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Botanical Printing - Part 1 - Before the Leaves Are Gone

"Nobody sees a flower - really - it is so small it takes time - we haven't time - and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time." - Georgia O'Keeffe


In all my experiences of teaching arts enrichment classes, this art project has to be one of my all time, absolute favorites.

Look closely at all the varied leaf shapes in your yard or in a local park. You will see a cornucopia of inspiration for botanical printing.

Botanical printing  is so simple that it can be done with children as young as 
2 1/2, but provides such beautiful results, that it is a much satisfying creative activity for adults as well.

So before all the leaves are gone for readers up north, here are the super easy instructions and supplies needed:


- old catalogs or magazines
- plain white paper
- coated paper plate to use as a palette
- green acrylic/craft paint
- an old sponge
- assorted fresh leaves

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STEP ONE

Squeeze a little bit of green paint onto the coated paper plate.







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STEP TWO

Lay one leaf, vein side up, onto a page from an old catalog or magazine.

Apply paint evenly with the sponge to cover the entire leaf.

NOTE - Don't apply too heavily or the image won't print well.












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STEP THREE

Gently place leaf, vein/paint side down onto white paper.







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STEP FOUR

Place another, clean catalog page over the leaf.

Press and smooth your finger over the page so that you feel every bit of the leaf.

(This is an interesting sensory activity for young children.)
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STEP FIVE 

Carefully lift up the catalog page and then, the leaf by its stem.

Voila! 

You now have a beautiful botanical print.



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So go out and explore today! 

See how many different leaf shapes you can find. You needn't be confined to tree leaves. Many  herbs and weeds have interesting shapes and printing potential. 

I found all of these in my yard, which I will be using in a future post titled, "Building a Jungle".



Parsley & some crazy vine that I don't know the name of.

















The Crazy Vine












The Parsley











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Assorted weeds make interesting prints.




















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IMPORTANT
WARNING !!!!!!!

Leaves of three, 
let them be!

This is what poison ivy looks like. Do not pick any leafy plant that has 
"leaves of three".



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