It's autumn and a season for walks through the woods or the park collecting leaves – and for spending cool afternoons in the garden harvesting late vegetables. It's a time when we try to hang on to summer memories while we prepare for winter and – dare we say it – Christmas. This fall, use some of your natural finds as printing blocks and get a head start on your gift list. Designer Kathryn Lamb of Hudson, Que., explains how easy it is. Using a variety of leaves, flowers, feathers and even sliced vegetables she has printed an assortment of household accessories to keep at home or give away.
You need (for all projects):
• Rubber roller or brayer (optional)
• Soft-lead pencil
• Artist's paintbrushes: 1 pointed round, for inks and watercolours, and 2 flat-edge brushes, 1/2-in and 1 in wide, for thick pigments such as acrylic paints
• Bond paper (to keep fingers clean)
• Print with natural articles, such as leaves, flowers, seedpods, sliced or halved vegetables, feathers, shells.
• Articles to be used for printing should be clean and dry, with a relatively flat printing surface.
• Press leaves and flowers between telephone-book pages to dry, flatten or store. If they become brittle, rehydrate by sandwiching between 2 damp sheets of paper towel and pressing overnight under a flat, heavy object.
• Printing an article on various surfaces, such as paper, wood or fabric, yields different results; there are no perfect combinations.
• As a rule of thumb, print delicate articles (for example, fragile leaves and flowers) using thin media such as inks or watercolours and print sturdier articles (for example, halved firm vegetables) using thick pigments such as acrylic paints.
• Avoid printing onto heavily textured surfaces and synthetic fabrics.
• Design printing by placing individual articles, such as leaves, on surface to be printed until pleasing arrangement is achieved. If desired, mark placement with very light pencil line.
• Always test before final printing.
• Print flat articles using a rubber roller or brayer (available at craft supply stores), rolling pin or the heel of your hand to press and print article onto surface. Apply even pressure over entire surface, including edges.
• Print thick or uneven articles, such as halved vegetables, by omitting layer of bond paper and roller, and applying even pressure by hand.
• Cover work surface with plastic drop sheet or newsprint. Keep paper towels and containers of water ready for cleanups.
Looking for more easy-to-make fall accessories? Click here: Autumn-themed table runners and napkin rings
Page 1 of 5 – Find out how to make cute fall greeting cards on page 2.
• Stiff white or light-coloured matte finish paper in desired size, for printed panel
• Stiff coloured paper folded in half to desired size, for card
• Small articles to print with
• Stamp pad(s) with coloured ink in desired permanent colour(s)
• Calligraphy pen or marker in desired permanent colour(s)
• Coordinating or contrasting watercolour paint, water and brush (all optional)
• Tweezers and glue stick
1. Place article to be printed, right side down, on stamp pad; cover with sheet of bond and lightly rub entire surface.
2. Remove bond, lift article to be printed with tweezers and position, ink side down, on paper panel. Cover with fresh piece of bond and print. Lift off bond and printing article. Let dry. If desired, dilute paint with water; brush on mixture for wash effect. Let dry.
3. Pen message onto printed panel; glue panel to card front
Page 2 of 5 – Looking for a festive carrier for all your fall decorations? Learn to make an autumn-themed wooden box or tray on page 3.
Wooden box or tray
• Unpainted wooden box or tray
• White acrylic primer/sealer (optional)
• Acrylic paint or translucent glaze in 2 or more desired colours, for background and printing colours
• Article(s) to print with
• Acrylic varnish (gloss or matte)
• Foam brush, 1 in wide, for varnish
1. Paint box with coat of primer to cover wood grain, if desired. Let dry.
2. Paint or glaze box with 1 or 2 coats of background colour; let dry after each coat.
3. Paint printing colour onto 1 side of article to be printed. Place on wood, paint side down, cover with sheet of bond and print. Lift off bond and printing article. Repeat as desired. Let dry.
4. Apply 1 or 2 coats of varnish; let dry after each coat.
Page 3 of 5 – Discover how your placemat and napkins can be creative works of art on page 4.
Placemat and napkin
You need (for each set):
• 2 large rectangles of medium-weight linen or homespun cotton or duck, each 47 x 35.5 cm (18-1/2 x 14 in), for place mat*
• 2 pieces of medium-weight cotton: 1 small rectangle 42 x 30.5 cm (16-1/2 x 12 in), for printed panel and one 38 cm (15 in) square, for printed napkin*
• Fabric paint in desired colour(s)
• Article(s) to print with
• Matching thread
* Preshrink and press all fabrics.
Note: Keep printing 13 mm (1/2-in) from all edges to allow for turn under.
1. Paint printing colour onto 1 side of article to be printed. Place on right side of small rectangle, paint side down, cover with sheet of bond and print. Lift off bond and printing article. Repeat as desired. Let dry. In same manner, print square. Let dry. Set paint following manufacturer's instructions.
2. Press under 13 mm around all edges of printed rectangle; centre on right side of 1 large rectangle; edgestitch and topstitch. With right sides together and edges even, stitch 2 large rectangles together leaving 10 cm (4 in) opening centred on 1 short edge. Clip seam allowance across corners and turn right side out. Press under 13 mm around opening; edgestitch and topstitch all edges, sewing opening closed.
3. Press under 13 mm twice around all edges of printed square; topstitch.
Page 4 of 5 – Find out how to give your lampshade a nice fall-colour touch on page 5.
•Sheet of synthetic parchment calligraphy paper large enough to fit around lampshade
•Acrylic paint or glaze, for printing
•Calligraphy pen or marker in desired permanent colour(s) (optional)
•Narrow satin ribbon or other trim to cover paper edges around top and bottom of shade
•Pencil and white craft glue
Note: Keep printing 4 cm (1-5/8 in) from 1 short edge to allow for overlap.
1. Wrap parchment around lampshade; with pencil trace top and bottom edges, then mark vertical "seam" line, adding 4 cm overlap to 1 seam edge. Open parchment flat.
2. Paint printing colour onto 1 side of article to be printed. Place on parchment, paint side down, cover with sheet of bond and print. Lift off bond and printing article. Repeat as desired. Let dry. Pen words on parchment if desired.
3. Cut printed parchment along pencil fines, wrap around shade and glue overlap. Glue ribbon around top and bottom of shade to cover parchment edges; trim ribbon ends, turn under and butt.
Page 5 of 5