Leaf Prints

Leaf Prints

Explore the nature around you with creative leaf prints! Learn about the different types of leaves produced in nature while creating fun textures and patterns with them using paint.


  • Block Printing Ink
  • Screen Printing Ink
  • Rubber Brayer (Roller) 
  • Paper Plate or Bench Hook
  • Leaves 
  • Mixed Media Paper
  • Fabric
  • Surface Protection 
  • Paper Towels

Step 1: Collect various sizes and types of leaves.

Step 2: Prepare a workspace and cover the surface to protect it from the ink.

Step 3: Choose one or more colors of ink. 

Step 4: Squeeze a small amount of ink on a paper plate or printing bench hook. 

Step 5: Roll the brayer over the ink to coat the roller in a thin layer of ink. Then roll brayer onto the veiny side of a leaf. Make sure that the entire surface of the leaf is covered.

Step 6: Place the leaf onto the paper or fabric. Place a clean paper towel over the leaf and gently but firmly rub to transfer the ink. 

Step 7: Lift the leaf slowly in a peeling motion. 

Step 8: Repeat these steps with the same leaf shape or different shapes and sizes. Create patterns using different sizes and colors! 

Ideas to take your leaf print to the next level: 

  • Find some interesting shapes to create a tessellation. Tessellations are when two or more shapes fit next to each other similar to a puzzle. 
  • Layer the leaf prints with different colors to create new colors. Try to make secondary colors by layering primary colors. For example, make a print of a red leaf, let it dry, then and go over it with another print of a yellow leaf.  
  • Paint more than one color on the same leaf. It does not always have to have one color! Discover which color combination you like best. 
  • Try to create a landscape scene with your leaf prints—experiment with other plant parts, like flower petals. 
  • Does your dry leaf print remind you of an animal, a face, or an object? Take a pencil or marker and draw something you see within the shape of the leaf. 

Learning and Discussion Questions:  

When you look closely, you can see the veins of the leaf. The veins are a vital part of the leaf as they carry water and other nutrients to the plant’s cells, helping to aid the process of photosynthesis. 

A. Learn about photosynthesis by watching this video. 

B. Leaves come in a variety of different shapes, sizes, and vein patterns. Use this link to learn more about leaves.

Thank you to our sponsor, PNC Arts Alive!, for helping to make this video possible!

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