How to EcoPrint on Paper

by Fiberartsy
12 Materials
6 Hours

How to EcoPrint on Paper – Learn how to print beautiful papers using leaves and flowers with this step by step Eco Printing Tutorial

Last year, I started my venture into eco printing with leaves, stems and flowers gathered in my garden which I then printed onto silk chiffon and cotton fabric. Those prints turned out to be awesome – I even eco printed some t-shirts for friends.

This time, I experimented with Ecoprint on Paper. I used plain, white cardstock paper which I soaked in alum to mordant. I also used iron and copper (modifiers) to shift or ‘sadden’ the color. Both worked really well to strengthen and bring out the color of the leaves and flowers.

(Note: Iron and Copper modifiers take about 2 weeks to make so plan accordingly)

(See full step by step instructions at the link below.)

Supplies Needed:

– Heavy Cardstock Paper

– Various Leaves and Flowers

– Iron and/or Copper Solution (optional)

– Alum Powder (check your grocery store spice section)

– Large Roaster Pan with rack (for dyeing purposes only)

– Large Cookie Sheet for soaking paper

– Clothes Pins

– Stove or Hot Plate (for outside use)

– Gloves

– Water

– Table Cover

– Old Plastic Containers (no longer food safe)

Maple leaves soaking in water.
Copper Modifier - see recipe at
Flowers and Leaves ready for Eco Printing

Safety First! 

Honestly, I don’t know if this process is hazardous to your health or not. Coming from many years of yarn dyeing, however, I tend to err on the side of caution. If you’re going to use iron and copper modifiers, please use gloves. Also, it’s probably best to steam or boil these prints outside, if possible.

First, you have to mordant the paper in water mixed with alum powder. This helps the prints adhere to the paper.

Now, place various leaves and flowers on your paper, dipping them in one of the modifying solutions first, if you’d like. I dipped half of mine in copper and the other half in the iron modifier. Fold the paper to close it or place another sheet on top of the first.

Bundle up your papers and secure them with clothespins.

Place a rack inside the roaster pan and lay your bundle of papers on top. Add water to the roaster and turn on high. Once the water begins to boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Let everything cool completely and then open your packages to reveal the Eco Prints!

Eco Printing on paper or fabric is a wonderful way to make some stunning and unique pieces of art. Pop a piece of eco print paper in a frame and hang it in your foyer or give it as a Christmas gift!



Remember ... full instructions can be found at the link below.

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