How to create art with fall leaves

Turn your favorite autumn foliage into contemporary art for your wall. Get our simple step-by-step

Leaf prints project

Photo by Rob D. Brodman; design by Sheila Schmitz

Easy fall decorating: DIY art from autumn leaves

Instant leaf prints

Bring nature's magic indoors with this simple project: Just gather a few of your favorite leaves or flowers, flatten them under a book, then copy them with a color photocopier.

Glue prints to canvas-covered boards (about $2 in art supply stores). Glue a small inexpensive wood frame to the back to act as hanger; it also sets off your print from the wall.

More:  How to make a leaf print

Leaf prints step 2

Rob D. Brodman

Steps 1 & 2

Step 1: Flatten each leaf slightly under a heavy book. Copy with a color photocopier (cover leaf with white paper to minimize shadows). Enlarge image to desired size.

Step 2: Select a canvas board smaller than the leaf copy. Dampen board surface by brushing with water and blotting off excess with a cloth or paper towel. While board is still damp, brush on a light, even coat of Mod Podge. Be sure to cover corners.

Leaf prints step 3

Rob D. Brodman

Step 3

While glue is still wet, slowly and gently apply print, working from one side of the board to the other. Use a clean cloth or paper towel to rub down the print as you go. When the print covers the entire board, continue to press and rub to smooth the surface.

(Tip: If you want to try again with another print, wash off the glue and paper from the board before the glue sets, and start with another color copy.)

Leaf prints step 4

Rob D. Brodman

Step 4

Allow to dry thoroughly (ideally overnight under a heavy book) before using a craft knife to trim excess paper flush with the face of the board. 

Leaf prints step 5

Rob D. Brodman

Step 5

Using white glue, affix the small frame to the center of the back to serve as a hanger.

Leaf print materials

Rob D. Brodman


  • Fall leaves
  • Heavy book
  • Color photocopier
  • Sheet of white paper
  • Canvas-covered art boards (often used for paintings); 8 by 10 in. or smaller usually works well
  • Soft, flat paintbrush
  • Cloths or paper towels
  • Mod Podge or other decoupage glue (available at most art-supply stores); choose a matte formula
  • Craft knife
  • White glue
  • Small unfinished-wood craft frames (to use as hangers)

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