Transferring the image of a leaf to paper has been around for years. It’s only recently though, that I learned of a technique using a Big Shot, one of those crafting tools I’ve put off buying for years.
Sizzix Big Shot
Dawn, who blogs at Petals. Paper. Simple Thymes created these beautiful cards using the technique. Dawn’s post and her stunning cards were the impetus I needed. I bought a Big Shot so I could give the technique a try. I’m sharing the Big Shot tool with my sister, Sharon, who makes all of her own cards. We bought some fun dies for her to use for her holiday cards this year.
As Dawn says, this is a wonderful opportunity to combine two loves: gardening and paper crafts.
According to Wiki:
Chlorophyll (also chlorophyl) is any of several closely related green pigments found in cyanobacteria and the chloroplasts of algae and plants. Its name is derived from the Greek words chloros (“green”) and phyllon, (“leaf”). Chlorophyll is essential in photosynthesis, allowing plants to absorb energy from light. – Wikipedia
The technique is simple. You sandwich a leaf or petal between a folded piece of paper, run it through the Big Shot, and the green pigment created by the chlorophyll transfers to the paper. As Pauline King would say, I’m at the messy stage of this process. I’ve yet to make a single card, but not from lack of trying.
I gathered several scraps of paper from my stash to get started, including an old file folder, card stock, old-fashioned typewriter paper and vellum.
Paper: File Folder * Verdict: so-so
Paper: Watercolor * Verdict: Nice most of the time but not for all plant material
Paper: Velum * Verdict: It looks like a Rorschach Test
I quickly learned that all paper is not created equal. In the end it was a scrap of watercolor paper that worked the best. It absorbed some of the natural moisture and showed off the texture of the plant material to good effect.
My collection of leaves were a mixed bag as well. Some were so wet and juicy, that they produced images that were half leaf imprint, half splat. My prints are definitely not ready for prime time, but I am having fun.
I’m still trying to get a good imprint from my coleus leaves. They’re a beautiful mix of red and green and sometimes purple. They’re also heart-shaped. If I can manage to get the impressions just right without the extra moisture they’ll look terrific on a card.
My favorite imprints so far are the fern and the Nepeta.
This imprint is from my lacy fern, a plant I’ve carted around with me for nearly thirty years. It went from a small, seventy-nine cent plant on my nightstand, to owning a corner of our garden. I love it.
Chlorophyll transfer of fern and sweet pea petal to watercolor paper
The Nepeta or cat nip also transferred well, and comically, retained some of its potency. Mouse the Cat hopped up on the desk and enjoyed the scent.
Nepeta (cat mint) transfer
I’ll keep experimenting and hope to eventually have some bona fide cards to share. I tossed the small samples, but gathered the rest of them into a sample booklet, held together with baker’s twine and a few strips of Washi tape.
Chlorophyll Sample Booklet
Have you been working away at a technique for a while with mixed results? Let us know in the comments below.