Have you ever pressed flowers from your yard and hung the framed results on your wall so you could enjoy your garden blooms past their season? I love growing flowers and I’m always thinking of ways to preserve their beauty. In this project, we’re taking the simple art of pressed flowers a step further by making nature boards.
Nature boards are created by adhering pressed flowers and leaves to mat board. Nature boards work best with flowers and leaves that have a relief surface after pressing. Although the best selection is when your garden is in full bloom, for this project, autumn is a fine time to collect waning flowers before they completely disappear with first frost.
You can use a purchased flower press, although it works just as well to press flowers between the pages of an old phone book. Be careful that the leaves and flowers aren’t bent or folded before you close the book. Every few days, move the flowers to clean pages to prevent mold. Continue to changes pages until the flowers are completely dry, discarding soiled pages.
Once the pressed flowers and leaves are completely dry, you are ready to make your nature board. If you’re not planning to start this project right away, store your pressed flowers between sheets of tissue paper in a flat box.
To make your nature board, start by arranging selected flowers and leaves in a pleasing arrangement next to your mat board. Then, working with one flower or leaf at a time, coat one side with waterproof glue and press it to the board.
When the arrangement is complete and the glue has dried, cover the front and back of the board with two coats of gesso.
Nature boards can be painted with watercolors, acrylics or pastels and displayed as finished artwork.
You can also use your nature board as a hand-printing plate by painting the surface, inverting a sheet of paper over the board, and rubbing to transfer the design. The image will be delicate and makes the perfect backdrop for a botanical collage.