I once saw on TV a type of craft work that used the shapes and colours of leaves arranged carefully in between folded white canvas cloth and beaten with a small hammer. The result was a beautiful copy of the leaf, showing the intricate detail of the veins. Not to mention the colours.

I recall on the TV programme that it was some type of Japanese art/craft but I cannot remember the name. Does anyone know of this type of hand craft?

Would like to find out more about it.


2 Answers 2


This is a hammered leaf print, or sometimes called a transfer. Flowers are also used. The Japanese name for this art is called hapa zome. It's categorized as a type of dyeing process, and hapa zome roughly translates to "leaf dye" (according to the Internet. I don't know any Japanese).

The technique is similar to the classic nature printing, which uses a roller to press the leaf into the plate receiving the transfer. For hammering, you are applying the pressure much more manually, and aren't creating an engraving that's used make additional copies.

You can find a cheap way to do this on Instructables. Here is a picture of such are done on watercolor paper:

Hammered leaf art


This is a traditional Japanese art form called "Hapa Zome" which means leaf dye (makes sense.) You get leaves or flowers, and beat the crap out of them with a hammer on a piece of cloth, paper, or even wood. The juices that are in the plant (moisture mixed with the chlorophyll and anthocyanins) will be squeezed through the plant tissues and membrane, and dye the canvas. Just make sure you don't use dry plants, and also don't hit your fingers.

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