Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Summertime Art – Leaf Printing (in your swimsuit)

july 2010 044

I’m trying to do one planned and structured art project with M each week.  He gets in plenty of self-directed art with his art easel outside and his little art box inside.  MaryAnn Kohl’s book, Preschool Art has been a great source of ideas and inspiration, and this little project came straight from its pages.


We both enjoyed this activity… M loved the process, and I love the beautiful result.

To do this, you will need a sturdy piece of cardboard or cardstock, glue, paint in the colors you want (M chose green, yellow, and blue), a small paint roller (ours is from the craft section at Walmart), a small tray or dish to roll the paint in, and some sheets of plain paper. july 2010 030You’ll also need newspaper to put under your project if you are working on a surface that you don’t want painted.

Next, you need to go find your leaves!  This was a really fun part of the project for M – he hunted and hunted until he found the perfect leaves.  Yes, we did take a few straight from our shrubs or low-hanging tree branches, but we found a lot just lying on the ground too.  You’ll need fresh, flexible leaves, not ones that are dry and apt to crumble when they are being rolled with paint.

Arrange them, face down, on your piece of cardboard.  You want the lined and veined surface on the underneath to be face up.  Once you are pleased with your arrangement, glue them in place.july 2010 031

Put some paint in your tray and roll your roller through it.  We started off with green and yellow (mostly green), then for our third print we added in a little blue.

july 2010 032 (Like how the newspaper appeared under his work?  Suddenly I realized I didn’t really want a green and yellow picnic table.  And do you think the people listed in those obituaries minded that we were using them for this?)

Gently, gently, roll the leaves with the paint:

july 2010 036 Oh my heavens, my chubby little baby has turned into a skinny big boy!

Once every leaf is covered with paint, place a sheet of plain paper over the top and rub it, again gently, all over.july 2010 034  
Lift it off and you’ve made lovely leaf prints!july 2010 037july 2010 038july 2010 039
I have these hanging in my kitchen now and sometimes I just stop to admire them.  I’m thinking of framing them and hanging them in our breezeway (like a 3-season porch that runs the length of our house).  They make me happy. :)

Have a beautiful day! :)


  1. Gorgeous! I love this project!

  2. These are beautiful! The bathsuit is a great idea.

  3. The result of your son's art is very beautiful! I did this project with my daughter as well on a onesie for her brother. But I had put it on newborn onesies and he was just a big baby he only wore it once before he grew out of it.

  4. Those turned out so cute! I need a plain paint roller. All of ours are patterned.

  5. Oh, beautiful! I need to see if I can find a paint roller in the craft desert that is Hawaii... I did finally find a decent craft store with more than yellow and orange paint. I'll have to check them out! Or get a giant one from Home Depot.That would make for some entertaining pics..

  6. Lovely idea-need to get me a roller too!

  7. ooo love how these turned out!!

  8. Those turned out wonderful - what a great idea for the summer and fall:)

  9. Oh these are such happy prints - very uplifting and a project that I am going to put on our to do list (and link back to you when we do).

    I think that my cherubs would love all the elements involved with this - the hunting for the leaves, the gluing and of course the painting. I think this would be such a hit in our house.

    I will have to keep my eye out for Mary Ann Kohl's book.

  10. I love how these prints turned out, and M looks so involved in this project. Fun post!

  11. I love how this came out I will have to try this with Emily!!

  12. Those turned out SO cute! I would frame those in a second! Very pottery barnish. =)

  13. What a fun idea!! You could frame those prints, they're so lovely!


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