MODERN BOTANICAL DIY PRINTS

EASY DIY BOTANICAL PRINTS WITH A TWIST

This is a simple way to create your own botanical prints with a contemporary twist.  This weekend I picked up two very nice simple black chunky frames on offer for 2 for £10 at Homebase, with mounts inside already cut to fit A4 prints.  I then made the prints myself at home, using downloaded botanical and paper images, normal photocopier paper and a printer.  I have seen examples like this on sale for a lot of money in smart home decor shops, galleries and on Etsy, but you can make them yourself which is far more satisfying and far cheaper.

img_4716

HOW TO MAKE THEM:

Start off by finding large sized botanical prints on-line.  There are lots of places to find them for free:  The Graphics Fairy and Botanicus are great paces to browse, especially the latter for thousands of botanical themes.  Download the picture you want to use, in Botanicus it comes as a large pdf of a botanical collection of the book’s plates, whereas at The Graphics Fairy is it just one image as a pdf or jpeg.  You do not need to print them out, but the below are examples of ones to look for, they need strong colours and lines to show up in the finished piece.

img_4715

img_4719

Enclosed here is a ready to print dictionary piece of paper, (but you could use old sheet music cut to A4 size, or other old text paper you may have available).  Print this out in colour onto a piece of A4 paper, and make it fit the whole page as much as possible on your printer by using the ‘scale to fit’ option..

vintage-dictionary-page-sister-definition-clip-art-dictionary-o3o9hh-clipart

When it is dry, reload this printed paper into the printer, and then print out the botanical flower of your choice straight onto it.  You may need 2-3 runs to get your grade right for your own tastes, (and not to do it upside down which I am guilty of a lot!). You can tweak your grade in your photo browser directly if it is a jpeg, or if it is a pdf you will need to convert it to a large sized jpeg first.

img_4714

Then frame up your print, and hey presto… done in a jiffy….

img_4723

img_4724

Have a go, it is really not that hard to do and the possibilities are endless for printing images.  Just make sure they are dense in colour and line.  You can even do a 3rd print run with text on to personalise it for someone.

Selling at Artisan Markets

10314036_10154249644610077_5022422881944063135_n

I have been really busy recently redecorating the house, and have not been running stalls at Artisan or Craft Markets for over a year.  The last one I did was great, and I totally sold out and also took extra orders for my paper wreaths… but WOW was I knackered at the end!  Christmas is a time when people want the paper wreaths, so I need to prepare them early so I have enough, I definitely learned that last time.  However, the advance orders are also good as people can choose their colours to match their Xmas decorations.

Continue reading

DIY : Botanical Cupboard Makeover

My recent decoration of the Breakfast Room left one piece of furniture standing out like a sore thumb, a cupboard I had perviously overhauled as a shabby chic affair.  However, it was the wrong colours for the room I felt, and did not fit the new scheme.

IMG_0018I am really into using wallpaper on furniture at the moment, and spent ages scouring the net for something with dark backgrounds and botanical to compliment the room.  It needed a smallish pattern as I want to use it in the inset panels on the doors.

Everything I found that I liked cost at least £90 per roll, and some were an eye-watering £270… but they are stunning.

I wanted a very punchy green for the rest of the woodwork, and I had a pot of Annie Sloane Olive Green sitting around, but it is a very dark, sludgy colour and not as eye popping as I wanted.

The green chalk paint

The green chalk paint

At this point I gave up, thinking that I could not get want I wanted on a tight budget…. BUT…. THEN…..  HALLELUJAH!!!!!

I was in my local B&Q (a place I can found in very often actually – some like Prada, I like paint shops), and I found this wallpaper by Ideco Home in EXACTLY the colours I wanted for the piece… navy and chartreuse or lime.  And it also only cost £14 for a roll…. Bargain!

IMG_0015

IMG_0014

It has beetles, flowers and everything that I need.  So I promptly matched some Valspar paint to the green, it is called Chartreuse:

IMG_0013

I painted up the cupboard in the green (eggshell, water based), and wallpapered the panels.  It looked very bright and had quite a sheen… maybe a bit too bright… so I was not convinced.

IMG_0020

So I then mixed up some of the ‘Olive’ Annie Sloane Chalk Paint with the Valspar eggshell, and mixed until I found a tone somewhere between the two.  This also was great as it turned the eggshell into chalk paint, which I much prefer to paint with.  A coats or two of clear wax after and I was done….

Starting to apply the new tone of green paint

Starting to apply the new tone of green paint

I warm up my wax to make it easy to get into crevices.

I warm up my wax to make it easy to get into crevices.

Here is the finished result, I love it and it suits the room much better.  I still have nearly a whole roll of the paper left over, and I was really tempted to use it on the chimeny breast, but then it all becomes a bit ‘matchy-matchy’?

The finished cabinet

The finished cabinet

Before & After:

Breakfast Room makeover reveal

I have spent the last two days clambering around my breakfast room with paint in hand, and turning it from a very sedate and calm green into a zinging, intense deepest blue.  It all started with some botanical prints that I spotted online at  vintage printables.

cropBotanical-Educational-Plate-Black-Palaquium-Gutta copy

Dramatic botanical prints free for public use

These were really intense botanical images against dark backgrounds, and I fell in love with them.  I sent them off to be scaled up into large prints for the princely sum of £27, and then framed them into the existing frames that I had for my paler versions…  here is the room before:

English Home - 03

English Home - 02

English Home - 01

IMG_0624

It is nice, but I have lived with Farrow and Ball tasteful pale shades for too long! I chose a really intense colour for the walls, skirting and cupboard surrounds called Basalt by the Little Greene Paint Company.  It is a really dark, dark blue, like squid ink:

basalt-orange_aurora

Basalt, a really very dark blue tone that looks black or grey in some light

IMG_9833

It’s a bit dark ?!

IMG_9832

Coat one on walls, too late to go back now…..

IMG_9831

Beginning to think it might work now…

I wanted to leave the original Victorian doors, floors and cupboards in their natural state.  As one end of the room has pale painted panelling, plus the door frames and window frame, I though these would be too dark in the Basalt, so I used Lime White by Farrow and Ball for these areas to freshen it up.  The rest of the room was painted in Basalt, and woe betide me if I ever have to paint it out again with a paler colour as it is very dark indeed!

I upcycled the old picture frames with the new prints, (I had 6 printed), and first of all hung them as they had originally been.  But then I decided to make the wall more exciting as the dark background is a great foil for artwork.

IMG_9844

IMG_9848

IMG_9849

IMG_9850

IMG_9851

Here are final photos of the completed room:

best wide

IMG_1482

Storage cabinet awaiting transformation

IMG_1487

Repurposed window frame as a mirror

IMG_1489

Orchids

IMG_1495

Gallery wall detail

IMG_9848

Gallery Wall

All that is left to do now is to is to overhaul the painted wood cupboard with the lamp on top, as it looks too pale for the room.  I am thinking a zesty green or something similar would work, and I may repaint the table legs to compliment it.

Breakfast room planning

I am planning to overhaul my breakfast room, which is has a botanical theme, as I have had the palette of colours for so many years that I think it needs an update. The room currently is a pale sage and has lots of botanical prints, flowers and my Portmerion Botanic Garden china.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Then I saw these amazing botanical prints, I think they will set the tone for a much stronger room if I take them as a starting point:

Botanical-Educational-Plate-Black-Palaquium-Gutta Botanical-Educational-Plate-Black-Olea-europaea-L.

I came across the below by Charlotte Brown at Interior Design It Yourself, and I think it is great advice for what will hopefully be a much more intense look:

interior design botanical prints in a dramatic style with vibrant colors against a black bakground - simply stunning!

This is the perfect interior design with botanical prints look for anyone who loves a sense of drama, deep, velvety-rich walls and vibrant pops of color.

It’s the polar opposite of the previous schemes where we saw the botanical designs set against a pale (white) backdrop – here colorful flower designs are given maximum impact against deepest, darkest black.

Color Essentials

  • Dark background – black is ideal – you could also use darkest gray, plum, navy or bottle green
  • Splashes of ‘wow’ color – fresh (lime) greens, oranges, golds, pinks
  • Lighter touches – small amounts of paler colors are essential to keep the look fresh and not too dark and dreary
  • This is essentially a modern look – ideal for bedrooms, dining rooms, or living rooms.
  • When using darker colors, it’s always best to be aware that the colors will make the room feel darker and smaller, but this can be compensated for (but not for everyone) by your end-result feeling more cozy, warm and also more dramatic.
  • Just like the dining room look, earlier on, this is a great look for evening rooms where the dark colors will end up looking very velvety and luxurious in the dim lights.
  • A cheeky idea for this look is to use it in your smallest room (WC or bathroom)!  Although it goes against the ‘normal’ interior design rules (which try to keep everything nice, spacious, bright, light and airy), such dark and strong colors in tiny rooms can give a very dramatic impact – and a great result! (Plus, if you’re not sure about the impact, you won’t be spending too much time in there, anyhow!)

Essentials for this style

  • Keep backgrounds dark for maximum ‘wow’
  • Use as much botanical pattern as you dare!
  • Mix in vibrant colors, such as upholstery, bedding, curtains – these do not need to be tiny splashes of color – think of a whopper splash that you’d make off the 30ft high diving board – that’s what we’re looking for
  • Use 2 or 3 bright colors together – green, plus red, orange, pink, gold
  • Don’t forget some smaller accents of white or cream – we’ve still got to lighten it up a little to keep it feeling fresh
  • There’s so much going on with the color and pattern you need to keep everything else as simple as possible
  • Use dark or pale furniture, as your scheme requires
  • Very modern, striking look
  • Wow!

Inspiring colour palette

Marie Claire Maison has featured this interior shoot in April 2015 and the color palette is wow!  Although having been up in London recently, I am bit bearded-out so to speak as every man I saw had full facial hair.  I just always think of Mr Twit by Roald Dahl when confronted by facially hirsute men.

Gardening style - Eclectic Trends

Gardening style - Eclectic Trends

Gardening style - Eclectic Trends

Gardening style - Eclectic Trends

Styling: Cristina Nava | Photography:  Lorenzo Pennati 

Easter Flower Ideas

These brilliant ideas come from Catriona Summerhill at Homes & Gardens.

DAINTY EGGCUP DISPLAYS

Hollowed-out eggshells make naturally beautiful containers for the smallest of flower arrangements. Selecting blue hen’s eggs adds a pretty touch to this simple idea, which requires just a few hallmarks of spring, such as delightfully scented lily of the valley and tiny sprigs of blossom. The diminutive displays can be used to brighten any corner or as a lovely addition to the place settings at your table. Choosing eggcups with an Easter theme will add to the charm.

https://i0.wp.com/www.hglivingbeautifully.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/rt_Duck_Feet_011P.jpg

STATEMENT PIECE

For those looking to bring character to their Easter celebrations, experiment by filling a vintage wire cage with a bed of moss, speckled quail’s eggs and a floral arrangement displayed in a ceramic bowl. This design can be easily customised with flowers to suit your decorating scheme, while the eggs can be replaced by chocolate ones for guests of all ages to enjoy.

https://i2.wp.com/www.hglivingbeautifully.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/rt_Flower_cage_007P.jpg

POTTED EASTER BULBS

No special flower arranging skills are needed to create a display of fresh potted blooms, so children can be easily involved in the project. Planting up a selection of spring bulbs, such as muscari and anemones, in attractive pots is a great way to make the season come alive indoors. The pots can also be tied with ribbon and presented as Easter gifts.

https://i1.wp.com/www.hglivingbeautifully.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/lifestyle_plantingbulbs_03_02.jpg

SCULPTURAL DESIGN

For an eye-catching seasonal arrangement with a contemporary edge, glue stems of pussy willow around a plant pot and fill with a tightly packed assortment of coloured tulips so they are just visible above the top of the pot. To complete the display add thin branches of blossom, which will be held in place by the tulips, to give the arrangement height and introduce a modern, sculptural feel.

https://i0.wp.com/www.hglivingbeautifully.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/rt_Sofa_005-1P.jpg

TABLE DECORATION

If you fancy bringing a touch of whimsy to the dining table, why not try this artful display using a selection of freshly cut garden flowers. Choose blooms in soft, complementary hues, such as pale pink roses, deep pink astrantia major, miniature white narcissi, vibrant green viburnum and black and white anemones. Trim the stalks so the flowers sit happily in a selection of pretty eggcups and tiny vases, then intersperse with stems of pussy willow and foil wrapped chocolate eggs. Water daily for a long-lasting centrepiece.

https://i1.wp.com/www.hglivingbeautifully.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/dec_eggcups_03_v11.jpg

Wallpapering Furniture

I have had a Georgian cupboard for years, that I bought because it was quite scruffy and showed where at some point it had had a decorative paint effect applied.  It looks like someone has applied a woodgrain oak effect on top of the original mahogany.  But it is now a bit chipped and worn and needs an overhaul.  As I think the paint effect is at least Victorian, I can never restore it to immaculate mahogany.

I have seen lots of pictures online with cupboards and shelves having wallpaper set into the back panels but not many when wallpaper is used to the outside of the pieces:

Photo from House to Home

Photo from House to Home

I want to make my cupboard into something more exciting and came across this great piece by Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek.  I love the fact it is totally wrapped, and it starts to look like something like marquetry or hand painting that you might see in a very grand old house.

Wallpaper Cupboard by Piet Hein Eek

I am going to go for it with the cupboard and aim for quite a dramatic finish with a very dark/black base all over, but not by wrapping it totally in wallpaper as I want quite a large design and I think it will be too overwhelming.  I will start with papering the inset front and side panels and adding some brushstrokes of paint to those areas,  and will then paint the rest of the wood to match the background of the wallpaper.  Then with a glaze I think I can match the texture of all areas so it ends up looking like a hand painted piece, and slightly oriental if I use a shiny glaze.

The shortlisted contenders for the paper are below – I LOVE the House of Hackney paper as it is crazy close up with animals holding odd items but it is really expensive for a roll, and I also think the Snow Tree is a contender as the brushstrokes in the background can be replicated all over the other areas of the cupboard.  Samples are on their way so I can see the paper with the naked eye as that will also affect the choice.

More to follow on the cupboard saga, and any suggestions also most welcome….

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

3D Paper Pictures and Botanicals

I love botanical prints, and have many old ones over the house.  However, I had a space for some artwork and some box frames lying about, so decided to make my own modern version of botanical prints. They looked great, and I sell mine a lot, they can even be customised for clients with text:

Using royalty free images found on-line, I pick one image and then print it up either on aged paper or pages from old books, in varying scales of size, about 5 copies per image.  It needs to be strongly coloured to work well.  Then I cut them out carefully with a scalpel.  Mounting them is trial and error, starting with the biggest at the rear and then building them up.  Pinching and curling some leaves etc added to the 3D effect. Using small pieces of sponge cut to size and a glue gun, you attach each layer so it protrudes.

You can also print straight onto old pages if you do not want to do a 3D effect.  I used old encyclopedia pages, and printed the botanicals straight on top of them:

I have now started on birds and trees:

IMG_8775