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How to Paint a Design With a Leaf Borrowed From Nature

Pluck yourself a one-of-a-kind stamp, then use it to create a fresh, wallpaper-like pattern

Photo by Stewart Grant/ESS/IPC Images

How to Paint a Leaf Stamp

Cost: About $10

Time: About 4 hours per wall

Difficulty: Easy

Tools: Foam brush

Shopping List: Metallic craft paint, craft glue, paper, paper towel, a pencil, and string

Here's a DIY project that doesn't require much in the way of supplies. Simply step outside, gather leaves that have a shape you like, and you're halfway there. The pattern here was made with a bodhi leaf used as a stamp; for a similar look, you could try a linden, an aspen, a catalpa, or a redbud. Make sure the leaves are flat yet pliable. For each stamp, run a tiny amount of craft glue down the middle of the front of the leaf and stick it to a square of paper. Slide pieces of paper towel between the leaf and the backing paper to keep paint from getting on the paper.

<p>To get a lacy look, practice on paper before moving to the wall. Adjust the amount of paint—and pressure—until you get a look you like.</p>

To get a lacy look, practice on paper before moving to the wall. Adjust the amount of paint—and pressure—until you get a look you like.

Photo by Stewart Grant/ESS/IPC Images

Then, with a small foam brush, paint the leaf's back using metallic craft paint or any paint in a color or finish that contrasts with the wall. Remove the paper towel and find a spot for the leaf on the wall. Press firmly without twisting or rocking. Continue, randomly scattering leaves or arranging them evenly. To avoid rigid rows but achieve pleasing spacing, tie one end of a piece of string to a pencil and knot the other end; place the knot at the center of the first stamp, mark the center of the next one, and so on. Don't lose sleep over imperfections: A little natural variation is part of the charm.