Leaf Print Season

Hello Friends,

August and September are one of the best times in Southern California for leaf prints. Leaves are just beginning to fall from some of the trees, and they’re beautiful and fresh. If I wait until October or November the fallen leaves are more likely to be dried up and brown.

I’ve been collecting leaves for leaf prints on silk scarves in preparation for several fall shows. The leaves that I’m finding right now are mostly Fernleaf Ironwood and Ironbark Eucalyptus — two of my favorites because the leaves give very strong colors.

The magnificent Fernleaf Ironwood trees are native to this area, originating on Santa Cruz and Catalina Islands.

Cassandra Tondro leaf prints

After pressing the leaves flat under heavy books, I lay them on white silk scarves and roll them up into a bundle for steaming.

Cassandra Tondro leaf prints

The bundles of leaves and scarves are steamed over boiling water for two hours, and then allowed to cool before opening. The leaf prints are amazing and very distinctive. Here are two finished scarves — Ironwood on the left and Eucalyptus on the right.

Cassandra Tondro leaf print scarves

I offer the scarves for sale around the holidays, and you can click here to see a preview of scarves that are available now.

What creative projects have you been working on lately? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please share them with us in the comments section below.

With love and appreciation,



    1. Hi Patty, I use a large commercial roasting pan with a rack inside of it to steam the rolled scarf bundles. It sits on top of two hot plates. The rack allows the bundles to be suspended over the boiling water so that the scarves are steamed and not boiled in the water.

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