Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Nature Printing

If you find this, or one of my other tutorials, helpful and would like to make a monetary contribution to help me keep wool in my basket and ideas flowing, I'd be so grateful.  By clicking the "Buy Now" button below you can choose your own price for the tutorial.  It's completely optional, but oh so appreciated.


Nature prints are such a fun, easy, nearly free project that will bring a beautiful bit of botanical goodness to your home.  Give it a try and see what you think.

Materials you'll need:
paint (I used acrylic)
paper, canvas, etc. for printing upon
wax paper
a brayer or rolling pin
a frame for your masterpiece

Step 1: Gather your materials.
Step 2: Apply paint to the backside of your leaf - the veiny part
Step 3: Place your painted leaf, paint side down, onto your paper or canvas
Step 4: Cover your leaf with wax paper and carefully roll over it with your brayer or rolling pin
Step 5: Peel off your leaf and marvel at your design

It's really quite simple, but a few tips for success: choose a leaf that lays flat and behaves. Leaves that are all willy-nilly won't make for good prints. Don't put too much paint on your leaf or you'll end up with a gloppy mess. Don't press too hard with your brayer, you want to make a print, not embed the leaf into the canvas. Try it out on a piece of scrap first and once you get the hang of it, print away!

I had several odd frames that I painted black and I printed on a piece of canvas drop-cloth that I had in the studio. (You can purchase them relatively inexpensively at your local hardware store) Printing on paper will give you a more crisp image, but I was going for something loose and organic. Experiment! The leaves, ferns, and weeds all came from the backyard. I think it would also be fun to take a print from a slice of wood, or long vines....maybe I'll try that next.

This is a great project for the kids too. Get them involved and see what happens.  Maybe make some pillows, print on t-shirts, make one of a kind many possibilities!  Have fun!


Heather Eddy said...

Great idea. I like the color paint you chose. Is your wall purple or brown? Either way, it looks very nice with the green prints.

primdollie said...

beautiful!! I did that on fabric for an apron before loads of fun!! Your pics are great and I LOVE that beautiful wall color you have too! they're perfect there! thanks for sharing! Hugs Linda

Meghan said...

I found your picture on Flickr -- gorgeous prints, and I really love the arrangement of the group. Quite beautiful!

t does wool said...

Lisa..this is a stunning arrangement of prints...and so fun...thanks for the hints..

Michelle Brunner said...

Gorgeous display! I love your set up! I have done this before with kids before, it is so much fun! Thanks for sharing:)

Lisa at lil fish studios said...

Heather - Thanks! The wall is purple, somewhere between plum and eggplant. I think the actual color is called Velvet Robe which sounds so 'Hef' to me.

Thanks Linda! I saved my scraps and bits and hope to use them somehow. An apron sounds great!

Meghan - thanks so much!

Thanks T. :D

Michelle - thanks! My kids loved it. They felt very cool that they made something tangible and pretty. And they got to be covered in paint, which is always a hit in our house.

Heidi said...

Awesome idea--definitely going to try this!

Wear Your Wild said...

It all looks gorgeous! Those prints are fun to make. I printed on some of my t-shirts once.

Anonymous said...

Your tutorial is so simple and yet, the result is so elegant. The color scheme is stunning. The arrangement on the wall as well as putting "the bowl" on chair below is a shot from a magazine!! Love it!


Anonymous said...

Oh, congrats on being featured on "Whip It" !

Lisa at lil fish studios said...

Thanks Heidi! Have fun. :D

Katie - I bet they made awesome t-shirts. Good idea.

Thank you, Karen. It's the one wall in the house (crosses fingers) that doesn't yet have crayon scribbles on it.

Anonymous said...

Shhhhhhhhh....they'll hear you and knock those frames over to create another Picasso piece.

Lisa at lil fish studios said...

Karen - lol! More like Jackson Pollock. I've considered leaving the scribbles and framing around them, buuuuuut, I just don't have that many frames. :D

Michelle said...

Thanks for sharing! I will try - it's great idea!

Kathy said...

Lisa...I have done this on fabric and made covers for the windowseats. I'm now upcycling that fabric into bags. Totally fun project. Thanks.

Jaime...My Love said...

Thanks for this, I'm going outside to collect materials today!

Unknown said...

Lovely... definitely pinning this for next spring with the kiddos!


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