Need a good excuse to delay washing your windows? Try this one. Collect shapely autumn leaves, grab some poster paint and let your kids' artistic talents shine on the glass with painted leaf designs.
When you use real leaves as patterns, discover how the painted outlines cascading down the panes in dazzling fall hues add a whimsical focal point to your indoor decor.
HERE'S THE STUFF YOU'LL NEED:
-- Variety of leaves in different sizes and shapes
-- Orange, yellow, red and brown poster paint
-- Small paper plates
-- 1-inch pieces from a household sponge
-- Spring-type clothespins or chip clips
-- Fine-tip black or brown marker (optional)
HERE'S THE FUN:
1. Collect fresh, flat leaves in a variety of shapes and sizes. Arrange them on your work table the way you want them to appear in a stenciled form on your window.
2. Attach rolled pieces of masking tape to the backsides of the leaves and stick them on the window, keeping a little space between the leaves. Make sure the leaves lie flat against the pane.
3. Pour a small amount of paint onto the paper plates. Attach a sponge piece to a clip and dab lightly into the paint. Mix colors for interesting shades, if you wish. Blot the sponge on newspaper to absorb excess paint, then lightly dab around the edges of the leaves. Change paint colors as you go, using a new piece of sponge for each color.
4. When the paint is dry, carefully remove the leaves from the window to reveal the eye-catching leaf outlines. Using a marker, draw in veins.
5. When you are ready to remove the leaf patterns from the window, all you have to do is wash gently with soap, water and window cleaner.
Donna Erickson's award-winning series "Donna's Day" is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit www.donnasday.com and link to the new Donna's Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is "Donna Erickson's Fabulous Funstuff for Families."