Spring and Easter decorations are very popular here in the mostly grey-weather Netherlands. I saw this idea in a supermarket magazine - they had put the leaves into corkscrew willow branches, which are also very popular here.
I wasn't going to spend a cent on this idea, so I used some recently-pruned linden twigs.
If I'd known I was going to need them , I'd have selected some nicer, branched ones - but they'd all been cut up to fit into the garden bin.
I had some thin wire in the garden shed, (but see the wire idea of the more sophisticated version below) and being a magazine junkie, I had plenty of source material for the leaves. In fact I used pretty sweet wrappers, a cornflakes box, old maps and bits of fashion photos from a junk mail brochure, even the inside of the envelopes the bank uses.. Any colourful printed matter will do. Other than that, you need scissors, glue and wire clippers.
If you find it difficult to work out if something will make a good-looking leaf, cut a leaf shape out of white paper and slide it over the pictures/patterns/print you're considering using. You'll soon get a feel for the colours, patterns and the scale that looks best. Even cinema listings in green and black type on a white background look great - they just show as stripes on the leaf.
I chose clear cheerful colours and patterns for a Spring look .
Cut squares or strips of paper, double the width or double the length of your leaf , or cut leaf-sized rectangles if you want to have the back and the front different and equally presentable.
Cut the wire into lengths. Twist a longer and shorter length together if you want a four-leaved sprig. (for three leaves on one side of the twig, and one on the other).
With small scissors, cut the leaves out of the rectangles. This method means the back and front of each leaf will be exactly the same size - much easier than cutting leaf shapes out of the paper.
See if you can stop..my branches got fuller and fuller..it's a lovely relaxing pastime to do on the coffee table whilst watching television.
And I hope they'll keep us cheerful as we wait for Spring.
A more sophisticated variation:
For this look I used baking parchment, newsprint and sheet music for the leaves. For the wire, I wanted something thinner and black - and free. I used the wire in the plastic ties you get with black garbage bags. It's impossible to get the wire out of the plastic, so in a WET metal sink I set fire to the plastic with the gas lighter - not too much at a time, and I'd suggest don't involve children - it's just the sort of semi-dangerous thing they'll try on their own later. It works a treat - leaving the wire black and clean.
Then follow the same principles as above. I thought it looked good against a sunlit window.