It’s time to preserve botanicals for art play this winter.
One of the reasons I preserve leaves and flowers is so I can use them before they come alive. One spring several years ago I wanted to sun print ferns, but I couldn’t since the ferns were not growing yet. So now I preserve the botanicals while they are alive, and then I can use them all year. My first post on preserving was in 2014.
The recipe to preserve is simple. All you need is glycerin and hot water. Mix 1 part glycerin in 2 parts of hot water. Add your botanicals one-by-one, making sure every part of the plant is covered. Let them stay in the solution for several days. Then remove them and place on paper towels.
Place paper towel over botanical and blot.
Continue this process, stacking the botanicals.
Once you are finished you’ll have a stack like this.
I let these sit for a couple days to make sure they are dry, and then placed in containers paper towels and all.
Once they are preserved, they can be used over and over. These are ones from 2014 that I’m still using.
Now for a few ways to used these preserved botanicals. Links are to posts about the techniques.
Here I used them with gelatin plates.
Sun printing posts here.
So if you’re wanting to botanicals to print all year, now is the time to preserve them.
Lynda, thank you! I was just talking to my daughter about eco printing (Or sun printing – are they the same thing or different?) – we had some leaves fall off a plant and I trimmed a few back. We were wondering how we could save them til fall. It’s been too hot to be outside. I am going to start gathering leaves and things.
Tammi, Eco printing is different from sun printing. In Eco printing you are using plants to print but you do so by bundling up the plants in the paper or fabric and putting them in a pot to simmer. The pots can contain a variety of different things including onions, nails etc. Here is a post from the retreat I attended. It was fun, but nothing I want to pursue and way too stinky for me. https://lyndaheines.blog/2016/06/06/eco-printing-with-jacqueline/ Yes now is the time to gather and get them preserved!Then you can play with them all winter long! Thanks for dropping by.
What kind of glycerin do you use?
And when will you have another dyeing class locally?
Oh how wonderful, thank you so much for sharing this idea.
This is a great post…thanks…you have some beautiful results! Interesting, I’ve been trying to find the glycerin, which Walmart carries but only online and not all of the vegetable glycerin…guess it’s also used in vaping! Who knew!
Toni, I got mine online, but I believe you can get it at Michaels in the flower section. Also I’m sure health food stores should carry it and the big box stores. If you look at one of the pictures you can see the brand I bought. But any will work as long as it’s glycerin. As for the classes, I put them on hold but am starting to think about them. I just need a place where I can teach them since the store I taught at is now closed. If you have any ideas for places, just let me know.
Kathy, Thank you for dropping by!
Robbie, Thanks. Hummm…interesting. I bought mine online since I had trouble finding it locally. Someone mentioned that it can be found in the floral department of Michaels.
I am so excited by this post thank you, but please could I ask a question? When you say you use hot water to mix the preserving cocktail, how hot? Just off the boil hot, or you can still just put your hand in the water hot? Thanks for all your tips and tricks. xx
Kathy, It’s just hot water from the tap. So glad you liked this post. And thank YOU for stopping by and reading.
Thanks for your reply Lynda, off to hunt around the garden now for some leaves!