The experiment for making the skeleton leaves

I am trying to make the skeleton leaves using Sodium Hydroxide for my Studio Arts work.

I asked the school lab and planned the experiment with professional technician.

(below) the leaves I used for the experiment


I did experiment in the school lab… there were many Year 8s beyond the windows.


I boiled the 10% Sodium Hydroxide solution by Bunsen burner and placed the leaves in the beaker.

After 7 minutes, I took all leaves off and neutralised them in the water.

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Some leaves just didn’t show their veins, and those are melted or became soft.(left)

However, some leaves were made as skeleton successfully.(right)

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After school, I tried the experiment again with boiling time of 5 minutes.

The colour of solution was changing quickly and became dark brown at the end of experiment.

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The leaves weren’t boiled too much, so the veins of leaves remained and other parts of leaves came off well.

I brushed them softly and ironed them after I dried all.

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And yesterday, I tried to dye some of them with tea bag and turmeric solution.

A leaf on left hand side is original (isn’t dyed), a leaf in middle is dyed with tea and a leaf on right hand side is dyed with turmeric solution.

I also dyed a leaf with raspberry tea, and that was my favourite one but sadly, I lost it. (and I hadn’t taken photo of it…)

I might try this experiment again if I have time 🙂


I would like to thank the lab technician, my host mother who was supplied me the dye ingredients and supported me to dye the leaves in the kitchen,  and my art teacher who encouraged me to do this experiment.

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