I’m all about the easy art project.
Every now and then we go all out and do some kind of spectacular, messy, or fancy art activity, but mostly I’m for quick to set up, easy to do, low mess activities. If it takes more than five minutes to organise or requires some fancy item we don’t already have, I’m out.
But this little gem of an activity ticks all my boxes – quick, easy, almost no mess, oh and it’s cool too!
Easy Leaf Printing
To get started with some easy leaf printing you’ll need:
- Paper – scraps and sheets to print onto.
- A rolling pin.
- A damp clothe or wet wipe for fingers.
We started by going on a leaf hunt and collecting a big selection of different leaves.
You need to choose fresh leaves, leaves that are soft and supple. Dried autumn leaves are too brittle and will break.
You also need to look for leaves with a strong veined texture on their underside, and ones that are fairly strong and can withstand a bit of handling.
We found nasturtium leaves were too soft and breakable, and gum leaves didn’t have enough texture, but strawberry leaves, violet leaves and even some weeds were perfect.
Start by choosing a leaf and placing it face down on a scrap of paper. Make sure the underside of the leaf is facing up, with all the veins and texture showing.
Now all you need to do is colour your leaf in with some markers.
You need to colour your whole leaf, making sure you go right to the edges and get marker along all the veins and the centre.
We found the big fat markers (we used Micador Marathon markers) were much easier to use and gentler on the leaves. The thinner markers were good for adding details or little bursts of extra colour.
Once your entire leaf is coloured, give your marker covered fingers a quick wipe, then carefully lay the leaf, coloured side down onto a clean sheet of paper.
Try not to move the leaf around once it’s on the paper, then carefully use the rolling pin, pressing down quite hard, and roll over the leaf just once.
My big kids (aged 8-11) were easily able to manage this art activity on their own. My small one (aged five) had more trouble making a single clear print of the leaves, but it wasn’t at all about the product for him, he loved the process of colouring, printing and then seeing what was on his paper.
This is a totally unspectacular, not very messy, super simple art activity, but it’s loads of fun and the results are kinda cool!
Go out and collect some leaves and give it a go!