Hand-Pressed Paper

I've always been fascinated by letterpress and all sorts of screen printing. I came across this pseudo-stamp leaf technique and had to try it. The results are gorgeous and one-of-a-kind while the process is unbelievably simple. And the materials are things you can already find around your house and your yard.


Assorted leaves (not too dry)
Paper or cards for printing
Acrylic paint
Wide, flat paintbrush
Magazine or scrap paper for pressing


1. First you'll need to figure out the look of your final product. Do you want a print of a single leaf or multiple leaves making a new pattern? Will it be monochromatic or will you use multiple colors in your design?

2. Once you've got an idea in mind, turn your leaf (or leaves) over to the back side and apply a thin layer of paint. Using the underside/backside of the leaves will make your print more textured and clear.

3. Place the leaf paint-side-down on your paper. Put the magazine or scrap paper over top of the leaf and press firmly.

4. Peel back and repeat the process until you achieve the desired affect. You should be able to get two prints out of each coat of paint (apply
paint, press once, then press again). The second print will be a bit fainter, but applying too much paint will sacrifice the finer details of the print.

Some fun variations on this project include, using seasonal colors or different types of leaves for certain times throughout the year. Evergreens in reds, greens, and golds are more holiday appropriate while sticking with a green and yellow palette is more spring-approriate.

Here are a few of my results :

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