Thursday, October 11, 2012

Bleached Fall Leaves

Why is it once you have an idea in mind sometimes it's very hard to find what you need. I've been to several craft stores looking for light shades of leaves other than yellow to go with the white pumpkins I have. I can find off white sunflowers and bundles of wheat, but no white fall leaves.  I tried painting leaves white, but I didn't like the results.  They just didn't look natural enough.

Some, like the ones pictured are available online.  Just google dried white oak leaves and a couple of sources will appear but once before I posted a web site but they've since stopped carrying them.


So I decided to bleach my own to see what I could come up with.  Right now, leaves are hard to come by in my neighborhood.  The trees are slowly changing and not too many leaves have fallen. I did manage to collect a few just to see if bleaching them would truly work.  Most of the leaves I collected had turned brown.  One was still green. 

 I put the leaves in a cup of bleach in a pyrex dish and let them soak over night.

                                     The bleaching process was amazing to see.

You can clearly see the "skeleton" (veins) of the leaves  .   .   .   .

                                               Simply beautiful!

 I was quite pleased with the bleaching and the way the leaves changed.  The longer they stayed in the bleach the lighter they got (naturally)  .  .   .  but also, the more delicate they became.  I had to be careful removing them from the solution because they would come apart easily.

After drying them on a paper towel, I bundle them together with a piece of raffia and tied them on my white pumpkin.

      I love this look  .   .    .   .

and the variations in color and patterns.  I definitely will be bleaching more leaves.






  1. I really like this one! This is neat!! Amazing how it came out. Great work!

  2. YOU are a genius!! I can't believe you thought of this!! I'm giving this a try!! They look beautiful on your white pumpkin girl!

  3. Gail, these leaves are hauntingly beautiful!!! LOVE them! Thanks for sharing them at TUTORIALS TIPS AND TIDBITS! I'm going to do this. Thanks!

    1. Thanks Yvonne for your kind comments. It's an honor to have you visit!

  4. This is such a great and unique idea! Love the final result and how you put it all together

  5. These are lovely. I love the look of white leaves and bleaching these just enhances their beauty!

  6. Bleached white leaves to go with a white pumpkin. What an inspired idea!

  7. This is a wonderful idea. Your bleached leaves turned out beautifully, Gail.

  8. They are beautiful! Perhaps you wouldn't have to use a full-strength bleach to soak the leaves and that might help with the fragility issue??? Just guessing. Now I'm wondering if just brushing on some bleach on both sides of a leaf and letting it dry overnight would work. Wow - you've got my brain going now, LOL! Alas, most of our leaves are already gone. We've had several windstorms come through and now a weekend full of rain. We need the rain (SE Wisconsin) but I can't get outside to do much needed fall chores. Sigh. I'm going to dash outside right now and see if I can find some likely leaf candidates and try the painting-bleach-on to see if it works. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  9. Gail ... I really like the way the bleached leaves look on the white pumpkin. Must try that if I can find any big leaves around here, Thank for sharing your brilliant idea. I guess we could bleach the faux ones, but they would not have the great look of the real ones.
    Audrey Z.
    Timeless Treasures

  10. I can't believe this. You WHAT?? this must be the best idea ever. I can't WAIT to see what my leaves will look like!
    Absolutely excited over this, I can't begin to tell you how much this project appeals to me!

  11. Wow, this is a really great idea! I don't really care for the traditional orange and yellow for fall, so this is perfect! I love your shades of purple, by the way. :)

  12. This is great thanks so much for sharing at One More Time. I know what you mean about not being able to find the right answer is always paint it, but this is really a must do! Love it!

  13. WOW Gail! Those are GORGEOUS! What a neat idea!

    Thanks for sharing with us at the All Star Block Party!

  14. I bleached some and when I rinsed them I dropped them in a bluing solution for about half an hour. Mine curled, but I was told to top them with something heavy and it worked, but they are so fragile. I also read that you can do the same with cheap fake leaves which I am going to try soon.

  15. Featuring these gorgeous leaves on this weeks All Star Block Party!


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