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Leaf Decoupage Picture Mats

One perfect leaf framed with a mat of leaves of the same type evokes the whole tree.




  • White box frame
  • An archival-paper mat
  • Dried, preserved, or skeletonized leaves (from crafts stores)


  1. Step 1

    Make mat template out of paper. Using template, trace width of mat onto leaves; cut out. Line up each leaf piece along mat's inside edge, without covering the bevel.

  2. Step 2

    When you have enough leaves to cover, fix them to the mat with archival glue; turn over, and trim overhang with a utility knife. Center a whole leaf on acid-free paper using spray adhesive on the back of the leaf.

Martha Stewart Living, October 2001



Reviews (13)

  • aburer 25 Sep, 2008

    Gingko leaves hold up pretty well - golden ones. I made a tree out of gingko leaves over 10 years ago for my mom. It's still hung up in her house. I think the yellow turned more gold, but still looks good - and this was in my pre-crafty phase when I used poster board and elmers glue!

  • Lavid 25 Sep, 2008

    looks like my last post cut off the entire link. here it is again:

  • Lavid 25 Sep, 2008

    looks like my last post cut off the entire link. here it is again:

  • Lavid 25 Sep, 2008

    If you go to this link
    there is an article about preserving flowers and foliage. Scroll to the bottom of the article and there is a section entitled, Preserving with glycerine. You can do this with the leaves. I've never done it, but will probably try it for this project someday.

  • myola 25 Sep, 2008

    I don't know what happened on the comment,but I'll repeat it.
    I put maple and birch leaves in my photo album in 1983,didn't treat them with anything,and they are still very colourful still today. They also can still be removed if I wanted to.!!!

  • nana7x 25 Sep, 2008

    You can make your own background paper by placing the real leaves on your copy machine, cover with white or colored paper and make a color copy of them. Use this as a mat for the framed picture, place one whole leaf on paper, as indicated in the original directions.

  • myola 25 Sep, 2008

    I put leaves (maple

  • laurelsue 25 Sep, 2008

    About 10 years ago I placed some dried leaves from my yard in the cornerof the mat of a framed piece, between the glass and the mat. I dried them by pressing between pages of the phonebook, I did not use preservatives. I'm not sure what might happen if I tried to take them out of the frame now, but they are still as lovely behind the glass as they were when I placed them.

  • LisaAW 25 Sep, 2008

    Dried leaves from the yard would crumble and they wouldn't be very pretty either. Go for a walk,enjoy nature. Pick and choose leaves, nothing prettyier that leaves in the Fall when they are changing colour. I would only press them over night between the pages of a book(line with parchament or tissue paper)so that they are flat, but still pliable, the center leaf could be pressed longer. There is no risk of them crumbling after the fact; as they aren't going to be touched after they are framed!

  • bnet1014 25 Sep, 2008

    real dried leaves from your yard would be too crumbly and would fall apart in the decoupage process. if you use green leaves, their moisture would leak out over time and bleed onto the pages. craft leaves really are the best to use for this project.

  • trekkiemom 25 Sep, 2008

    if you use leaves from the yard, they would need to be pressed for a while,as they wouldn't have the preservative in them to keep them from becoming brittle. The ones from the store, especially the glycerine preserved ones, are really lovely, and nice to work with, they keep forever.

  • KathieB50 25 Sep, 2008

    Years ago I preserved some leaves with glycerin to use at Christmas in some gift baskets and I think this might work if you want to use your own leaves. It takes some time and planning, but the leaves really stood up well from fall into the winter months and worked out fantasically well in my gifts. It's been so long that I don't remember the formula, but I'm sure you could find it online.

  • TWhitley 25 Sep, 2008

    Could dried leaves from the yard be used instead of ones from the craft store? If that might create a problem what would it be?