Gardeners are crafty. Yes, sometimes that means we’re sly like a fox, but we’re also clever and creative. We love to bring reminders of our gardens into our homes and give gifts that are unique and personal. This series of articles will hopefully inspire you with interesting designs and projects.
We've all seen the stunning botanical prints on multiple canvases. Most often they are pricey decorator pieces that most of us can only wish for. This project will show you how to recreate this look for much less money and it has the added benefit of customization. You can choose the exact colors you need for that special place in your home. (or the home of a friend)
I chose to use four canvasses, but there isn't any set number you have to use. A whole wall would be quite dramatic. The wonderful thing about this craft is that when you grow tired of the current piece or your decor changes, just pull out your acrylic paints and paint right over the old one. I spent a total of $22 on the canvasses and spray paint and used the acrylics I already had in my stash. The little bottles of acrylic are less than $1 if you have to purchase them as well.
Assemble your materials in a wind-free area and make sure you have a drop cloth or piece of cardboard to protect the surface.You will need stretched canvas (available at craft and big box stores), acrylic paints, paintbrush, a dark shade of spray paint in a matte or semi gloss shade and assorted botanicals from your garden
Spray the edges of your canvas to cover the sides. If you wait until later, it can interfere with your design.
There are two types of canvas. One is a flat board, designed to be displayed in a frame. The stretched canvas can be used as is or framed. The sides are wrapped so they can be painted as well.
They fit flush to the wall and are a clean design that blends well with most decor.
After the edges are dry, use the acrylic paint to paint the canvas with your base color. This can be done with only one color, or a mixture of colors. It is best to limit your color selection to two or three colors. More than three colors can be distracting since the ones you use will blend and create shades and tones. I chose red, yellow and green,
Paint your canvasses with the acrylic. You can choose to do a single color or a mixture of several. Both yield great results. When you have them all covered, place them close together. You'll want them almost touching.
Lay your plant material on the canvasses in a pleasing pattern. Make sure that it crosses over more than one panel. Move your botanicals around until you are pleased with the design. Resist the urge to put a little sticky tape on the back of your leaves. I found out the hard way that it doesn't work. The overspray that bleeds under the leaves will not penetrate the tape and you'll have little bright spots when you remove your leaves...trust me.
Slowly start to spray your dark color over the botanicals and canvas. I found that short, light bursts gave a much better result than a heavy spray. You will need several coats to cover it, but since they are light coats, they dry quickly.
Spray in a wind-free area and take care not to dislodge the plants. Hold your can at the same angle throughout the painting process and work in one direction. This will give you the sharpest mask and the brightest colors underneath.
Once the canvas is covered. Let it sit for just a minute to tack up and then you can slowly remove your botanicals. Hang and enjoy your new piece of art and congratulate yourself on how creative you are!
About Melody Rose
I come from a long line of Kentuckians who love the Good Earth. I love to learn about every living thing, and love to share what I've learned. Photography is one of my passions, and all of the images in my articles are my own, except where credited.