PRINTING WITH FLOWERS + LEAVES
Nature printing was first introduced in the mid-1800s to document and study the life cycle of flora. Use this modern method to create your own prints from plants. This is an easy project that once learned, can be done any time of year, with plants that are fresh, dried, or gone-to-seed.
Simply layer flowers and leaves between sheets of paper and soak in simmering water. The plant’s colors, shapes, and textures are left behind. The outcome is ethereal and unpredictable, yielding beautiful results.
2 pieces of wood cut to 9” (or any size that will fit in your pot)
stack of paper cut to 8.5”
twine, wire, or screws to secure wood together
Mordant paper by soaking in water with a splash of white vinegar; this will help set the color. Heavy duty, thick paper works best. Paper can be dried + stored for later use after mordanting.
Place one piece of wood on a flat surface with a sheet of paper on top.
Arrange plant material, add a sheet of paper, and repeat. Keep adding layers. Place second piece of wood on top and secure tightly with twine, wire, etc.
Meanwhile, fill a large pot about halfway with water and bring to a boil.
Lower to simmer and carefully add bundle.
Cover, and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour. Make sure bundle stays submerged.
Add color modifiers like iron or soda ash to shift and alter pigments.
Remove bundle from water and allow to cool, overnight if possible.
Carefully remove plant material from paper, rinse, and hang paper to dry. Colors will darken as they oxidize.