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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


September 2, 2003 - Issue 96


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Stencil Leaves

By: Brightring Publishing

Now that fall is here, there are lots of beautiful leaves lying on the ground. Leaves come in many beautiful SHAPES and have interesting PATTERNS on their surfaces. The shape of a leaf helps control the temperature of the plant. The pattern on the leaf's surface is made by veins that carry water and food throughout the plant. Create your own stencils courtesy of Mother Earth.

You Will Need
  • fresh leaves
  • rubber cement
  • tempera paint in cups
  • paintbrushes
  • paper
  • outdoors
1. Glue leaves to the paper using rubber cement.
2. Dry well for 1/2 hour or more.
3. Use the tempera paint and paintbrushes to paint over the leaves and paper. (Paint gently over the edges of the leaves so leaves do not peel off.)
4. Let the painting dry completely (overnight is good).
5. Peel the leaves off of the paper carefully and a natural stencil design will be left on the paper.


  • Trace leaf shapes on old file folders and cut out. Use both shapes for stencils - the leaf and the hole from the cut out leaf.
  • Add a sprinkle of salt to the paint for an interesting effect.
  • Do this art experiment with other shapes or flat objects inistead of leaves.
  • Spatter paint from a toothbrush or shake it from a paint brush across the leaves. Cover work area with newspaper and artist with an apron before beginning. Works well to place paper inside a box with sides to catch spatters.

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  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.


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