Friday, October 29, 2010

Yes You Can: Leaf Prints

Hey there! It’s Candy from Candied Fabrics. For today's Yes You CAN tutorial, I want to show you how to make these leaf prints, don’t they look fabulous all clipped to some twine with little mini clothespins?

I grew up in New England, but have spent the last 6 years in Southern California, so each Fall, I get all jealous when folks post pix of beautiful fall leaves, so I decided make some leaf prints in fall colors to satisfy that need for fall leaves (without the mountains of leaf raking!) Here’s what MY backyard looks like right now:

Yeah, I know life is tough…in about a month I’m gonna have about 100 pomegranates, anyone want one?

Wax Paper
Textile paint
Fresh leaves (not dried, they’ll get crunched)
Paper plate (for a palette)
Osnaburg, (the fabric feedsacks were made of)
72F Peltex II (double sided fusible ultra firm stabilizer)
Rolling pin/brayer
Parchment paper
Mini clothespins

Foam Brushes
Iron and Ironing board
Scissors or rotary cutter/ruler/cutting mat

My final leaf prints are 6” x 8”, so I cut Osnaburg into 8” x 10” rectangles. Osnaburg is a natural colored, nubby fabric make from short cotton fibers that are a waste product from textile mills – they used to use it to make feedsacks. I love it because it’s got lots of lovely texture, and it’s a lot less expensive than linen.

Place a piece of the fabric on top of a stack of newspapers – the padding underneath will help the print be clearer. Use a foam brush to coat the underside of the leaf (the texture of the veins look better on the backside) with paint. Turn it over and place it on the fabric. Cover the leaf with a piece of waxed paper, and press firmly all over. I used a mini rolling pin as a brayer, but just using your hands works as well. You want to be careful to not have too thick a paint layer, as it may ooze out the edges and makes for blogs – these pictures show a leaf that had a bit too much paint.

Let it dry and repeat…it gets a bit addictive! I had fun mixing different hues of red, gold and orange and toning them down with a bit of brown. Some of my favorite prints were when I used two different colors on different parts of the same leaf. On some of the boring, or less than perfect prints, I went back and added a second leaf.

I really like hanging multiple prints on a mini clothesline, but the fabric by itself is too flimsy for my taste, so I like to mount it to Peltex, an extra heavy interfacing with heat activated glue on both sides.

Cut the Peltex into 6” x 8” rectangles. Place the rough side of the Peltex in the center of the back side of your leaf print, leaving the lining on the other side of the Peltex for the time being and fuse the fabric to the peltex, there will be a 1” border of fabric extending around all sides.

Remove the lining from the underside of the Peltex, exposing the 2nd side of the fusible glue. With the back of the Peltex facing up, pull one corner of the fabric background around to the back and tack it to the Peltex with your iron (don’t pull too hard or you’ll round off your corner). Repeat with the other 3 corners. You can then wrap the sides around to the back and fuse them as well – be careful to avoid touching the exposed fusible glue of the Peltex back. Once the edges have all been wrapped and fused to the back, cover it with parchment paper and iron again, the parment will peel back off the exposed glue once it dries.

Hang and enjoy!

See – I’ve now got autumn leaves in my bedroom, without having to rake any leaves! I’d love to hear from you if you decide to make some of your own. And next month, I’ll be back with some more fabric hung from a string, I’d like to show you my version of fabric garland!


Cyn said...

Love these! Although I do have plenty of autumn leaves both in the trees and in my yard right now. I think I might try this with a spring green palette... Thanks for the tut!

Angie said...

Great tutorial - this is a perfect project, as the leaves are currently changing.

Pen and Paperie said...

I love this simulation of fall (I am in Florida and also surrounded by lush green). I may have to try this!!

Debbie said...

Thanks for these excellent instructions, Candy. I have all the supplies you list! But, no time to try it out until December. I think there may not be any leaves around by then, LOL! So, will have to wait until spring...

Candied Fabrics said...

Thanks all! Debbie, I wonder if you grab some fresh leaves, put them in a ziplock bag with a damp paper towel and stash them in your refrigerator, they may be good in December!

Debbie said...

Interesting idea, Candy. I'll keep a look out for leaves in the next
few days. Maybe it will work.

mjb said...

Great tutorial! said...

I'm so jealous. I love pomegranates! YUM! Thanks so much for the great tute, I'll be linking.

Creative Mind said...

these are so lovely...great great tutorial..thanks