The most vivid of memories at my grandma's home during my childhood, was how we ate upma and curd rice on leaves that we just picked off the almond tree or badam tree in our compound. We also had sal leaf plates that were used for meals. I am glad to see their remnants still around in the form of small bowls used mostly for religious rituals and temple prasadam (offering). We have heard a great deal about decor using paper plates, cups , bowls, and the like. These leaf bowls can be used for similar crafts.
I made jelly fish decor that can be used for a party, to brighten up a corner or simply adorn a window. It does not take much effort. What you need to keep in mind is about the kind of colours you would want to show in the the end. Make up your mind about whether you want a classic look, a fun look, or simple look. I started off wanting to use wool extensively for the project, but abandoned the idea midway.
What you need for the project:
-- leaf bowls, used or new. If used, make sure to wipe their inside clean
-- a needle to poke hole in its centre
-- wool of two or three different colours
-- craft glue in plenty
-- some twine or thick decorative thread
-- a wooden ring, about one inch thick or old tiny bangles
-- a pair of scissors
-- keep handy some burlap or jute cloth, chenille stems, etc, if need be
-- gift wrap tissue paper or kite paper of two or three different colours
If your leaf bowl is a used one, start off by wiping it clean. Poke a hole in its center using a large needle. Use a pen or sharp pencil to widen the hole a little. Now turn the cup for its inside to show.
Squeeze a dot of glue about an inch off the poked center. And use your finger to knudge the wool thread to form a little circle. Drop more glue on it. Cut the thread at about one feet. Use your fingers to knudge and stick more such wool pieces.
Midway through the project I realised that the wool was not giving it the zing I needed. So I cut some kite paper or gift wrap tissue paper into narrow strips, about one fourth of an inch wide. I folded them in their centre, gave each strip a little bend, glued it first between the folds and then on to the bowl, alongside the wool ends that were stuck.
Use more strips. Let this lot of glued in strips and bits dry. Use the cold setting on a hair dryer to dry it quicker.
After this, grab a small wooden ring, tie a piece of twine or thick decorative thread, and insert it from the inside of the bowl where you have all the stuck up pieces on to the other side.
Knot the inserted thread to firm it up. This way, when you hold the piece by this thread, the leaf bowl that is somewhat more delicate will not tear or bend. Instead of kite paper you may also use satin ribbon.
Tie up the ends of the left-over thread, and let it hang from a window corner, or hanging hook. It is something you can work with your young kids. It's simple and easy to make, although it cannot manage the aesthetic of jelly fish.
Pictures courtesy:Radhika M B
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