Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I had been wanting to do some leaf rubbings for awhile but had to wait for spring! Here are the steps to doing the rubbings.

  • Select several leaves to use. They should be veined and have a lot of detail.
  • Select the paper to use. I used tracing vellum which came in tablet form.
  • You will need a paperweight and colored pencils or crayons.
  • Place the leaves under the vellum in any design that you would like.
  • Put the paperweight on the vellum where it will help keep the paper and leaves in place. I might suggest to tape the paper to the counter or tabletop to hold it in place. It tends to slip even with the paperweight and my other hand holding the paper down.
  • I used colored art pencils. Use the side of the pencil tip to do the broader parts and the tip to do the narrower parts. Gently rub the pencil across the leaf. You will get the feel for it. I had an eraser handy, too, to erase the color that went "out of the lines." As I did more, I got the hang of it.
  • Do not use the same leaf more than once. I did. I made a mess and some of the rubbings don't look as good as the others.
  • This was my first attempt, done on 8-1/2" x 11" vellum.
  • I used a red Japanese maple and a mauve colored pencil.
  • I tried a house plant leaf, an Angel Wing Begonia, it didn't work. It has too much moisture in the leaf.
  • I don't care for the rubbing of the leaf with a crayon. There isn't enough definition of the leaf veins. I also prefer to use the darker colored art pencils.

What to do with the final product?

  • make a greeting card or a note card
  • frame it and hang it on the wall
  • make a calendar using different leaf rubbings for each month

I clearly need more practice before I do anything with the rubbings.

I don't know what the other leaves are. One was on a flowering plant which showed up in our flower bed voluntarily. The other was just a leafy plant which also just happened to show up.

Have fun making your rubbings and be sure to let me know how they turned out.

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