This is a simple type of stenciling in which the paint or ink is sprayed over a shape or natural object which keeps the ink from touching the material. Stencils may be cut out, as in the simplest step in stenciling, or letters, natural grasses, leaves, and branches may be used to make the design.

This method is commonly used in making leaf prints for nature records. From this simple first step, very creative and interesting designs may be made for attractive invitations, decorations,, end papers, and the like.

Equipment needed: spattering tools-brush and knife or screening, spray gun or atomizer; straight pins; flat working surface; newspapers or magazines; shallow pan or dish for paints.

Materials needed: ink, poster paint, dye, liquid shoe polish, etc.; construction or other paper, or cloth, as desired.


1. Select leaf or other design. Leaves, grasses, etc., are best for spatter printing after being pressed flat. Choose paper and contrasting ink or paint; sharp contrast is best.

2. Place paper on work surface, on top of several thicknesses of newspaper or magazines.

3. Pin leaf or stencil in place, putting pins at points and depressions, so that the leaf or stencil lies very flat against paper. Slant pins toward center of leaf, or away from edge of stencil cuts, so pins will not retard spraying (Fig. VII-27).

4. Spatter print by one of these methods:

With brush and knife: dip brush in ink or paint in shallow dish; shake off excess. Hold near paper and leaf. Draw knife blade across the brush, holding brush with bristles at slight angle (Fig. VII-22), drawing knife toward you, making a spray of ink. Move the brush and knife around so the ink sprays in desired places, at desired intensity. (Practice will be needed to get spattering even, without blots.) Avoid getting too much ink or paint on brush.

With brush and screen; dip brush in ink or paint; shake off excess. Hold piece of fine wire screening in place, and "scrub" or brush with the brush, moving around, as above (Fig. VII-23). Practice again! A good method for screening is to make a frame of a cigar box; remove one long side; tack screening across top of box; cut box top down slightly, so it will slip into the box; pin paper and leaf on the box top; slip into the box, under screen; brush across the screening (Fig. VII-24). This is a good method to use when a number of objects will be printed, as invitations or programs.

Spatter Print By One Of These Methods

With sprayer or similar tool: proceed as above, using sprayer instead of screen and brush. Or, place paper and leaf on an easel, or a board fastened to a tree (Fig. VII-25).

On textiles: spatter printing on cloth may be done with dyes, waterproof ink, or textile paints. The cloth should be stretched tightly on working surface before the stencil or leaf is pinned in place.

Variations: over-all design will be obtained by placing many leaves or stencils over the entire surface, as for end papers (Fig. VII-26).

A positive stencil will be obtained by drawing a leaf on stencil paper, cutting out the shape of the leaf, and spatter printing the shape of the leaf (Fig. VII-27).

Lettering is done by cutting letters out of paper, and pinning them in place (Fig. VII-28). Cutouts of animals, fishes, etc., may be used in the same way.

For an advanced project, use a spray of leaves, grasses, flowers, etc. Place as desired; spatter all over, then remove a few pieces of grass, leaves, etc. Spatter again. Repeat the removing of a few pieces. Repeat these two steps until desired effect of shading is obtained. This is especially good for wall hangings, special illustrations, etc.

The real craftsmanship of this project comes in creating good arrangements, in making interesting color contrasts, and in carrying out the project in a craftsmanlike manner.


This process uses leaves, grasses, etc., to make a design on architect's blueprint or ozalid print paper. Exposure of the paper to the sun turns it dark, and any object, such as a leaf, placed upon the paper keeps that part of the paper from changing color. Good arrangement of the design makes blueprinting a good craft for campers.

Equipment needed: printing frame; pan of water to hold paper; sunlight.

Materials needed; blueprint paper.

Printing frame may be a commercial one, as used in photography, or one made from a piece of glass and a piece of cardboard, each about 6" x 9" or 9" x 12", with hinges of adhesive tape (Fig. VII-29). Blueprint or ozalid paper can be purchased from an architect's supply house. Have the sheets cut to required size at the supply house. Sheets must be kept in dark wrapper, and must be handled- carefully, as exposure to light will spoil them. Steps

Blueprint Paper

1. Arrange design of grasses, leaves, maple keys, twigs, pressed flowers, on the piece of glass (Fig. VII-30).

2. Place blueprint paper over the design on the glass, sensitive side down.

3. Close frame carefully, so the cardboard flattens the leaves, etc., between the blueprint paper and the glass.

4. Hold frame, glass side up, in the sun for several minutes, or until the paper is greenish gray.

5. Take into shade; open frame; remove paper and immerse it in pan of water, exposed side down (Fig. VII-31).

6. Be sure it is thoroughly wet. Leave it in the water from 15 to 60 seconds. (Experiment with bits of paper, washing them for varying lengths of time, to get the best color for your purpose.)

7. Take paper out, and press on blotter pad of newsprint paper to absorb water.

8. Dry in shade, weighing down at corners to keep flat.

Variations: If a dark margin is desired, cut another cardboard frame a trifle smaller than the blueprint paper, and lay it on the glass before making arrangement of leaves, grasses, etc. (Fig. VII-32).

Silhouettes may be cut from paper and arranged as desired.

Lettering on menus, invitations, etc., may be done with India ink on tracing paper, and incorporated into the design (Fig. VII-33).

Ozalid prints are similar to blueprints, but can be made in red, blue, or black. The developing process is different.


1. Follow steps 1, 2, 3, for blueprints.

2. Expose frame to sun for 15 to 25 seconds for red, for 20 to 35 seconds for blue, and for 40 to 50 seconds for black.

3. Working in the shade, remove print from the frame, roll into a cylinder, print-face inside, and place in a #10 can inverted over a dish of concentrated ammonia covered with screening. (Concentrated ammonia may be purchased at a drug store.) The ammonia fumes develop the print, by bringing out and setting the color. Use new ammonia, as old ammonia loses its strength.

4. Remove after 3 or 4 minutes. Under-fuming makes the print colors pale; over-fuming makes them harsh. Experimentation will give the desired color. 5. Spread in shade to dry, as in step 8, above.

Other types of prints; crayon prints, ink-pad prints, carbon prints, and smoke prints are other types of prints used in making nature records. (See Chapter XV (Camper'S Correlation With Nature), pages 319-321)