Thursday, January 22, 2009

Leaf Printing

I saw some really great leaf prints on Etsy and got very excited about trying it. They can look really sophisticated and complex with very little work. I tried it out with my son on one of the many snow days this winter break. He loved it and has been proudly wearing the shirt he made.

Fresh clean leaf – pressed in a book for a couple of days
Fabric paint – water based
Blank – t-shirt, tote, pillow, kitchen towel etc. – natural fibers work best. Wash and dry first to remove sizing
Foam paint brush
Shallow containers for paint – I use old baby food jars with lids, that way I can mix the paint and save it for later if I don’t use it all up
2 or more sheets of newspaper

Place sheet of paper inside blank so it fits from side to side with no wrinkles. This keeps the paint from leaking through to the back. Lay the blank out on a work space, again be sure there are no wrinkles.
Lay a leaf, vein side up, on a half sheet of newsprint.
Brush with thin layer of paint.
Carefully place leaf on blank paint side down.
Cover leaf with clean piece of newspaper and gently press down so all parts of leaf make contact. Be sure not to move leaf while pressing down.
Carefully lift leaf.
Repeat as desired. Try mixing colors on leaf.
Let blank completely dry.
Turn inside out and press with iron. Iron should be as hot as fabric will allow. More iron around and be sure not to burn fabric.

Care: turn inside out, machine wash cold, gently tumble dry low.

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