Being creative is perhaps the most calming thing to my personality. I had such a grumpy day the other day. It was a day of grown up temper tantrums (mine) that left me feeling deflated. Out came the markers, in came some leaves. A little creative brainstorming and my littles and I were absorbed in making these sweet and easy leaf prints with washable markers.
Dinner was late and completely unimpressive. But my brain felt better, my heart felt lighter. I liked my family a little bit more. Isn’t that what making art is about? Art isn’t necessarily about the product but just the act of making. Making stuff feels good. Even when, or sometimes especially when, it’s as simple as these little leaf prints!
Make art from nature…
This time of year everything in Ohio is green. Being August we know the green isn’t here forever. But while it is I have had leaves on the brain. We used them last week for this leaf rubbing crayon resist and for these striking botanical prints.
For this project you need to snag some leaves to use. Any kind of leaf will do; although smaller is better. It’s okay to have multiples of the same kind. My mainstays were tomato, potato, birch, and Japanese maple. Use what you have.
Grab some markers…
Besides some pretty leaves all you need for this printmaking project are some washable markers, plain old Crayola markers will do just fine! If you wanna’ get fancy these markers are my babies. I use them, love them, and share them with my kiddos.
You will also need some plain white paper, any weight will do, and a paper towel or clean rag.
Make prints with markers…
If you read at The Kitchen Table Classroom often you may have seen another variety of marker prints. In this post we use Styrofoam plates and washable markers to make prints.
This leaf printing process works in a very similar way. Apply marker to the back side of one leaf, where the veins are more prominent. Small leaves are a bit more manageable but if your people insist on trying this with giant hosta or oak leaves, so be it.
Use one color or use three colors. Do what makes you happy. Colors mixing and blending always makes for a unique effect.
Print your leaves….
Take a slightly damp, clean paper towel and wipe it across your white paper. Turn your colored leaf over and press it down onto damp paper. When you lift it up you should see a pretty little leaf print.
You can continue coloring a leaf and printing away. The paper will dry quickly. Use paper towel to wipe across unprinted areas if you need to add more moisture. Touching the leaves that have already been printed will smear the watercolor print.
If each leaf is colored and printed quickly you may not even need dampen the paper again. We just dampened the paper once and worked our way around the paper overlapping prints.