No Thanks
Let

Keep In Touch With MarthaStewart.com

Sign up and we'll send inspiration straight to you.

Martha Stewart takes your privacy seriously. To learn more, please read our Privacy Policy.

Leafy Sunroom Pillows

Martha Stewart Living, Volume 81 July/August 2000

For these sunroom pillows, mustard-yellow linen was printed with three different-sized anthurium leaves.

Leafy Sunroom Pillows How-To
1. Using a sponge brush, paint the underside of a flattened leaf, so the veins will be visible. Don't coat the leaf too thickly; aim for the thinnest thorough coat possible to produce a detailed image. Turn the leaf over, and place it on fabric.

2. Cover leaf with a paper towel, and roll over it several times with a rubber brayer.

3. Lift the leaf gently from the pointed tip, pulling straight up. Stems tend to shift during this step, so print leaves and stems separately, leaves first. Let the first color dry before overprinting; otherwise it will bleed into the second impression. When you are finished printing, heat-set all paints with an iron, following the paint manufacturer's instructions.

Palm fronds from Florida were printed straight up and down in subtle hues on natural-colored linen napkins. The result is a minimalist pattern suitable to a variety of table settings.

To make a geometric pattern, first make paper templates of your leaf. Then, lay the fabric out -- in this case, a plain canvas tote bag -- and use the templates to mark with a pencil where the points of the leaves meet on your fabric. Mark out the entire pattern, and take a good look at it before printing -- the best way to avoid the mid-project realization that your design is listing.

Comments (25)

  • 9 Jul, 2010

    This is a great idea one I would love to make. This would have been better for those of us who can not find anthurium leaves to provide a template with the 3 sizes and possibly come up with an alternate way to create these beautiful pillows.

  • 9 Jul, 2010

    You can get the textile medium and mix it with the acrylic, the only draw back in using it this way, instead of using fabric paint, it is very stiff.. It covers very well, but if your going to use the pillow to lay on, I would strongly suggest the fabric paint.

  • 8 Jul, 2010

    thank you Martha for these ideas

  • 29 Jun, 2010

    nice

  • 14 Sep, 2008

    Most acrylic paints you buy in the small bottles will work for this, of course you can mix them to get the correct colors and to give the leaves depth and interest.
    To set the paint, wait til it dries then iron (use something between the painted leaf and the iron like a cotton cloth) No need to buy 'special' paints, acryclics work on fabrics as long as they are set with an iron (not on highest setting, maybe a 6-7 setting)

  • 8 Jul, 2008

    AND "LEAF PRINT TABLECLOTH" THE LIST OF MATERIALS CALLS FOR FABRIC PAINT. WE SHOULDN'T HAVE HAD TO GO ELSWHERE TO FIND THIS THOUGH. NICE COLORS ON THE PILLOWS!

  • 8 Jul, 2008

    O.K. GIRLS, I'VE FIGURED OUT THE PAINT DILEMA. IF YOU GO ON THE RELATED CRAFTS OF "LEAF PRINT TOTE BAGS"

  • 7 Jul, 2008

    I agree: Martha's instructions are Not always clear and tend to assume a certain level of experience. It can be quite frustrating, if you are unfamiliar with a particular craft activity. Martha: Please be more specific!! Some of us are not "crafters" per se, but still find some of your ideas intriguing enough to attempt! Thanks!

  • 7 Jul, 2008

    I would love to do this on outside pillows but i'm not a crafter so what kind of material could I use that would hold up outside?

    cartersgrandmother

  • 7 Jul, 2008

    If you look at the other projects listed here using the type items the materials are listed and yes it is fabric paint. Check the bag and tablecloth directions.

  • 7 Jul, 2008

    I attempted this project with fabric paints that were pretty inexpensive. They turned out so well, I made a beach tote with it. (though I don't live anywhere near the beach, I take it to the pool) Isn't it kind of common sense to use paint for the type of medium you use? Just read the back of the bottles. Its part of the craft store fun!

  • 7 Jul, 2008

    I agree with "goldensun

  • 7 Jul, 2008

    The additive to the acrylic paint is called Textile Medium.
    I've used it to make white sneakers a certain tone of green that I wanted.
    As you said, you simply mix the 2 in the proportion and apply.
    I found using a stiff bristle child's paint brush, rather than a sponge brush,
    helped the mix get "into" the fabric, rather than "glide over" the fabric i.e. leaving
    bits of the white sneaker showing through.

  • 7 Jul, 2008

    I agree with dabitstew. We need more instructions before we undertake these crafts. The types of paints are necessary before we buy them.

  • 7 Jul, 2008

    Great Idea but I too need more information on the paint. Many crafts you present do not include all the necessary instructions to new crafters. I think they just assume that all people reading these ideas are seasoned crafters.

  • 7 Jul, 2008

    You can mix a solution called "fabric medium" to acrylic paint to get a permanent washable fabric paint. It's sold in craft departments and usually found alongside the acrylic paints.

  • 7 Jul, 2008

    You can mix a solution called "fabric medium" to acrylic paint to get a permanent washable fabric paint. It's sold in craft departments and usually found alongside the acrylic paints.

  • 7 Jul, 2008

    Anjne- There are a few products that you can buy to make your Acrylic paint - fabric paint.

    Michael's will usually have it. It comes as an off white liquid. Unfortunately, it's been a few years, I don't remember the product name that I used.

    It's usually a 2 part mix 1part paint.

    It still keeps a rough acrylic feel; however, it does become machine washable and more durable.

  • 7 Jul, 2008

    Martha, dear, please list what items are needed to complete this project. Like the rest of your fans, we are wondering what type of paint to use. I am new to crafting and I need to have exact information. I do not have money to waste by buying the wrong materials. I live on a fixed income

  • 7 Jul, 2008

    I am guessing here but fabric paint makes sense, but we should not have to guess like this. Instructions are not always the best are they?! If anyone completes this tell us how it turned out?

  • 7 Jul, 2008

    Hi firefly,

    They sell paint for fabric. Look in Michael's or your local craft store. JoAnn's probably sells it also. Maybe even Wal Mart.

    Happy Crafting,
    Joyce

  • 7 Jul, 2008

    what kind of paint? is it fabric paint?

  • 7 Jul, 2008

    DO YOU NEED FABRIC PAINT AND IF NOT WHAT TYPE WOULD BE BEST SO THE PAINT DOESN'T GET HARD ON THE FABRIC.
    ALSO CAN YOU RECOMMEND A SOLUTION TO ADD TO ACRYLIC TO MAKE THEM INTO A FABRIC PAINT?

  • 7 Jul, 2008

    You can probably use fabric paint or acrylic

  • 7 Jul, 2008

    what kind of paint is used for this project?!