On this Thanksgiving Day, whether you’re hosting guests or sharing a meal through Zoom, it’s worth decorating your table to make the day feel different and even special. Fall leaves are an obvious and beautiful decorative element, but if your leaves are withered or blown away, make some of your own from accordion-folded paper.
Newspaper sheets, an inexpensive and environmentally friendly material, are thin and therefore easy to fold. The size allows you to create oversized sheets. If you paint the paper with an acrylic paint, it will get extra strength. Scatter individual leaves in the center of a table or hot glue them on ribbon to form a garland. After your vacation, fold the sheets up and wrap them up to use again next year.
This technique offers a fun element of surprise: you see the leaf shapes that you end up with. After you master these basics, create your own patterns. Try different triangles, squat or large. Try making a quarter circle stencil smooth or with scallops.
Step 1. Paint
Paint a few sheets of newspaper. Dilute the paint with water if you want to see the newspaper. Depending on their size, you can get four to six leaves from a full leaf.
Step 2. Create the leaf shape
Cut a square of paper a few inches larger than the desired size of your sheet and fold it in half. With the crease to the left, draw your design right-handed or with a template on the right.
After you’ve traced your shapes, cut out your leaves.
Step 3. Fold
Open your paper and place it with the wider side facing up. Turn the paper over and fold the top down (the crease on the top is three-quarters of an inch, but you can make your paper thinner or wider) and keep folding all of the paper with accordion.
Step 4. Bend
Keep the paper completely folded as a strip and bend it at the existing center fold so that the ends meet each other.
Step 5. tape
Glue the two ends together from the back.
Step 6. Complete
Let the leaf unfold and admire your handiwork.