May is a month for Gifts from the Garden and herb designs may be used to make a variety of items such as sachets, herbariums, decorated stationery, pictures, T-shirts, pillows, painted furniture and walls. There are two main techniques for producing herb designs using fresh plant material – Herb Printing and Herb Pounding.
ink/ink stamp pad/acrylic paints
item to print (paper, fabric, etc.)
1. Select herbs with sturdy and interesting leaves (veins, texture, wispy structure) and flatten for a few hours if necessary
2. Cover surface with newspaper
3. Place dots of inks(paints) on paper plate as needed or choose an ink stamp pad
4. Lay herb leaf face down on small stack of newspaper and dab underside with a thin layer of ink(paint) or lay face up on an ink stamp pad, cover with wax paper and press to ink underside of leaf.
5. Gently lift leaf and place on item to be printed, cover with paper towel, hold and press with fingers
6. Remove towel and lift leaf
7. Repeat as desired
fresh herbs & flowers
mallet or hammer w/ wood blocks
fabric item to print
1. Select herbs with sturdy and interesting leaves (veins, texture, wispy structure) or flowers and flatten for a few hours if necessary
2. Lay herb leaves & flowers face down on fabric item in a pattern that pleases you.
3. Cover with a paper towel and then a bath towel
4. Hammer gently but thoroughly all over the flowers and herbs. briskly with equal force to cause the plant material to bleed into the fabric
5. Remove towels and herbs and let dry before brushing off any remaining bits
6. Iron to set the colors from fading in sunlight, being careful not to scorch fabric.
7. OPTIONAL: Add detail to the flowers and herbs with a permanent marker
NOTE: Washing is NOT recommended for the item as the color is not permanent
Some tips to remember in using fresh herbs:
· collect herbs on dry day and cut 3”-6” sprigs
· try just one color first then experiment with multiples and color mixing
· after the ink/paint dries return herb to a book to be used again
· disassemble large herbs, ink/paint the individual parts or lay on fabric before pounding and re-create the image
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others,
faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”
I Peter 4:10