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Leaf Printing

What to Do

Follow along and learn how to print leaf shapes on your favorite t-shirt or on anything you wish.

These are the materials you will need: different leaves, paint, brushes, fabric paint, paper or fabric, rolling pin(optional), and newspaper.

Collect different kinds of leaves. It's best to do this in the fall, when the leaves are on the ground and not in use by the trees. Try to collect leaves that are clean. They'll work better.

Squirt fabric paint into a small container. Dip brushes in paint.

Paint one side of the leaf. The imprint will show up better if you paint the bottom side of the leaf where the veins are more pronounced.

Put newspaper under the fabric or between the fabric layers if you're painting on a t-shirt. Lay the painted leaf on the fabric (cotton works well) or paper and apply equal pressure to all parts of the leaf. This method is called pressure printing. With a little practice you'll discover how hard to press the leaf and how much paint to apply.

A rolling pin sometimes makes this process easier. A closet rod, cut into 12 inch lengths makes an inexpensive set of rolling pins. You can also use a caress printing technique. Lay your printed leaf down, paint side up, and lay the material to be printed on top of the leaf. In one motion firmly press down on the material and leaf.

If you're printing on fabric, you'll need to waterproof your design.

Once it's dry, you can heat-set or waterproof your design by putting it in a dryer on low for 10-15 minutes. Ironing also works. Read the paint manufacturer's directions for more information.