DIY Nature Prints
By Dianely Luis, Arlington Parks & Recreation
Posted on May 18, 2020, May 18, 2020

Let your imagination run wild with these beautiful nature prints! This craft project is great for all ages and creates a beautiful intricate design. Take the time to go on a nature walk with your family and collect your favorite leaves to use for printing. Leaves with thick veins are best for leaving good imprints, but you can do this craft with any type of greenery and get as creative as you’d like!


  • Small leaves, clovers, ferns, etc.
  • Air dry clay [link for our DIY post]
  • Wax paper
  • Book
  • Paint (optional)
  • Paintbrushes (optional)


  1. Take a about a table spoon or two of air dry clay and roll into a ball between your hands.
  2. Lay a small leaf on the wax paper (or any other non-stick surface) with the vein side up and set the clay ball on the leaf.
  3. Press down with the book to flatten it. You can use the palm of your hand, but a book will help your clay print stay level. 
  4. Carefully lift the clay disk, turn it over, and peel away the leaf. Repeat this process with your remaining leaves and clay balls. 
  5. Leave the nature prints out to allow the clay to begin hardening. It will take about 2 days for the prints to fully dry.

These clay nature prints are beautiful on their own, but for a more colorful and defined print, you can paint the leaf print after drying the clay overnight. Make sure the paint gets into all the tiny crevices from the leaf’s print. You can leave the full paint, or use a damp cloth to gently rub off some of the paint. Some of the paint will remain in the crevices which will highlight the intricate details of the leaf’s veins! You can also add food coloring or glitter to the clay to have more fun experimenting with different leaf prints and color combinations! Share your nature prints by tagging @ArlingtonParks on social media and using #NaturallyFun.

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