Rainbow anything is beautiful but these leaf prints combine the colors of the rainbow with the delicate details of leaves for a finished product you just want to keep looking at! Whether you use this project as an opportunity to talk about the colors of the rainbow or focus on the sensory aspect of coloring on leaves- it’s a winner!
Leaf printing supplies….
Washable markers and leaves- that’s all you need for these leaf print. Chances are you’ve already got what you need!
I bought these fat tip Crayola markers in a box of forty different colors. I love having that kind of variety- every rainbow could be a little different! These are my favorite right now but any washable marker will do. Fat, conical tips will work best for not tearing or cutting the leaf!
Go on a little walk around the yard and gather up some different leaves to experiment with. Any leaf will work but the easiest prints re larger and mostly flat. We used hydrangea leaves, hostas, and maple leaves all with good luck!
And of course you’ll need paper to print on. Copy weight paper will work just fine for this but if I had my way I’d print on card stock! It’s so bright white and holds up nicely!
Color a rainbow leaf….
Flat leaves work best for this process, both for the coloring and the printing. Lay some crap paper or a paper towel under your leaf and color away. This is a great time to emphasize the whole ROYGBIV colors of the rainbow theme. See more on that with this free one page color theory printable or this free printable color book.
I mentioned that fat, conical tipped markers work the best for this. Really, any washable marker will work but the idea is to lay the color on without crushing or tearing the leaf. Lay the smooth side of the leaf down. The rougher, vein covered side should be facing up.
Try to add color over the evenly, over the entire leaf, switching up colors whenever the mood strikes!
Printing a rainbow leaf…
When the leaf is covered in washable marker you’re ready to print! Grab your white paper and a damp paper towel. Wipe across the paper with the paper towel so it’s just damp, but not soggy.
Turn the colored part of the leaf onto the paper and press down gently. Press all over to be sure that the colors from the leaf has a chance to transfer to the paper and then carefully remove the leaf.
More leaf prints….
I love the look of one big leaf per paper but you can absolutely print multiple rainbow leaves on a single paper. Keep in mind that wetting the paper to print further leaves will smear the marker from the first print. So print away but no overlapping!
You can reuse leaves over and over but some marker residue will remain on leaves. Try a fresh leaf and a fresh rainbow pattern. We tried spirals, stripes, classic rainbow arches, and some random organic stripey patterns. They all turn out a little differently but they’re all bright and beautiful!
More ways to add a little nature to art class…
I love art projects in which nature takes center stage! Whether you’re celebrating leaves bursting out in the spring or the amazing colors of fall you’ll love how leaves take center stage in these art projects!
These watercolor leaf prints have amazing detail and work for any age!
Whip up a batch of air dry clay from household ingredients and make a colorful leaf dish!