The Art of Herbarium

Those leaves, flowers, fruits, roots, and even small sticks are more than just a bunch of dried plants mounted on paper. They’re a gateway to the diverse flora of different regions and an invaluable botanical tool when it comes to logging new species, and exchanging data with peers.

It’s been around for years, yet nowadays, herbarium is evolving beyond its sheer scientific use into a true piece of art available for anyone. And if you’re curious to see plants in a whole new light, read on to find the most creative ways to do so.

But Where Should You Begin?

Collecting and drying species for a future herbarium is a fun and educational hobby for people of all ages. If you stumble upon a lovely bloom that you just can’t help but preserve, start by identifying it. That’s an important step to avoid any toxic plants that could be harmful to handle and rare ones that are best left in their natural habitat.

Gather plants at their prime when they flower or fruit. Don’t hold off the drying for too long! As soon as you get home from your little adventure, arrange the greenery between several sheets of paper and pop them into a press to maintain their natural shape and color. The drying time varies depending on the plant, ranging from just a few days to several weeks.

Now that you have your very own herbarium, let’s move on to the fun part—sprucing up your interior with these special compositions!

Floating Glass Herbarium

How about framing your collection? Not only does it keep the plants intact, but it also lets you play around with different shapes and colors of the frames. Those lovely petals displayed between the glass transform into stunning works of art and bring a touch of natural charm to any room.

Start by arranging the plants on the glass. As you work, be sure to handle them with tweezers, as oils from your fingers can harm the delicate greenery. Once you’re happy with the design, carefully dab some glue on the plants, one at a time. Don’t panic if you accidentally put too much glue and it smudges on the glass. Just let it dry for a moment, apply some nail polish remover on a Q-tip, and clean up any mistakes. Keep going until all the plants are glued down, let them dry for at least an hour, place the glass back into the floating frame, and admire your work.

Floral Bottle

Another great way to give your interior some accents is with clear glass bottles and vases filled with dried flowers. Just use tweezers and a skewer to arrange the plants in the bottle, fill it with baby oil, and seal it with a cap. This is not only a fun DIY project but also a good eco-friendly solution to reuse glass containers.

Dried Flower Candle

You can also decorate candles with herbarium plants. For this craft, get a big light-colored candle and arrange the flowers on its side as you please. Then, wrap your work with parchment paper and go over the flowers with an iron or a hair dryer. The top layer of wax should melt, letting the dried flowers stick to the candle. If you decide to give this project a try, however, we’d recommend not lighting your candles. Dried flowers may release toxic fumes when burned, are flammable, and can lead to a fire if not monitored closely. They also deform as they melt, so enjoying them from a distance seems a win-win for your safety, health, and aesthetics.

Botanical Jewelry

Miniature herbariums even made a name for themselves in jewelry. Petite blossoms and gentle foliage captured in resin turn into unique pendants, earrings, and rings. You won’t have much trouble finding the necessary materials, and then it’s just a matter of half-filling the jewelry mold with resin, placing the dried plant inside, and covering it over with more resin. In just 24 hours, you’ll get a striking piece of jewelry, with the hue and shape of the plant perfectly matching your style. For a three-dimensional effect, you can even try drying your flowers in a container filled with moisture-absorbing materials like sand, semolina, or silica gel.

Any Other Ways to Incorporate Pressed Flowers?

Of course! Dried flowers and resin are often used to decorate jewelry boxes, candle holders, photo frames, charcuterie boards, coasters, coffee tables, chairs, and even kitchen countertops. Your imagination is the only limit here!

While herbariums prove invaluable in the work of botanists, let us not discard this beautiful and rewarding pastime either. It may require some patience and attention to detail, but immersing yourself in the vibrant plant realm pays off with a variety of ways to enjoy it.

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