Pounded Leaf Prints

This is a great project for making botanical prints or note cards. The process transfers leaf color to paper. You can also use cloth to make your own printed fabric. Use a natural, pre-washed material such as cotton and you’ll need to soak it in a mordant to set the dye after your done pounding the plant materials.

Expect to do some experimenting. Different leaf + paper combinations with produce varying results.


  • Water Color Paper
  • Leaves and flowers
  • Wax Paper
  • Hammer


pounded leaf printsSelect the leaves and flowers you want to use. Ferns, maple leaves, colorful blooms are just a few options. Avoid dry materials that won’t transfer well or those that are too fleshy because the color will bleed. And anything white won’t work because there isn’t any color.

Your work surface needs to be flat and hard. Remember that you are going to be pounding it with a hammer so choose a spot that can take a beating.

Tape your paper to the work surface.

Arrange your leaves and flowers. Cover with wax paper.

Now the fun part. Tap the plant materials. Use a steady, even hand and don’t linger on one spot.

Once you have hammered the leaves and flowers to your satisfaction, pull back the wax paper.

Allow the plant juices to dry and you’re done!