Hand Printing from Nature is a gorgeous new book from Laura Bethmann published by Storey press. The book is filled with lovely step by step photos for 50 different projects that incorporate stamping and printing using natural material such as flowers, leaves, fruits and veggies. There are directions on how to use stamping inks and various types of paints for stamping on many different surfaces like paper, fabric, wood and ceramics. Some of the project ideas include furniture, lamp shades, plates, wall hangings, pillows, greeting cards and even walls.
I love the fact that this book is spiral bound, making it easy to lay flat on the table while following the project directions. The supplies need for these project are easily found and like me you probably already have on hand things like stamping ink, acrylic paint and foam brushes. The rest was as easy as going out in the yard to gather some pretty leaves and a trip to my refrigerator.
For my first project I used green stamping chalk ink pads and applied liberal amounts directly onto my dried leaves (fresh leaves work too) and then laid them flat on the paper and pressed onto the back making sure I got a nice imprint. I added some ink to the edges of the card and then a stamped sentiment for a quick but lovely card.
My next two projects used produce, an apple and a mushroom, both cut in half and dried face down on paper towels. Here’s a tip, make sure you get a nice flat, straight cut so you’ve got an even stamping surface to work with. I then applied acrylic paints with a foam brush and pressed them down onto the paper. For the apple card I added a stamped “apple of my eye” sentiment and the mushroom card I hand wrote “To a fungi”, get it? The apple card would make a nice anniversary, teacher or Valentine’s Day card and the mushroom card is a great masculine card, especially for a guy who loves to cook (or eat).