Nature’s innate beauty always calls for an interesting art project. Using natural materials can add a very unique detail to your home and make it that much cozier. Whether you are planning a fall wedding, a family Thanksgiving dinner or just want to use some fun techniques to decorate clothing, pressing leaves onto fabric is a fantastic and super budget friendly solution. Read on to find out how to make your towels and napkins a bit more original.
Step 1: Firstly, you would need some gorgeous leaves. It is better if the leaves are fresh – picked right off the tree or chosen carefully from the ground. Old leaves, with no moisture in them won’t be able to stain the fabric, so shy away from them. Also, decide which shapes and hues would look best on the towels and napkins you are planning to decorate.
Step 2: Take out your fabric and iron it carefully – wrinkles hold the potential of sabotaging your project. Then, place the fabric on a flat, strong surface, such as the floor or a sturdy table. Choose your surface carefully – it needs to be something that won’t get damaged easily.
Step 3: Place the leaves on top of the fabric and tape the edges with paper tape. It is important not to allow for any tape between the leaf and the fabric, as the fabric will remain unstained if that happens.
Step 4: Place a paper towel on top of the leaves. The process of staining your fabric with the leaves is a bit aggressive and you don’t want to run the risk of destroying your natural materials before you have had the chance to complete the project.
Step 5: Here comes the fun part! This project is absolutely perfect if you have been feeling a bit of stress or anxiety. Some time, a double-sided hammer and you are all set to make your towels and napkins decorated with leaves. Smashing the paper towel covered leaves with a hammer will make them release their juices, hence staining the fabric in beautiful shapes and colors. Start by hammering at the edges, to create the leaf outlines. Then, fill in the rest. Rotate between vertical and horizontal lines, to make sure that the leaves’ juices run well. Every now and again you can remove the paper towel to see the shape that has form on it – this is also the shape that will be on your fabric, so the towel will serve as a sample of what is happening on the towel or napkin.
Alternative to Step 5: If you don’t want to tap onto your aggressive side with a hammer, you can use an alternative – a pencil. Use a pencil with a blunt end to stain your fabric with the perfect leaf pattern. All you need to do is fill in the leaf, pressing hard, and it will make a mark on the fabric. This alternative is great for children, as it is safe and easy to do.
With paint: Another fantastic way to decorate your fabric in the shape of leaves is to use paint. The pattern is best created with fabric paint, as it is more durable and would enable you to wash the piece of cloth in a washing machine. This techniques works especially well with rather elaborate leaves, such as ferns. Their shapes translate especially well onto the fabric and create a magnificent effect. All you need to do is dab a small paint roller in fabric paint and cover the leaf in it. Then, place it onto the fabric, painted side down, and cover it with a paper towel. Next, go over the paper towel with the roller, pressing hard. Make sure to remove the towel and leaf right away, as it may be difficult to do it when the paint dries. This technique is also rather straightforward and can be executed even by small children, if you want to engage them in an artsy endeavor.
Pressing leaves onto towels and napkins is one of the easiest, cheapest and chicest ways to create interesting, nature-inspired decorations for pretty much any occasion. Don’t be afraid to experiment with shapes and colors, but make sure you test the technique before actually applying it on any important or expensive fabrics.