Learn how to print with leaves to make beautiful cloth napkins. They are the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving table, or can be given as a holiday gift! This lovely and simple project comes from the Artful Year book.
Updated October 2023
Enjoy the beauty of nature at the dinner table with these leaf-print napkins. These make a lovely gift for someone special and can also be used during the holidays to add a beautiful touch to any table setting.
This leaf-print activity comes from Jean’s book, The Artful Year: Celebrating the Seasons & Holidays with Crafts & Recipes.
How to Print with Leaves
- Newspaper or an art mat and scrap paper
- Fabric Paint
- Large plate or acrylic box frame, for rolling out the ink
- Mini paint roller
- Leaves and ferns
- Plain white or light-colored cloth napkins, or make your own
- Brayer (hard rubber roller) or rolling pin
- Ironing board
- Prep your work surface
Prepare for leaf printing by protecting your work surface with newspaper or an art mat. Gather all of your materials.
- Roll your paint
Put a couple of spoonfuls of fabric paint on the plate. Roll it around with the paint roller to coat the roller thinly.
- Paint your leaf
Place a leaf, vein side up, on a sheet of newspaper or scrap paper. Roll the paint roller over the leaf to coat it evenly.
- Make the print
Set the leaf, paint side down, on the napkin where you want the print. Set a clean piece of paper over the leaf.
Roll the brayer over the paper-covered leaf to press it down evenly. Carefully lift up the paper and leaf to reveal your print.
Continue with the rest of your napkins.
- Let Dry
Let the napkins dry overnight, and then iron them, following the instructions on the fabric paint bottle to set the paint.
More Thanksgiving Activities for Kids
- 30 Thanksgiving Activities for Kids (Plus a Printable List!)
- 13 Thanksgiving Arts & Crafts for Family Connection
- 15 Thanksgiving Children’s Books
- How to Make a Thanksgiving Garland for Kids
- How to Make a Gratitude Tree for Thanksgiving
- How to Make a Playdough Turkey
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