The nature lover in your life will be delighted to receive this unique card! For anyone looking for a fresh change from the traditional pinks and reds of Valentine’s Day, this project is for you.
Leaf cutter ants are tropical insects that harvest leaf pieces. The leaves are used to cultivate a specialized fungus in the ants’ nests and the fungus is then fed to the leaf cutter ant larvae (babies). It’s a fascinating natural history relationship. The ants often cut leaves into large curved pieces, which led me to think of this design.
When working on this project, keep in mind that there’s no need to be concerned about following exact lines when cutting out leaf and ant shapes.
- Pop-Tone Jellybean Green 100# Paper
- Pop-Tone Gumdrop Green 100# Paper
- Pop-Tone White Sweet Tooth 100# Paper
- Brown Box Kraft 100# Paper
- Scissors (precision) or paper cutting blade such as an X-Acto Knife (I use blade #11)
- Zig Liquid Glue Pen
- Double sided foam adhesive
- Scoring tool
- Paper trimmer / Ruler and cutting mat
- Leaf Cutter Ants .pdf Printable Download
Trim your Kraft Speckletone Cardstock to 7” x 10”, scoring so that the card folds into a standard 5” x 7” card.
Print the Leaf Cutter Ant Print Out on to White Sweet Tooth paper. There are enough pairs of ants on this print out to create 3 cards. Using scissors or a blade, cut out a pair of ants. I initially cut with a blade and left a generous margin around the ants. The margin allows ant paper pieces to be sturdier, and aesthetically they will contrast better with their background.
I then used scissors to trim the hard corners into softer curves.
Cut out the leaf shapes, place one on each of the green cardstock papers. Use these shapes as a stencil, and then cut out the leaves from the green cardstock.
I used a combination of the scorer that came with my paper trimmer and the blunt side of a butter knife, to score a vein pattern into the leaves. Start with the central vein, then add veins extending from the center vein.
Putting it all together
Glue the leaves to the ant’s mandibles (mouthparts). Make sure each ant is holding the correct leaf so that when they meet together, the leaf forms a heart shape.
Cut out 10 small (¼ inch) squares of adhesive foam. Stick two on each ant, and two to three on each leaf.
When glue has dried, peel the backing off the adhesive backing and turn the ants and leaves over. Center them over your card and ensure the leaves overlap to form a heart shape. Press ants and leaves down so that they adhere to your card.
The leaf cutter ants can be carrying ANYTHING! Cut leaves into Letter shapes for someone’s initials. Use a train of ants to carry letters forming a word. The possibilities are endless. Be sure to share your creations with us on Facebook or Instagram!