Tuesday, November 3, 2009

How to Create Beautiful Leaf Prints

The great outdoors holds many treasures that we can use in crafting. Flowers, pine cones and rocks can be used as the basis for many crafts, and they also make lovely accents. Even simple leaves can add a nice touch to our projects.

Leaf prints can bring a hint of nature to the most sophisticated of crafts. Yet they’re so easy to do, even children can create them expertly. Here are two simple ways to capture the beautiful intricacies of leaves.

Leaf Rubbings


* Paper
* Leaves
* Crayons


1. Lay a pretty leaf flat on the table, with the veins facing upward.
2. Lay a piece of paper on top of the leaf, positioning it so that the leaf is where you want its impression to be.
3. Peel the wrapper off of a crayon in the desired color. Holding the paper down around the leaf, gently rub the side of the crayon over the paper on top of the leaf.

4. Reposition the leaf, or place another type of leaf under the paper and repeat with a different color. Continue to create a pattern, or just make rubbings at random to complete your work of art.

Painted Leaf Prints


* Paper, poster board, card stock or fabric
* Leaves
* Paint (acrylic, tempera or fabric, depending on the material you’re working on)
* Paintbrush or sponge
* Newspaper
* Paper towels


1. Lay the leaf on top of the newspaper, with the veins facing upward.
2. Use the paintbrush or sponge to thoroughly apply paint to the leaf. Alternatively, you could simply put some paint on the newspaper and dip the leaf into it.
3. Carefully lift the leaf off of the newspaper, and place it paint side down onto the material you want to make a print on.
4. Place a paper towel over the leaf and press down gently but firmly.
5. Remove the paper towel, and peel the leaf off of the material, taking care not to tear it.
6. Repeat to create prints of the same leaf in the same color. Let dry.
7. Use a new leaf for each different color, and let each new color dry before adding another one.

There are also other ways to create leaf prints. Pressing leaves onto ink pads and then onto paper is a simple way to make them. It’s also possible to make imprints of leaves on clay by gently pressing the leaf into it. These techniques present all sorts of crafting possibilities.

Leaf prints are simple enough for toddlers to create with little assistance. They make wonderful rainy day projects on their own, or they can be used to enhance all kinds of crafts. So if you’re looking for some inspiration from nature, look no further than that tree in your back yard.

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