I've been waiting all winter for the leaves of the trees in my backyard to come to life so I could make these leaf printed pillows. I bought these pillows at Ikea to dress up my bed and instantly knew that they needed something more. They were just so cold, drab, well-- Ikea like. I was initially going to silk screen a leaf pattern onto them, but I discovered printing with a brayer recently and thought it might be a lot easier than going to all the trouble of making a screen. I'm so pleased with the way they turned out! Here is a tutorial on printing using a brayer.
Supplies: Pillow cases (these Ikea pillow cases were around $10 each), collected leaves/ branches, fabric paint, 2 brayers, cardboard, several sheets of scrap paper, tweezers
1. Cut a piece of cardboard to the same size as the pillow cases and put inside the case.
2. Put a dollop of fabric paint on some sort of palate (I used a piece of fiberglass I had sitting around). Use the brayer to spread the paint around and cover the brayer with a thin layer of paint. You can use a piece of cardboard to get some of the paint off of the brayer and get a consistent layer of paint on the brayer.
3. Put a piece scrap paper down. Lay your leaf or branch of leaves down with the vien side facing up. Use the brayer to ink the leaves and limbs.
4. Carefully lay the leaf or branch ink side down onto the pillow case. Set a clean piece of scrap paper on top and use the clean brayer to press the inked leaf or branch onto the fabric. Be careful not to move the leaf or branch during this process.
5. Take the scrap paper off and using tweezers, carefully remove the leaf or branch.
6. Repeat this process as many times as you want. You can continue to use the same leaves or branches until they begin to fall apart. Let dry for at least 2 hours. If you plan to wash the pillow case, you will want to set the ink with an iron.