Turn fallen elm leaves into a few creative crafts. In the fall, collect a few leaves and dry them by pressing them between the pages of a heavy book, such as an encyclopedia, to use them for crafts later. While elm leaves have a lovely shape and pretty ridges, you can substitute any type of tree leaf you come across in these crafts. If you have a child in your life, inspire her creativity by making a few crafts with her.
Use a fresh elm leaf as a stamp and print a lovely pattern across a canvas tote bag. Squirt a small amount of fabric paint onto a paper plate. Press the leaf onto the paint, textured side down. Use the leaf like a stamp and press onto the front of the tote bag. Make a lovely sun-like picture by pressing the leaf on the bag several times to make a circle. If you do not have a tote bag, make fall-themed t-shirts by pressing the leaves onto plain shirts. Embellish the craft further by adding words written with fabric paint. You can also use the leaves to stamp on tablecloths, napkins, pillowcases or any other fabric you can get your hands on.
Cover a plain 5 by 7 or 8 by 10 frame with dried elm leaves. Cut the leaves so that they fit on the edge of the frame. Use a decoupage glue or white glue to attach the leaves to the frame's edge. After the glue has dried, add a layer of decoupage glue on top of the leaves to seal them in so that the edges of the leaves don't peel away. You can pile the leaves on the frame's edge like a collage or choose to use one or two leaves only.
You can also choose to leave the frame as is and make a mat for the photo using the dried leaves. Cover an archival photo mat completely with an assortment of leaves. Use an acid-free, archival quality glue to attach the leaves to the mat. Let it dry completely before using it in a frame.
Add a splash of vibrant green to your table with this very simple and easy craft. Collect a number of elm leaves off of a tree. The leaves should still be green and should be an assortment of sizes. Make sure each leave has a 2 to 3 inch long stem. Arrange the leaves in a bouquet, much as you would a bouquet of flowers. Stick the ends of the stems into a piece of green florist's foam.
Place the foam in a vase or a wicker basket. You can decorate the vase by tying a ribbon around it or you can paint pictures of trees on the basket. Set the craft in the center of the table.
Use dried elm leaves to make a wreath perfect for hanging on your front door in autumn. Dip the leaves in a bit of glycerin before attaching to a wreath form to preserve them a bit more. Hot glue the leaves to the wreath form, then adorn the top of the wreath with a bow.
Any of these great craft ideas will make for a fun afternoon of autumn activities.