Make leaf rubbing art



You will need:

  • Leaves
  • Paper
  • Wax crayons


1. Start by heading outside to collect a variety of leaves. Keep an eye out especially for leaves with prominent veins on their underside as these will give the most striking results.

2. Ideally you want to be able to use a long, wide area of wax crayon rather than a pointed end. If your crayon is wrapped in paper you’ll need to peel that away to give you the best possible rubbing tool.

3. Place one leaf down on the table with the veins facing upwards. Lay a piece of paper on top.

4. Working with gentle pressure, start to rub the crayon over the area of paper that’s covering the leaf. Work slowly and try to limit the amount of crayon that goes beyond the outline of the leaf.

5. Once you’ve got used to the basic leaf rubbing technique it’s time to start getting creative! Things you may like to try:

  • Using a series of colours on one leaf
  • Layering colours
  • Making overlapping rubbings
  • Colouring in the leaf rubbing
  • Adding a background to the rubbings
  • Adding other media like watercolour paint or pencil
  • Arranging different sizes and shapes of leaves
  • Rubbing other materials too e.g. bark or flowers

Give yourself freedom to play around with the materials you have and see what you can create.

Perhaps you’ll find a technique you particularly like and set about making a specific piece of artwork that you can frame or display?