Normally I am not a crafter, many times when I do try a craft project, it looks like someone tried really hard, and this isn’t a blog about crafting, but cooking. But I saw this, and I thought that would be the perfect thing to display wrapped caramels or other candies for Thanksgiving, which is my favorite holiday. I love fall leaves, so this really appeals to me, and I think I can talk one of my craft savvy daughters into help me make it so it looks good. So, this will be a two-for-one blog post with directions for making the leaf bowl and a link to my favorite caramel recipe. But, it doesn’t have to be caramels, maybe I could just use it for almond roca and get a head start on eating it this year, and yes, almond roca is perhaps my favorite candy. Perhaps one day I will attempt to make it myself. Does anyone have a tried and true recipe? In any case, here are the directions to make a leaf-based decorative bowl.
Craft store leaf garland, Mod Podge (matte finish), Foam Brush, Balloon, Scissors, Mixing bowl
*Tip: try to find thin, paper-like leaves for your garland. The thinner the leaves, the better they will mold to the shape of your balloon. Also, avoid any plastic-coated leaves.
- Begin by snipping the leaves off the strand of garland. Leave about 1/8″ at the base.
- Carefully rip the entire plastic stem (and all the veins!) off of the faux leaves. This will help the leaves mold to the shape of the balloon.
- Fill up your balloon to size. We stuck ours inside a mixing bowl to keep it in place.
- With your mod podge in a cup nearby, gently apply a thin layer on top of your balloon, starting in the middle and working your way out.
- Lay a leaf on top of the wet mod podge and smooth with your fingers or foam brush. Once it’s stuck in place, apply another thin layer of mod podge on top of that leaf.
- Repeat, covering any empty spaces with smaller leaves.
- When you reach about a quarter of the way down the balloon, add one or two leaves to the bottom of the bowl for extra weight and support. Allow to dry for several hours.
- When the mod podge is completely dry, carefully pop your balloon with a pin at the tied end, slowly letting the air out. Don’t be alarmed if the leaves shrink down when the balloon deflates, it will return to its original shape after a minute or so. You may find that some of the mod podge will stick to the edges of your leaves, but you can just pick or cut it off.
9. Fill with wrapped caramels or other wrapped candies.
Follow this link for my favorite caramel recipe which is quick, easy, and tastes amazing.