HOW TO MAKE A HERBARIUM
A new blog post! It has been a loooong while since I’ve sat at my laptop to write a blog post and it feels so good. I have missed this feeling.
I’m currently sitting on a rooftop terrace in Athens with the most incredible view of the Acropolis. It’s sunny and there’s a gentle breeze and it certainly doesn’t feel like the October I know. After I finished my garden design course in July, I jumped straight back into client work working on some exciting projects including two gardens for the loveliest clients. August and September went by in a flash so we’re now making the most of the late summer sun here in Greece and enjoying every second of our 2021 summer holiday.
I was definitely not ready for the 5 degree mornings we were experiencing back home. The leaves in the garden are crisping up and after a good three (maybe even four?) months of gorgeous flowers from the sweet peas that my mum planted from seed, we’re definitely seeing the last of the sweet peas for the year. They are looking a little straggly but we’re not ready to dig them up. When Caran d’Ache reached out asking if I could make something lovely with their SUPRACOLOR® Soft Aquarelle crayons to share in their newsletter, I thought it would be lovely to press some sweet peas and make a sort of herbarium with some watercolour details.
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own pressed flower art:
- Fresh flowers (I used sweet peas)
- 1 x blank book for pressing the flowers
- Flour & water to make a natural glue (or another glue of choice)
- 1 x small whisk
- 1 x wooden skewer
- 1 x Box of 30 Colours SUPRACOLOR® Soft Aquarelle
- 1 x Caran d’Ache watercolour paint brush
- 1 x WATER BRUSH with water reservoir (Fibre-Tipped)
- 2 x pots of water
- 1 x PALETTE Aquarelle 26 x 13 cm
- 1 x Standard SKETCH PAD, A4, 20 Sheets to practice on
- 1 x Oak frame (this one was 30 x 40 cm)
- 1 x Piece of fine watercolour paper to work on
- 1 x Paper frame or passe-partout to use as guide
Step 1: Pick suitable flowers for pressing. You’ll need flowers with a low water content to be sure that they press well. I used sweet peas. Make sure to press some leaves too to get the balance right.
Step 2: Press the flowers in an empty notebook and leave under a pile of books for a couple of weeks until they are paper-thin and completely dry.
Step 3: Use a passe-partout or cut out a frame as a guide for the placement of the dried flowers and start to position your dried flowers and leaves.
Step 4: Once you’re happy with the position of the flowers, glue them down using a natural glue. I mixed 25ml of water with 2 teaspoons of sieved flour to make mine. Use a skewer to apply small dots of glue on the back of the flowers/leaves.
Step 5: Use your fingers to tap down gently to stick the pressed flowers and leaves in place.
Step 6: Use the palette to mix a green colour using SUPRACOLOR® Soft Aquarelle pencils. I used greens and browns with a touch of yellow and a touch of deep blue. Water down the colour and paint delicate leaf-shapes in the blank space between your dried flowers and leaves. I filled pretty much all of the blank space in between the pressed flowers and leaves.
Step 7: Remove the passe-partout and frame in a simple oak frame.
Tips, tricks and thoughts:
- Make sure to press the flowers for long enough so they keep their colour. You want them to be completely dry.
- Play around with different colours to get the exact colours that you want. I wanted to keep mind simple using green watercolour leaves but this would look beautiful with lots of colours mixed to match the colour of the flowers you’re using.
This was such fun to make and felt like a lovely way to capture a bit of summer to keep us smiling throughout the colder months.
I also happily have lots of left over pressed sweet peas that I plan on using to make cards a little bit like these ones. So get pressing! There are still lots of beautiful flowers out there and the best thing is that they pretty much last forever.
Big bisous xS