Friday, December 3, 2010

nature print envelopes for my mail art swap

I have been making lots of envelopes for my mail art swap! There are over 50 participants and wanted to send their returns home in a mail art envelope I had made myself. So I got busy and made a few different kinds of mail art envelopes. This was my last batch - nature printed envelopes.

Isn't this print beautiful? click for details.

It had been a while since I had done this and it was different working with the plant material that is available in Florida versus Connecticut. I even tried Spanish moss! Nature printing is not hard at all. You need plant material, something to print on (an envelope, piece of paper, or fabric) some paint -Lumiere paint is wonderful but any will do, some scrap paper for pressing/printing, and something to paint your plant material on. I use a plastic write-on transparency sheet because I have a lot of them, but you could use a piece of wax paper. click on any small photo below for a larger photo. 

add paint to your leaf with a sponge or foam brush.
It is on top of the transparency sheet.
paint side down onto your receiving item
place scrap paper over and use your hand(s) to press the leaf
(or use a brayer - I prefer my hands)
Lift carefully . . . 
You can generally use the same leaf or flower over a number of times unless it is really fragile. I often mix colors right on the leaf and today I used pigment powders, sprinkling them over the wet paint. The spots of gold below are a Pearl-Ex Pigment powder. Click for details.

To see more of the nature printing I did today, please check out this set of photos on my flickr account. Thank you for reading & looking! : ) lenna


  1. Your envelopes look wonderful, Lenna. I have done plant printing before - but it is always beautiful to see. Of course, I don't have a lot of plant material available just now...

  2. To Lenna,

    Thank you for your post on nature printing envelopes. As practitioners of the art form, we are always glad to see others who share our respect for nature through art.

    Should you or your readers have any questions about who we are and what we do, please visit our website

    NPS SiteAdmin
    Nature Printing Society
    Site Administrator

  3. These are really gorgeous, Lenna, I love the way that they print elegant!!!

  4. Great to see you doing some more nature printing, this time with Florida's nature. A previous, wonderful sample from CN hangs on my noticeboard so I can enjoy it every day.

  5. Lenna, thankyou for this little tutorial, --how beautifull it looks, I surely have to try ,this plant printing--looks very simple,--but I guess it can tease ,also...
    Have a great week-ens.

  6. These are so beautiful! damn I am bummed I have to wait until the spring to try this!

  7. just so you know -- you can also do nature printing when it is cold and snowy outside by taking cuttings from house plants! Or buy a small flower bouquet & use the leaves & flowers. OR pick evergreens, pine boughs or grasses/leaves you find in the snow. I don't have that situation now, but when I lived in CT and wanted to nature print in the winter, that's what I would do!
    : ) lenna

  8. Lenna, this is so beautiful! Talk about using what is readily available (well, sometimes readily available)... it is a gorgeous alternative to traditional stamps, I love it! I appreciate the tutorial and thought, "hey, I can do this!"...then you threw me or a loop with the fancy stuff (pigment powders)! :-) Will have to look in to those....

  9. Wow your envelopes are beautiful Lenna, love the idea about stamping with plants.

  10. These are lovely - simple and so beautiful just as nature is. That last picture enlarged really shows up the gold Pearl Ex pigment powder. Stunning.


  11. i really liked this post and found exteremely helpful. i love looking at other people art - there's so much to get inspiration from. i never tried my hands on plant printing, and this certainly looks like a interesting idea...brilliant post and an even better blog. so glad i stumbled upon here :D

  12. Youre step by step is so great. I used it to show off to my younger art class that nature prints are fail proof! They got really inspired seeing more than one color on the leaves. This is a great thing to do with kids!



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