Waxed paper stained glass leaf art -- fun for kids!

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Autumn is beautiful here in northern Minnesota --

and with it comes a simple but fun kids' project:

Waxed paper "stained glass" leaf art!

We made these when I was a kid (O, so long ago!) and they are still fun today. 

You will need:

                  1. Autumn leaves
                  2. waxed paper
                  3. Ironing board and iron
                  4. clear tape
                  5. a piece of cardboard to carry work to ironing board when ready
                  6. a window to hang the finished product

Collect the leaves: 

First, you go on a walk with your kids, find nicely-colored autumn leaves, and bring them home. They do not have to be completely dried.  Freshly-fallen leaves are flatter and have better colors, too.   When you get the leaves home, remove the stems so they lie flatter.

Arrange the leaves to create the art: 

Give each child a piece of waxed paper about as long as the box is wide.  Put it on the table SHINY SIDE UP!  This is important!  The shiny side has the wax, which will bond with the top sheet later.   If it doesn't lie flat, you can "reverse roll" it to flatten it, or tape the corners down.

Have the kids arrange their leaves however they want on the paper.  If you put the leaves face down, they seem to stay in place better.   The kids can also use a small piece of clear tape to hold them in place.  Meanwhile you, the adult(s), should set up the iron and heat it up -- the "cotton" setting should be about right. 

Iron the waxed paper together: 

When a child has their arrangement ready, you put a second piece of waxed paper on top, same size, SHINY SIDE DOWN.  Carefully slide the cardboard under the two sheets to carry the artwork to the ironing board.  Then slide the cardboard out and iron the waxed paper.  (For younger children, do it yourself.  Older children can do it with supervision.)  The waxed sides should melt together.  WARNING!  The newly-ironed artwork is HOT!  Let it cool for a minute or two before touching it.

Display your creations!

Have the children tape these to a window.  The light shining through will look like stained glass.  (The pic below shows two my grandson made in 2008.)  Unplug the iron when through, and put it someplace safe to cool.  You now have some nice Autumn decorations! 





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