ISSUE 22  |  Outdoor Living

DIY Video: How to Make Leaf Prints

June 05, 2014 7:00 PM

BY Gardenista Team

Leaf prints are one of the easiest DIY projects you can do–and appeal to both kids and adults. The final product is brilliant, either as wrapping paper or to cover kids’ schoolbooks, and we like to frame single leaf prints to create impromptu art.

While we were leaf-pressing away the other day, we were thinking about more uses for the final product: next time, we’ll press leaves onto a long strip of butcher paper to make a table runner for a dinner party.

Gardenista features editor Meredith Swinehart shows us just how easy it is to make leaf prints:

Leaf Prints

  • Fresh leaves
  • Paper
  • Paint
  • Paint tray
  • Paper towels

1. Collect leaves from the garden. The thinnest leaves work the best; their veins will show through when pressed onto paper. Remove any obvious dirt or debris from the leaves.

2. Dip the backside of a leaf into a small pool of paint in the tray. Blot off excess paint on a thin stack of paper towels. 

3. Press the painted leaf onto a piece of paper. (Be sure to use paper that is thick enough to hold the paint. I used butcher paper.) Set it down and gently press the tips and base of the leaf onto the paper, to ensure you’ll have a print of the entire leaf. 

4. Repeat the process to make as many prints as you’d like. You’ll want to swap leaves every so often, after your leaf becomes heavy with paint. You’ll also want to swap in a new stack of paper towels to absorb the excess paint. 

5. Let the leaf-printed paper dry completely.