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Recycle those leaves of autumn by bringing them in to decorate the house with preserved leaves that extend the life of their colorful images.

Start by collecting the most beautiful leaves you can find. Next, flatten the leaves by placing them between sections of newspaper and then stacking heavy books on top. Wait overnight. Lay out a sheet of clear contact paper with the sticky side up. Arrange the leaves in a pattern on the center of this sheet. Cover with a second sheet of clear contact paper, sticky side down, sealing the leaves inside. Press close to the edges of the leaves with your fingertips. Finally, cut the plastic into a geometric shape, such as a big circle or octagon. Punch a hole in the top of the plastic with a hole punch and add a ribbon loop to hang up your collage. This pressed-leaf art is especially pretty hung in a window where light can shine through the colored leaves.

Make a leaf tree by creating smaller collages to use as ornaments that can be hung at windows throughout the house or placed on a dead tree branch brought into the house and secured in a can or terra-cotta pot.



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