It is hard to reproduce the beauties of nature.
In the fall, by a pool of water, you may sometimes find skeleton leaves in which the pulp has decomposed,
so that only the veins are left, like a fragile piece of lace created by nature.
Here are instructions on how to "skeletonize" leaves.
With this method, you will need to use thick, shiny leaves, such as ivy, maple, or hydrangea.
If the leaves are too fragile, this approach will not work.
Choose a dozen or so leaves and put them in an old saucepan that can withstand a few stains.
Add 80 g of baking soda and ¾ liter of water. Bring to a boil, and then let simmer.
Add a little cold water if too much foam is produced.
When the leaf pulp has completely softened - this might take up to one or two hours, depending on the type of leaf -
lay a leaf on a dishtowel. Using a blunt utensil, gently rub away the leap pulp.
As soon as a piece of the pulp starts to lift off, pull on it to remove the most flesh as possible.
Turn over the leaf and do the same on the other side.
Once only the skeleton of veins is left, place the leaf on a sheet of paper and cover with a few drops of hydrogen peroxide.
This will whiten the skeleton leaf. Let dry completely before handling again.
Making skeleton leaves is tricky at first, but if you boil a dozen or so leaves at a time, you will have enough to practice on,
and the results are really worth it. It may be easier to remove the pulp if you freeze the leaves for 24 hours before cooking them.
Many options are available for decorating the leaves.
You can simply whiten them, or dye them with diluted ink in natural hues such as lilac, green, sepia, or dusty pink,
and then mount them on paper in complementary colors.
One of the simplest options is to cover a whitened skeleton leaf, once it has completely dried, with some gilding wax.
Glue the leaf to some paper with a natural-looking texture and color and frame.