Leaf Prints

Maria's leafThis project was done with my 1st – 3rd grade art classes. The kids absolutely loved it…especially their finished masterpieces!!! 🙂

It is so simple to do and can be done for any season or holiday throughout the year.  Leaves, pumpkins, flowers, sea shells, Easter eggs, snowflakes and Christmas trees are just a few ideas that would make great imprint designs.

Since the leaves were falling off the trees, I decided to use them for our stamp project.  Our lesson focused on how to incorporate natural elements in art, recognize the elements of shape in creation and learn various art techniques and skills while having fun creating art.  Plus, as the children saw their finished pieces, it made them smile from ear to ear! 🙂

Leaves-styroLet’s get started –  All you need is STYROFOAM (For my class I cut square shapes out of round plates…I wanted to use rectangle trays that I purchased on sale, but they had an oblong indent in the middle instead of a smooth surface).
StyrofoamOther supplies for this project: LIQUID ACRYLIC PAINT colors of your choice (we used copper and gold), PAPER (we used black card stock for the final project) and scrap white paper to practice drawing leaves, a BRAYER, and a PENCIL.

In addition, you will need various leaves (or pictures of leaves) on hand for the kids to see the shapes and angles of different kinds of leaves.20141114_095031_resizedI demonstrated on a white board how to draw leaves and then gave each student a sheet of scrap paper to practice drawing their leaf design.

Paper that is slightly larger than the size of the foam works best (it helps 1st – 3rd graders to work within a boundary).   As you can see from the photo above, they used their square foam pieces to section off their 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper.  Then, they practiced drawing their leaf designs in squares spaces that were the same size as the foam.

Once they had their leaf drawn. I showed the kids how to lightly (gently) draw their leaf on the styrofoam (reminding them that they did not want to go through the styrofoam, but only make an impression/indent in the foam).
NOTE: No big deal if they press too hard and go through the styrofoam. Just use masking tape on the back side to keep any paint from going through onto their hands.

Big Leaf StampAfter each child practiced on paper, most of them drew the leaf design directly onto the styrofoam.  I also showed them how they could lay the paper (drawn leaf) over the styrofoam and trace over it to make an indent into the foam.20141114_103054_resized-1♥ Lacey taking the opportunity to practice her cursive writing…so cute!!!

Once the leaf imprints were made in the foam, I showed the kids how to use a paint brayer to get a thin coat of paint (Yeah, the rectangle trays were perfect for this step!).  I explained to them that we only want a thin coat of paint on the brayer because we only need to cover the smooth surface of our foam and not inside the leaf impression.  Each child practiced using the brayer and then gently rolled the paint onto the styrofoam leaf image.My HandSeveral ‘wonderful’ mothers volunteered to help out in class.  The moms helped the smaller kids flip/place the leaf stamp onto the black paper (in order to keep the styrofoam from shifting and smearing the image).
kidsleafand what impressive results!!! ♥

Leaf (start to finish)


Birdfeet Stamp Drawing and Styrofoam Stamp.Birdfeet Leaf Finished masterpiece!

Love this one that reminds me of an evergreen tree (I see Christmas cards in the future!!!).
20141114_105050_resized-1***NOTE: Circular instead of square shape stamps can be made from the bottom of the styrofoam plate.  However, I found that this larger round shape looks better imprinted onto a square sheet of card stock instead of the full size rectangle.

I hope these put a smile on your face as it did mine. May you enjoy stamp making with the kids in your life! 🙂

Please let me know if you have any questions and as always, feel free to share/tag what your kids make on our Instagram and Facebook pages.

Happy creating,
Michelle ♥

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