Pile of fallen leaves
leaf print

Follow along and learn how to print leaf shapes on your favorite t-shirt or make a bandana with leaves on it.

materials needed

These are the materials you will need: different leaves, paint, brushes, fabric paint, paper or fabric, and newspaper.

Boy with leaves

Collect different kinds of leaves. Try to collect leaves that are clean. They'll work better.

Mom and kids pouring paint

Squirt fabric paint into a small container. Dip brushes in paint.

Fabric paint bottle
Paintbrush in paint


Paint on leaf

Paint one side of the leaf. The imprint will show up better if you paint the bottom side of the leaf where the veins stick out more.

Child pressing leaf

Put newspaper under the fabric or between the fabric layers if you're painting on a t-shirt. Lay the painted leaf on the fabric (cotton works well) or paper and apply equal pressure to all parts of the leaf. This method is called pressure printing. With a little practice you'll discover how hard to press the leaf and how much paint to apply.

Rolling leaf print

A rolling pin sometimes makes this process easier. A closet rod, cut into 12 inch lengths makes an inexpensive set of rolling pins. You can also use a caress printing technique. Lay your printed leaf down, paint side up, and lay the material to be printed on top of the leaf. In one motion firmly press down on the material and leaf.

Paint on leaf

If you're printing on fabric, you'll need to waterproof your design.

Leaf print on fabric

Once it's dry, you can heat-set or waterproof your design by putting it in a dryer on low for 10-15 minutes. Ironing also works. Read the paint manufacturer's directions for more information.