How To Print on Leaves with your Ink Jet Printer

The Autumn leaves have been fantastic this year in God’s forgotten country, so I had this idea, I wanted to print on leaves. With my cheapo ink jet printer. I expected to fail, but I didn’t. It turned out to be easy, fast, and fun.

WARNING: THIS WORKED FOR ME, IT MAY OR MAY NOT WORK FOR YOU. DO NOT BLAME ME IF YOU END UP WITH LEAF LITTER IN YOUR PRINTER. ALRIGHT?

First you are going to need some leaves. I got mine from the yard.

1. Seal your leaves. I used glossy Mod Podge mixed down about half and half with water. I brushed a thin layer of Mod Podge on one side of the leaves, let it dry, then did the other. The eaves stayed very pliable and were just shiny enough. I was very pleased.

2. Decide what you want to print on your leaf and open up MicroSoft Word or whatever word processor you have. Play with the fonts and come up with something that will fit on your leaf. With some trail and error I figured out it’s best to go bold and as large as you can without getting too large for your leaf. This is what I came up with..

                                                       Even the

                                                               Leaves

                                                                   Fall for

                                                                          You.

 

Yeah, I know it’s corny, give me a break. The idea here is for you to come up with your own.  You can even use a picture.

3. Test print your sentiment or picture on a piece of plain paper. You’ll want to move this to the center of your page because you’ll be attaching your leaf directly to this.

4. Line up your leaf with the printing on your test page and stick it down with removable glue dots (seriously) and run it through the printer. I used 4 glue dots per leaf, trying to keep all the edges stuck down, use more or less depending on your leaf.

And that’s all it takes.

Now do something wonderful with your printed leaf. I made the shadow boxy thing above.

 

Cat Card

The best thing about making your own cards are the inside jokes. You can truly share something with someone that no one else in the world would understand, such is the case with this card.

I won’t tell you the story behind it. Let’s just say someone I care deeply about had a rough week and needed a laugh.

Card from the Cat Lady

I hand cut most of this card with an Exacto knife, the frames did come from the CTMH Art Philosophy Cartridge. I’m starting to experiment with Copic markers and did the background piece, bed, and pillows, with those. And yes, I did intend for the cats to look a bit creepy.

If you would like free detailed instructions and a materials list, email me at addie.recoy@gmail.com.

Fun Blog Hop Tomorrow

Don’t forget me and some other fabulous Close To My Heart Consultants will be doing an Art Philosophy blog hop tomorrow. I can’t wait to see what they come up with and share what I made.

Tune in tomorrow.

Meanwhile here’s a picture of a cat…..

Black Walnut Ink Tags, Finally

I finally got around to doing something with that black walnut alcohol ink that I made a while ago.

And they came out really cool..

When I began this project, I knew I wanted these to look distressed, but not like I had distressed them. It may sound like a subtle difference, but it isn’t.  Most “distressed” pieces look a bit overdone, and frankly, not that well  thought out. Swabbing a little ink on the edges doesn’t quite cut it.

I started by gathering materials. Duh.

Then I sponged the tags very heavily with black walnut alcohol ink. This gives a nice genuine aged look without looking too obvious.

      

While these are a set, I like each one to display some individuality. Nothing too matchy-matchy.

            

Now for the stamping, in an atrtept to come up with a random look, I used a variety of stamps from several different sets, CTMH January Stamp of the Month-Little Reminder,  Live Inspired and Tag the Occasion.

   

              

Then I embossed the images that I wanted to be the focal point of my tags.

A quick drag of one side of the tag…

A couple more little stamps and a splotch of ink….

..and they are done.

Many of the tools and materials used in this project are available at my Close to my Heart Store. Actually, you should make your own. They are fun, fast, and unique as you are.

How to Make Alcohol Ink

DIY Black Walnut Alcohol Ink

Everybody is all crazy about alcohol inks. The fact is they are really easy to make. For a basic recipe all you have to do is check out YouTube and you’ll be on your way. I used this video to make the inks for my business cards and tags. Check it out here..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6z5JgUOw3U .

Homemade Alcohol Ink

As you can see, it might be a bit messy, but it’s not rocket science.

BUT……I had to take it a step further, I decided to see if I could make walnut hull alcohol ink. Guess what? It’s working out.

First I gathered up 10 black walnut hulls from my yard. If you don’t happen to live in God’s country, where the black walnut trees grow, you might just be SOL on this project. (Hint: talk nice to me and I just might send you some, email me).

Anyway…wear gloves with this project. Walnut hulls aren’t actually a dye, they are a stain. A stain that’s as permanent as dye. I’ve been working with these things for years on fiber. They give a beautiful mellow brown that just can’t be duplicated.

So, wearing gloves (OK, I just used a ziploc bag around my hand. Do as I say, not as I do.) I crunched up the hulls into a 16 oz. glass container. In this case a reallybadforyoubuttastydip jar, and added 70% isopropyl alcohol to cover. Then I let it sit for a while. And by a while I mean until I got around to writing this post, think a couple of hours or two glasses of wine, however time is measured in your Universe.

Next strain the contents of the jar through some preferably used cheesecloth and your crappiest colander. This stuff’s not toxic, but it is vicious and could (will) stain.

Seriously, your crappiest colander

Let walnut gunk stain for a while.

and you end up with this.

Treat what is t in the cheesecloth like toxic waste.Throw the gunk and cheesecloth away. Head out to the outdoor trash can with it immediately. It will mess up your trash can. After walnuts fall, they exist only to strain things. Black walnuts are not happy little trees.

Now lay down your craft sheet, or as we refer to it in this house, the freezer paper. And see what you’ve got.

I'm not kidding, people, this is nasty stuff. Freezer paper.

Yeah, I know it's still wet. But cool, huh?

This gives an aged effect that just can’t be beat. I’m putting this one in the win column.

Give it a try It’s quick, messy, and easy. Three of my favorite thing You are going to need stuff to use with all the cool dyes you just made.

Happy crafting and don’t tip over.

Stay tuned for the next exciting episode when we will do something with our nifty new inked cards. I just haven’t decide quite what.

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