Leaf Rubbings

22 04 2008

Funny story. I, of course, stopped reading blogs for a few days. When I did start reading them again there were so many posts I mainly just skimmed and looked at pictures. One by Jean at the Artful Parent caught my eye and reminded me that I’ve been wanting to do leaf rubbings with Seth for quite some time. Had I actually read her post I might have held off. But as it was I just saw the images and it was a sunny day in a location that actually had a lot foliage unlike Minnesota right now. I tried to get Seth to collect leaves with me but he ended up falling in the lake. Don’t ask. Half an hour later I tried again but all Seth was interested in was tossing stones in the very same lake. Fine, I gathered some foliage myself, including a plaster impression of a large leaf one of my parents had made. Recognizing that Seth needs to do art on his time schedule not mine, I simply waited. Luckily things turned and he decided to join me. I think it was actually the plaster leaf that peaked his interest the most. Whether it was because Seth is a year older than Maia, the plaster leaf or that we found cool large flat rectangular crayons the project worked pretty well for us. I can see this working even better for ages 5 and up. He did request a bit of help as he tired out quickly from rubbing large images so I’d say the younger the smaller the leaf should be and sticking to just one at a time would be good as well. The large flat crayons helped with motor control and covering large surfaces more easily. Maybe use some little soap molds to make melted crayon blocks? The older the child the more complex you can get – imagine arranging leaves into the shape of a person or landscape and doing the rubbing.

When all was said and done we had 4 lovely pages and Seth wanted to make a book out of them. When he’s in the mood I’m not about to stop him so I quickly came up with a plan and grabbed a glue stick. Here’s the skinny:

Using all same size papers, these are 8 1/2 x 11 text weight, fold each page in half and one extra for the cover.

Arrange, glue and press each “signature” into place.

No encouragement needed here. Lead a cheering section to help keep on task.

You should now have a stack of glued together, folded little pieces of art. 4 sheets worked well but you could probably go up to about 6. More than that would be too thick for the cover. Glue the stack to the inside of the folded cover sheet. Front to left half, back to the right half.

Stack of glued sheets Setting into the cover

After a little more pressing, you’ve got a completed book! Let the child decorate the cover or title it. Don’t forget to put his or her name and the date on the backside.

Completed book

The next day before we left the grandparents house I suggested to Seth that he give the book to his grandma or grandpa. Normally, he likes this idea. This time he hugged it to his chest and emphatically stated “no! it’s mine!”. I guess he liked the project. Sometimes it’s good to simply be inspired by images and go with the flow instead of always reading the “how-to”.




3 responses

22 04 2008

i loved to do these rubbings as a child! thanks for the reminder…and making it into a book sounds like the perfect little project

22 04 2008
painted fish studio

what a great project. i just love reading about what you do with seth!

23 04 2008
Anne Margaret

Thanks for the Lookie Loo comment over at TenTen. I’ve seen those bean bag versions and LOVE them! I’m thinking a little polar fleece and a remnant of vinyl from the fabric shop (like my grandmother used to use on upholstry!) and you’d be good to go!

I really love this book of leaf rubbings. We have been poking through the How to Make a Book book and it has made my head spin from the posibilities! Fun little people are the perfect foil for adult crafting!

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