Decorated autumn leaves offer a beautiful way to bring the outdoors in! You can use them in tablescapes, as part of a coffee table display, or tucked into wreaths. (Thanksgiving tip: these would make great place cards or creative food labels!)
As chilly weather closes in, I’m focusing more and more on adding hygge to our home! One of my favorite ways to do that is bringing the outdoors in, which is why I’m loving these decorated autumn leaves. This project is incredibly simple; all you’ll need to create it is a white gel pen and some leaves!
Gather Your Supplies
First, locate or purchase a white gel pen. I swear by the Sakura Gelly Roll because it’s wonderfully opaque and tolerates a variety of surfaces!
Next, go outside and pick some autumn leaves! I found mine in my backyard, but if you don’t have a yard, you can take a short walk to go on a leaf scavenger hunt. You’ll want to choose leaves that are mostly intact, have an interesting color, and aren’t crunchy to the point of being crumbly. They should have a bit of a leathery feel!
Once you’ve gathered your supplies (leaves + a white gel pen), you can get to decorating! I’ll show you how to create several design motifs below. Please feel free to pick and choose which design motifs appeal to you! No matter which motifs you choose, you’ll want to decorate at least 20 leaves to add abundance and artistry to your indoor autumn-themed displays.
How to Draw a Henna Flower Leaf
You’ll begin making a henna flower motif by drawing a medium-sized circle in the (rough) center of one of your leaves. Fill in the circle with criss-crossed lines.
Next, draw a larger circle around your original circle. Use this new larger circle as a base to draw several long petals! Don’t worry about your petals being exactly the same size or width; just do your best to keep them fairly uniform.
Now, fill in each petal with two parallel lines. Flank each of these lines with little dots.
Now, let’s draw a leaf! To do that, make a medium-sized curved almond shape to the right of your flower. Draw half-circles along the edges of that almond shape, then draw a larger curved almond shape around the original almond shape and the half circles.
Finish up by filling in the negative space of the drawn leaf with a solid almond shape in the middle and little lines along the outside.
And, voilà, your first decorated autumn leaf is finished! This is actually the most time-consuming motif because it takes around five minutes to create. The motifs from here on out are very simple!
How to Make a Chevron Leaf
To make a chevron leaf, begin by drawing several parallel and evenly-spaced vertical lines.
Then, connect the first two vertical lines with several diagonal lines that reach up. Move on to the next two vertical lines and, using the ending point of the diagonal lines on the left as a starting point, make several diagonal lines that reach down.
Continue on in this fashion until the leaf is filled with chevron goodness!
Making a “Grateful” Leaf
One of autumn’s main themes, at least here in the US, is being thankful for what you have. This “grateful” leaf acknowledges that with its simple message! To make it, begin by writing “grateful” across a leaf in widely-spaced cursive.
It’s all good and well to spend a happy hour or two making decorated autumn leaves, but what can you do with them? Well, my favorite thing to do is use them in a tablescape! I plan to make 30 more leaves and use them to decorate my Thanksgiving dinner table. Coupled with platters and candles, they’ll make for the ultimate hygge supper.
When the leaves aren’t in use as part of a tablescape, they sit quietly on my coffee table, nestled around a bowl of oranges. They work together with the rest of my autumn decor — juniper sprig bouquets and blankets draped across chairs — to make the house feel cozy and welcoming!
I love tutorials like this one … tutorials that go to show how easy it is to use your creativity to add warmth and personality to your surroundings! I hope that this post inspires you to go outside, curl up with your white pen, and get to drawing. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can make these — and at how beautifully all the motifs combine!
I hope you’re having a fantastic autumn! After Halloween, we’ll reconvene with another inspiring tutorial. In the meantime, I’m adding a whole slew of gorgeous, high-hygge-factor art water cups to the TPK Supplies Shop. As always, thanks very much for reading TPK, and have a happy Halloween!