Saturday, March 23, 2013

DIY Botanicals

In the quest for greenery and the need to put some leftover reindeer away, I decided to use some of the leaves I have been pressing with my bookpress and make botanical art for our home. I collect interesting leaves wherever we go from walks to vacations and put them in a huge book in an antique bookpress in our living room. I remember everytime I picked up a book at my grandparents house, four leaf cloves wrapped in wax paper would flutter to the floor. I guess I picked up the habit.

This is not a very intense tutorial but mostly just some quick tips if you venture to make your own botanical art.

First up, choose your frames....
the reindeer in the gold frames doesn't really gallop along with the spring motif our house is currently sporting.
Next, I wanted a white fabric background for just a bit more depth than paper but you could easily use paper or add some colour with a great design fabric. When you are trying to put fabric in a frame as art it is floppy and won't stay put.
I use full size shipping labels stuck to the fabric and cut out to size.
Just stick and cut. No more floppy.
They come as a full 8.5 x 11 sheet and make standard 8 x 10 frames pretty easy.
The arch shaped frame many would pass up because of the awkward appearance, but it works great for stuff like this and they colour of this frame was too good to be true.

TIP: always keep the crazy couple picture or backing your frame comes with so you can use it to trace with for these kinds of projects

You can use spray adhesive or a regular Elmer's school glue to do awkward shaped frames.

Here we have a selection of dried leaves (these have all been pressed for about 2 months but you could probably get away with a few weeks.
I used scrapbooking photo splits to attach the leaves to the fabric. They are double sided tiny squares and hold without tearing the leaves if you put them in the wrong spot the first time.

the finished arch frame. i love how the leaves pick up the frame tones.
this piece found a home in my office. this is probably the only spot in the whole room not a disaster from projects, constant sewing and the store items.

The other pieces ended up back on their perch in the main floor bathroom.

see the sweet bird's nest in the tree. i have added in them in places they look natural.
 quirky i think

the big frame got a pressed maindenhair fern piece


the smaller frame is obviously not a botanical. i gave in to my love of owls and printed a new fabric print to carry us into the new seasons. he's just so wise, don't you think.
i used the same method as the reindeer from christmas time 
it only took 2 feeds through the printer this time, so my technique or wiles are improving. 

  i also made a moss wreath for our bathroom door. i'm still not totally convinced about the bird, bunny bunting but it's growing on me.

It will only be a matter of time before there is green outside to match the botanicals and moss inside.

Are you making anything great for spring?

Have a fantastic weekend,


  1. :) I was inspired by your botanical poster in the I ordered similar (with black backround). Its on the way, should arrive next week.

    How long do you dry leafs? I like this idea of making DIY botanical, need to go and look for some nice leafs in my garden.

    Have a good weekend! :)

    1. thanks monique, i love the one i have in the hallway with the black.
      i dried these ones for about 2 months under the press but you could probably do a few weeks. trick is to make sure all the moisture is out so they don't bleed or turn black and rot away.

  2. Wow, your botanicals look awesome, Meg! Great job, and pretty styling, too!

  3. This turned out so lovely! I may have to use this in the future. Thanks for sharing!

  4. beautiful...will definitely try this! thanks for posting!


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