Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fall ATB and Leaf Printing Tutorial

Hello everyone, I have a fun Artist Trading Block project to share with you today, plus a leaf printing technique I think you will really like. First, the ATB:

(Note on the Harvest Girl image - it can be downloaded from the Graphics Fairy.)

I wanted to make it look like the ATB was unzipping and an explosion of leaves and fall flora was coming out. It is certainly festive!

I also had an idea for making leaf prints using mini Distress Ink pads and the box sides make a perfect canvas. Let's dive in and learn how to do it.

First you need to collect your leaves. They should pliable if you are collecting ones that have already fallen. Crunchy will not work! Lay a leaf down on your craft sheet and dab the back side of the leaf with various colors of Distress ink. The mini pads work well because of their smaller surface area. You can blend more colors on the leaf, especially with a smaller leaf. Full size pads could work too. Mist the leaf once or twice. For me, one spritz gave me a more detailed print and two spritzes gave me a looser, watercolor effect. Don't spray too much on or the water will ooze out the sides in the next step and muddle your print.

Next lay the leaf, ink side down, carefully on the surface you are printing on. (I used tweezers.) Lightly hold the leaf in place and run a brayer over it to transfer the ink to the paper. Carefully lift off the leaf and that's it! You can dab extra ink off of your leaf with a baby wipe or paper towel and use it again for subsequent prints.

I tried watercolor paper, Sizzix matboard, manila folder and a craft tag as substrates while I was experimenting. They all worked very well! Here are samples of my experimenting:

watercolor paper

manila, matboard and kraft
Here is a close up of the printing on the ATB - it is really clear and I love the leaf detail transferred:

I hope you are inspired to give this technique a try. =) Most of the supplies I used for this can be found at Inspiration Emporium. Follow the links below and use my code JUICE to save 10% if you go shopping. I will also point out that US shipping is always $5 and international shipping is just $10. ;-)


  1. Beautiful! Love the printed leaves! x

  2. Oh how pretty and very detailed prints you got this way. What a great tip !!!!
    Love your box with the zipper !!!
    Thank you for sharing.
    Hugs from Monica... Spain

  3. Loving those printed leaves and the idea of the zip! Jenny x

  4. Super creative!!! I never think would add ink on leaves and transfer like that. Thanks for sharing the tutorial!!


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