to sit on a plane and catch up on some of my favorite magazines!  There seems to be so little time for browsing through magazines these days!  I might pack the new Pottery Barn catalog that came in the mail today too!  Inspiration galore!  Happy days to you, my friends!

Best Wishes and Blessings,
 sharing with these fun parties:
White Wednesday at Faded Charm
Wow us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
Open House Party at No Minimalist Here
Craft Link Party at Polly Want a Crafter?