DIY Artwork: Botanical Prints
Love the look of botanical artwork but don't want to shell out big bucks for a professional print? Make your own art for a fraction of the cost. This easy how-to project requires some specialized crafts store supplies and the botanical template of your choice.
You'll need cold-press board, which is a sturdy, textured paper found in crafts stores. And, if desired, you'll need a can of frisket, which is a liquid similar to rubber cement. Look for it in the model-building section of a crafts store.
For this project you can use real flowers and greenery if you wish, or opt for faux. When selecting flowers and greenery, keep in mind that some forms will work better than others. Round flowers, such as roses won't lay flat, and something like baby's breath is too wispy. Items with bold form, such as a tulip with a thick stem or a large leaf that lays flat, will work best. Heavy flowers or greenery also work better than lighter items, as they will move around less during spray-painting.
What You Need
- Kraft paper or newspaper
- Cold-press board
- Frisket masking liquid
- Silk or plastic greenery
- Spray paint
- White paper backing
Step 1: Secure and Determine Borders
Cover work surface with kraft paper or newspaper. Decide the size and number of frames you'll use for your arrangement. For each frame, cut a piece of cold-press board an inch smaller on all sides than the inside measurements of the frame. Tape board to your work surface
If desired, create an irregular white border on each board by brushing frisket along the edges of the cold-press board with an imperfect stroke and letting dry. The frisket will prevent spray paint from getting onto the board wherever it is applied. The frisket dries quickly, so you will need to move fast when applying it.
Step 2: Secure Greenery
Place silk or plastic greenery on each board. It's okay if the greenery extends past the edges of the edges of the cold-press board because the final result will be more graphic. The greenery should lay as flat as possible. You might need to manipulate the piece, bending the greenery so it lays flat and securing with folded pieces of tape.
Step 3: Spray Paint
Spray the board with a single, even coat of paint. Nearly any spray paint will work, but if you're hesitant, practice on a scrap piece of paper first.
Editor's Tip: Industrial pavement spray paint works well for items that are wispy because it produces a more forceful, directional spray. Keep in mind that this type of spray paint is available only in a limited number of colors.
Step 4: Let Dry
Remove the greenery, and allow the paint to dry, following the recommended guidelines on the paint can for dry times. Most paints will be dry to the touch within an hour or two, but let rest overnight before framing.
Step 5: Remove Frisket
If you applied frisket, carefully remove it. Start at the corners and use your fingers to begin lifting the frisket off the board. Gently peel until all of the frisket is removed.
Step 6: Touch up the Edges
Use an eraser (a regular pink eraser works well) to remove the portions of the frisket you cannot lift off with your fingers. Start at one edge of the art and work your way around until all of the edges are cleaned up.
Step 7: Mount and Frame Art
Affix each print to a white paper backing and, if desired, place it in a frame. To make a gallery wall, repeat the process with a variety of botanical pieces and colors, then arrange in a grid on the wall.