Recruiting Mother Nature for arts and crafts projects


Have you ever squashed a sentimental flower into a heavy book, hoping to preserve its memory?

In an odd attempt to a capture disastrous evening, I smashed the rose that was presented to me at my junior prom by my sky-blue-tux wearing date, in between the pages of a massive history book.

In truth, I never really understood how a flaky dull remnant of a flower, which seemed to leave a moldy imprint, would stir up any fond memory.

If this crushing flower sport has eluded you, don’t worry.

There is a new twist in flower art.

Painting and then pressing leaves or flowers onto paper is the new rage. It’s called Nature Printing.

It’s no wonder that the crafty and not-so-crafty are flocking to this. You can make hand-made, silly easy, affordable art.

There no rules, you can work with any color that inspires you. I have a friend who is obsessed with using metallic paint on flowers and herbs that she plucked from her garden. She is cranking out some pretty amazing hand-made note cards.

These creations have inspired me to take a swing at pressing my own backyard botanicals.

Living here in Sarasota , I have plants with leaves so big they could be dinosaur treats.

The way I see it, working with nature offers up a couple of serious perks.

One: It’s like your plant is a massive free rubber stamp to play with.

Two: it looks like you know how to paint a perfect leaf, when in fact the leaf is actually painting itself.

So awesome.

There are only a few things to consider when you start.

Pick a leaf or flower with lots of raised veining if you want a detailed print. I recommend painting the back of the leaf for a more dramatic effect.

That’s it, grab some paper and have at it. Try a few test smushes to see how much pressure and paint gives you a wow-worthy image. Once you master a few lovable leaf prints, you may want to go big and work on one of those stretched canvases available at hobby and framing stores.

Amy Archer

Amy Archer is owner of Sarasota-based Creating Inspired Design and writes the Barefooted Designer blog. She can be reached by email.
Last modified: December 3, 2015
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