Make A Skeleton Leaf for your Altered Book


A skeleton leaf is a "bare bones" leaf in which you have removed the leaf part and only the skeleton remains.

You can purchase artificial skeleton leaves in craft shops or online. They are convenient, sometimes economically priced, sturdy, and, I suppose, archivally safe. Sometimes you can purchase genuine skeleton leaves -- which are more expensive, not very sturdy and definitely not archival quality.

However, you can make your own skeleton leaves easily, and there are a couple of advantages to doing so. First, the price is right. It costs next to nothing to make your own skeleton leaf. Secondly, you can choose from a variety of leaves and color them any color you want.

Here are the instructions for making your own leaf:

  1. Select a fallen leaf. The sturdier the leaf, the better your results will be. Maple leaves are good bets for beginners, if any grow in your area.
  2. Clean the leaf, then soak it in a strong bleach solution until it turns white. Be careful not to get the bleach on your skin.
  3. Remove leaf from bleach. Rinse gently.
  4. Remove soft material by nudging carefullly with a stiff paint brush.
  5. If desired, dip the skeleton leaf in food coloring or other coloring material. Allow it to dry before using it in an altered book or other craft project.

It's a good idea to enclose the leaf in cold laminate before using in your altered book.

This WikiHOW web page contains instructions for making a skeleton leaf from a dried leaf. I have never tried this so I cannot say how it turns out.

Return to Altered Book Home Page when finished reading.