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Fall is the perfect time of year to try leaf painting. There are so many different ways to paint leaves and pretty much any art supply you use on paper you can use to decorate leaves. I’m a big fan of painting galaxies on rocks and wood and I couldn’t wait to try making galaxy painted leaves.
Supplies for Galaxy Painted Leaves (affiliate links provided for convenience)
- Pressed Leaves – See below for directions on how to press leaves. If you can’t find leaves to try this craft on, you could always draw a leaf on card stock, cut it out and follow the same directions.
- Acrylic Paint – Some of my favorite acrylic paint brands are Folk Art Multi-Purpose Acrylic Paint and the Arteza acrylic paints.
- Paint Brushes – Typically I use inexpensive brushes for painting large areas like the background and then nicer, small round brushes for painting details like the moon and stars.
- Round Foam Brush – Round foam brushes are the secret weapon for creating beautiful galaxy backgrounds.
- Black Paint Marker – I love the the Artistro brand of black paint markers. You can buy just a set of black or there is also a black in their colored paint marker set.
- Nail Dotting Tool (optional) – I love these tools for making perfect round circles. I use them for making shooting stars.
Before You Start: How to Press Leaves for Leaf Painting
- Gather your leaves. You want leaves that are fresh and not already dry.
- Put the leaves between newspaper or card stock and then put heavy books or anything else heavy on top. I usually let the leaves sit for 2-3 days before crafting to make sure the moisture is all out and the leaves are completely dry.
Watch the galaxy leaf painting video and then see the full step-by-step directions below:
Directions for Galaxy Painted Leaves
See below for full details and instructions, or follow this quick step by step along with the video tutorial.
- Cut out a cardstock heart and tape it to the middle of the leaf.
- Paint the leaf black.
- Add galaxy colors with a dabbing brush.
- Paint stars by flicking a brush covered in white paint over the leaf.
- Use a brush and/or nail dotting tool to add more details.
- Outline the leaf with a black paint marker.
- Optional: seal the leaf with a spray.
1. Add the Heart
Cut out a heart from card stock and tape it to the leaf.
2. Paint a Base Coat
Paint the leaf black around the cutout heart.
3. Add Colors
Using a round foam brush, start by adding colors by lightly pouncing directly onto the leaf.
4. Add Stars
Add stars by applying a small amount of white acrylic paint to a tooth brush. Keep the bristles pointed away from you (you want them facing the rock), and run you finger up the bristles, gently flicking the paint onto the wood slice. It’s easier to control where the paint goes by getting closer to the rock and flicking slowly.
5. Add Details
Add additional details like a moon and larger stars using a small round paintbrush.
6. Use a Nail Dotting Tool
To add shooting stars and other larger round stars, dip a nail dotting tool (see supply list) into white paint and gently press down on the rock without touching it all the way. You just want the paint to touch. More pressure for larger dots and less pressure to make the dots smaller.
7. Let Dry and Clean Up
Once your design is complete, let the paint dry completely and then remove the paper heart. You can clean up the edges of the heart and give the lines a crisp, clean look by using a black paint marker.
8. Optional: Seal Your Galaxy Leaf Art
I don’t typically seal my leaves, but if you want you could brush some mod podge on your finished leaf.