Easy Autumn DIY: Leaf Prints

Do you like to collect fallen leaves during autumn? I definitely do! My blog and instagram feed is full of people doing the same so I am guessing this is an activity most of us visual people can't resist. Even though I love hot weather (don't ask, I don't know why would someone who loves hot weather live in Finland), autumn always brings this cozy atmosphere that makes me feel warm on the inside. Collecting leaves reminds me of my childhood years. Autumn was always a beautiful time of year in Murmansk, where I grew up, and every year in elementary school we had a class cancelled so we could go and collect colorful leaves. The teachers encouraged us to pick the prettiest leaves and taught us the right names for the colors and types of plants. It felt like looking for hidden treasures. I still enjoy walking around the park looking for different trees and prettiest leaves.

Lately it has become almost a tradition for me to make prints using the leaves I've collected. In previous years I made t-shirts for my band and autumn-inspired notebooks for my shop. This year I wanted to make some art prints because the walls in our apartment are still empty since we moved in. I have been collecting some art to hang, but I am still in the gathering and planning stage. After several tries I ended up with a print I am happy with (pictured above) and I'd like to share my super simple process with you.


All you need for this project is fresh leaves (don't let them dry, as they will break easily), paper or carton, paint and brush. I tried using both watercolors and acrylic paints. The one pictured in the instructions below is watercolor and the one used for the print in the picture above is acrylic. You can see the results are a bit different and I like both looks. The technique is exactly the same for both types of paint. If you use acrylics you will need a bit of water added to them. I just dipped my brush in water before taking more paint each time. I suggest collecting more leaves than you need so you can practice on scrap paper before making the final print.


1&2. Paint your leaf with watercolor or acrylic paints. Use some water, but not too much for the color to be bright enough. Feel free to experiment to get the results you are looking for.
3. Carefully turn the leaf upside down and place the painted leaf on paper or other surface you are printing on.
4. Press it to the paper making sure all of the edges of the leaf contact the surface.
5. Remove the leaf from the paper.
6. Paint the edges with a thin brush, if necessary.

Do you like to collect leaves during autumn? Do you use them in your DIYs? I'd love to see your projects!


  1. Ahhh this is so cool! I was in a little forest yesterday to collect a few leaves and I thought about drawing them or just doing something creative with them but I had not a single good idea. Your idea is so simple yet so beautiful and pretty! I am going to do this soon, thank you! :)

    1. I'm so happy you're going to make this too, Janina! Yes, I like how this project is so simple and you can experiment with colors and different shapes of leaves. I'd love to see your project, please share your results!