How to make your own shiny leaf art in 45 minutes or less

By on Jun 14th

All photos by Stephanie Kaloi.

Lately Ariel likes to issue Offbeat Home challenges to both readers of the site and staff members of the Empire. She put out a call for a "DIY guinea pig" — and if you're like me (or Copy Editor Caroline, Ad Manager Kathleen, or Tribe Community Manager Kirsten), you immediately assumed she meant you'd be making your own guinea pig, right? WRONG. INSTEAD she wanted someone to make super pretty leaf art, à la this pin on Pinterest.

The problem with the original pin is that it's totally detail-less — when you go to the source there's nothing. I volunteered to attempt this (ugly DIY history and all), and basically made up my own rules based on what I think is happening in the pin.

What you need

My supplies!

How you do it

  • Paint your canvas with the acrylic paint of your choice:

I started out by just squirting paint directly onto the canvas and then using the brush to apply it. It worked!

  • Place your leaf face-down on top of the wet paint:

The original instructions weren't very detailed, so I kind of winged this. After putting the leaf face-down I painted the side of the leaf that was facing me so that the entire thing was blue (or whichever color I was using at the time).

  • Cover everything with spray paint:

As I mentioned, I live in an apartment complex and I was totally not sure where I should go to try to spray paint something — or four somethings. I found a kind of secluded area and spray painted the entire thing — leaf and all — until it was covered.

  • Remove the leaf:

I took this photo in the middle of the day so the light is pretty harsh, but you can see the blue leaf on top of the silver paint, yeah?

  • Let it dry:


  • Repeat:

I did this four times, and each time I felt like I had a better handle on what I was attempting. Behold:

After everything was dry I then painted the outside of the the canvas with the corresponding leaf color, but that's just because I thought it was cute:

Oh, and if you're still holding out for that guinea pig… here you go.

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About Stephanie Kaloi

I am the former editor of Offbeat Families, and owner/photographer at Stephanie Kaloi Photography in Portland, OR.