Wonder Wednesday 131: Watercolor Leaf Prints

This Wonder Wednesday activity can be done with pretty much any group of humans and is a super fun and easy process oriented creative nature exploration that can be the art itself, or provide you with a really cool painting that could be cut up into cards or gift tags, covers for a handmade book, or anything else you imagine!

I think the name of the game with this one is to just play. There is no right or wrong way to do this, no right or wrong leaves to use, and no right or wrong thing to do with the prints once they dry! This is process-oriented open-ended art at it's finest!


  • Watercolor paper (any kind, kids watercolor paper is fine!)
  • Watercolor paint (any kind)
  • Paintbrush (I used a 1 inch flat, but use whatever you have and like)
  • Fresh leaves (including salad greens if you don't have access to wild leaves!)
  • Optional: making tape and a stiff board (wood or cardboard) to tape the paper onto if warping is an issue


Go outside or to the market and pick out some green leaves that you like the look of.

I chose papaya leaves from my yard because I am always completely smitten with them. I also chose a little sword fern and bamboo for size contrast. 


Wet your watercolor paper completely.

It doesn't need to have puddles or anything, but it should be wet, not just damp.

Next, you can either place your leaves onto your paper now, or add some paint first onto the wet paper.
(I did both and the results aren't much different (blue=paint first, purple = leaves first)) 

Now, if you added paint first, arrange your leaves on the page into a design you like.

Once your leaves are placed, smooth them down into the wet paper.

Then, have fun adding more paint and drips of water all around the page and paper.

Relax and just play around with the colors blending and bleeding. If an area feels dry add more water. If the colors soak in add more paint!

Enjoy the process!

When you feel you are done, leave the leaf, paint, paper combo to completely dry.

I left mine out overnight, but I live in a very humid area so depending on where you live your paper may dry faster.

Once your paper is completely dry, peel the leaves up and voila! See what happened under the leaves!

What will you make with your watercolor leaf prints? 

Or will you just go with the flow and enjoy the process for it's own sake & enjoyment!

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