We have beautiful hydrangeas along our side yard that are determined to grow enough to completely block the walkway beside our house. I've explained that they are welcome to grow as high as they'd like and can spread out against the fence, but to please allow us to have the path. I frequently need to do a bit of light pruning to remind them that the flower bed is their territory, but the concrete is our territory.
I took a few of the pruned hydrangea leaves inside and used them to make leaf prints from oven-bake clay. I LOVE how they turned out!
When I made my clay leaf prints, I hadn't thought about what purpose they could serve, besides just sitting on a table being decorative. And then I realized that they are perfect to use as napkin ring and coasters! Affiliate links below.
Clay Leaf Print Napkin Rings and Coasters
Mix a small amount of Red and a generous amount of Granny Smith together to make your desired color. Roll out the clay 1/4" thick, then place the leaf on top. Gently roll the leaf into the clay, then carefully remove the leaf.
This was my first attempt. After placing the leaf, I rolled too hard, which made the clay uneven and pushed the stem too deep. Sculpey is infinitely reusable until you bake it, so if your first attempt is not perfect, just re-roll the clay and try again!
When you have a print you like, use the clay tools to remove the excess clay around the edges. Hydrangea leaves are serrated, but I wanted a smooth edge, so that's how I trimmed it.
Roll out the excess and make more leaves. I used a large leaf for the coasters and a smaller leaf for the napkin rings.
Put the leaves on a sheet pan and bake at 275°F for 15 minutes. If you see any bubbles in your baked leaves when you take them out of the oven, immediately press a second sheet pan on top of the hot leaves to flatten them. Let the leaves cool completely.
Use Supertite to glue the smaller leaves to the napkin rings.
Note that while Sculpey clay is non-toxic, it has not been tested for food use. So while your coaster is a great place to rest a drinking glass, don't use it as as bread plate or serve any other food directly on it.