Printing with Ferns

There’s something so enchanting about the combination of nature and art.

If you’re taking a nature walk this summer, take the time to collect a few fern fronds in different sizes. With a little paint you can create a gorgeous and easy work of art that’s totally frame-worthy!

Materials Needed:

  • Ferns
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Heavy paper (watercolor paper or cardstock)

Prepare the Project:

Take a nature walk and collect fern fronds of varying sizes and shapes.

Set the fronds out along with the thick paper and paint brushes. Squirt your paint colors of choice onto a palette or paper plate. Using the same paint color in varying shades makes for a stunning and cohesive result.

Make Some Art:

  1. Use the paintbrushes to brush the color of your choice onto a fern frond. Experiment with using the front and the back of the frond- you’ll find that you get slightly different results.
  2. Gently turn the frond over onto the blank paper and press down. Very gently run one finger along the blades to achieve a complete print.
  3. Slowly peel the frond off the page from bottom to top.
  4. Repeat with fronds of varying sizes. Use lighter and darker shades of the same color, or experiment with complementary colors to create a beautiful work of art.


  • What other leaves and foliage can you use for printing?
  • Overlap different colors to mix a new third color in the overlaps.
  • Start with a colored piece of paper and print with white for a striking negative effect.

Pssst… have you signed up for your FREE art project download yet?