Aug 16, 2011

Free botanical art {DIY}

Hello, all! Well, I'm back from a very low-key, relaxing vacation...why are vacations always too short?? I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things...

Today, I just wanted to share a little DIY project I did on a whim last week. It was inspired by something I read online at Better Homes and Gardens on decor ideas under $50, an idea from the very talented Lauren at Pure Style Home to scan leaves or ferns and simply print them out and frame them. Cheap and beautiful!

I grabbed some leaves I thought were interesting from my backyard...

...and scanned them in different arrangements.

Then, I just printed them out on regular printer paper. wasn't quite what I wanted. The white paper was a little too white against the frame, and I thought the leaves might work better if the colors were a little softer, the edges less defined.

So, I made some tea -- no, not to relax, but to give my paper a little treatment. I thought about tea staining paper and then reprinting the leaves, but I was curious to see what would happen if I tea stained the freshly printed leaves. The colors might run, but would it be a little, or a lot? I decided to flip the paper over and tea stain the back. I put a piece of cardboard down to protect my counter.

I squeezed some of the excess water out of the tea bag, but still left it pretty damp, and alternated between blotting and dragging the tea bag lightly across the paper. As I blotted, the colors from the leaves began to bleed through the paper.

Then, I flipped it over and put it on a piece of paper towel to dry.

And here's what I was left with:

Yes, this is a different one than what I showed in my mini tutorial. I made two!

The tea gives the paper just a little warmth and texture, so it doesn't look so OMG-white. And I love the speckling of the printed leaves. It looks like a watercolor, doesn't it? Except you don't have to be talented enough to paint it!

I put it on my console table to photograph it, but I don't know if it will stay here. I kinda like it here, though!

And I like how it seems to fit for both summer and fall decor, since leaves conjure up thoughts of autumn. How beautiful would this be for the fall in hues of orange and red? I can't believe fall is just around the corner...I can't decide if I'm happy or sad about that...

So there you have it! A little free art, minus the cost of the tea and the frame, both of which I already had. Anyone else totally obsessed with using natural objects in their decor? I came home from camping last week with all kinds of cool things I collected: rocks, driftwood, bark, etc. I just can't get enough of those natural elements!

Check out how Lauren blew up images of leaves on big about major impact. Maybe I'll try this too someday.

Linking up!

The DIY Show Off



Kelley said...

I want one!!! I love this Mindy! Your so clever!

Anonymous said...

I like it a lot - sort of has a dreamy quality. fuzzy and soft. Well done!!

Janie said...

Great idea..I always collect leaves and am always looking for new projects to do with them...

Christina said...

What a great tutorial and project!! I love it so much...I want to make my own! :)

I featured this on my blog today! :)

Carolyn said...

This is wonderful. The tea staining is perfect! I would be so happy if you shared this project on my Inspiration Board {link party}. I know my readers would really enjoy it.
Hope to see you there.
carolyn | homework