Tuesday, 2 July 2013

DIY Flower Petal Paints - Natural Art



I've had this idea kicking around in my head for some time, and given that the theme for this week's craft hangout with Red Ted Art was 'flowers and leaves' I thought it was time I tried it out.  Sadly with a 'local area broadband problem' joining the hangout was not to be - thanks a bunch Virgin Media!

I kinda guessed this idea would work - I've done something similar with flowers before to get the colour pigment for dandelion soap, and I know you can do it with violets as I've made natural colouring for icing for biscuits before, but still, there was a little experimenting still to do.

This is a lovely summer holiday activity - spend the morning out and about hunting for flowers - whether that's in your back yard, out on a country walk or at the park.  Make the paints over lunch-time and then spend the afternoon being an artist.




Please remember that although this is all natural, some plants and flowers are toxic, so please wash hands thoroughly after touching the flowers, and don't leave small children unattended with the paints.

Half the fun of this is experimenting with lots of different flowers and seeing what colours they yield.  I aimed to get the three primary colours, so used blue pansies; red poppies and yellow dandelions, although they didn't mix too well so for greens and oranges you might want to look further.  Some flowers didn't give the colours you'd expect - for example lavender gave a very drab brown result.  Poppies on the other hand worked BRILLIANTLY.  It's also interesting to see that they don't always dry the colour you'd expect - the pansies for example gave a vivid indigo blue, but dried to a greeny-turquoise shade.


Take the petals off the flowers and place in a cup or jug.  Pour on a few drops of boiling water - enough to cover the petals (after you've squished them down with a spoon), but not so much that you dilute it too much and end up with a very watery paint.  Leave for 20 minutes or so for the pigment to leach from the petals. Once you have your coloured liquid, squeeze and strain out the petals.

You now have your homemade flower petal water colour paints, ready to create a masterpiece.

Use good quality artist's cartridge paper as the colours will be 'wet' (I picked up an A4 pad at The Works for 99p), and leave flat until thoroughly dry.



Watch the video and click on the link (to follow) below for more great flower art and craft ideas.




Red Ted Art's beautiful flower crowns, woodland people and great tips on how to press flowers
Ali made a very cool Andy Goldsworthy style flower picture
Anthea made some very cool grass seed creatures
The Fairy and The Frog makes a beautiful lavender wand
Kelly made some adorable cards with helicopter seeds.
Anna at The Imagination Tree made some beautiful laminated bookmarks, window decorations and crowns
Crystal made some lovely pressed flower coaters
Here Come The Girls shared a gorgeous keepsake card that is sure to be kept for years to come
Rosie, a self confessed non-crafter made a gorgeous posy of flowers and a vase

Linking up with:


                                                                Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

31 comments:

  1. beautiful, you are so clever! :)

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    1. Thanks Ali, it was a rare moment of inspiration! x

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  2. Super cool idea and love that you painted a picture with the colours

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    1. Thanks Anthea, she wanted to paint a 'meadow'.

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  3. wow love this idea! We have loads of dandelions and poppies near us at the mo so will give this a go! xx

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    1. Oh great! Poppies were fantastic and gave such a good colour. We only used about 4 or 5 flowers and they are growing by the roadside as weeds round here. The yellow from the dandelions wasn't as vibrant, perhaps I needed more flowers or to leave longer. But experimenting is the fun part! Let me know how you get on x

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  4. What a lovely idea! Will definitely give this a go. Thanks so much for linking up to the Pin it Party. Have pinned to our main board and to my Kids Summer Fun board :)

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  5. ooooh what a lovely idea. Definitely something to try over the holidays. xx

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    1. Thanks Emma, you can make this 'activity' last the whole day really with a walk in the morning and painting in the afternoon - good free fun! x

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  6. Gorgeous idea - might try this over the summer as we get to know our new area!

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    1. It would be a great way to get to know your surrounding area Molly - you could paint the places you've found flowers too!

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  7. This is a must, we have been making petal perfume, just one step more to make paint. Now I'm thinking fragranced paint! I'm going to have to give it a go before all our vibrant azaleas finally finish. Ruby's painting looks so perfect. Thank you for sharing on #CountryKids

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    1. Perfumed paint! What a great idea. I remember making rose petal perfume for my mum when I was little - if was fine before it went all brown and sludgy! x

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  8. what a cute idea! now wondering if my Dad's bright rhodedendron flowers are still in action or if I've missed the opportunity of possible wild bright coloured petals to make paint with!

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    1. Oh I'd love to know if rhodos work. I tried foxgloves but nothing happened - probably just as well as they're poisonous! Do let me know x

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  9. wow that's incredible. Love it xx

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  10. Oooh Liz, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this. What a wonderful way to explore nature and get arty! Gorgeous pics too!

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    1. Thank you Maggy, we had great fun doing this we'll definitely be doing it again.

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  11. This is a lovely activity and I adore the colours

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  12. Wow I never knew you could do that! So clever! xoxo

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  13. Oh my word, I can't even believe how talented you are. I had no idea. Mich x

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    1. You had no idea how talented I am Mich? ;0) x

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  14. Wow! I've never thought to use flower petals to make "paint". Your colours look so intense. Pretty cool to think that you can create a piece of artwork from the flowers in your very own garden! Pinning. :)

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  15. That has just gone into my boredom jar ready for the summer hols!

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  16. Wow, you got some great colours from those flowers!
    What a clever, creative mummy you are... I bet the kids had so much fun!

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  17. if you dry the petals completely FIRST, you will not need the hot water(although this makes the colors come out better), and you will have a better quality of paint.

    Yes, you can make paint this way, but it is on the low end of the quality scale.

    To make a high quality paint, you need 3 things:
    Pigment
    A Bonding agent
    And an adhesive

    The pigment can come from flowers, plants, rocks, duck/geese droppings(comes out a beautiful blue,fruit & veggie skins, the fruits & veggies themselves, trees & tree bark....

    There is almost no limit as to where you can get your pigment

    The bonding agent is what gives the paint its body...allows it to flow along with the brush.
    Clay, like you have in the ground(IF you have clay soil that is), is a good bonding agent. There are many others that can be had for free as well.

    The Adhesive is what holds everything together AND helps it to stick to the project at hand.
    for some projects, pine sap is a good example of an adhesive, but not the only one by far.

    IF you truly wish to make your own paint from scratch, take a hike...seriously. While you are hiking through the woods, look around you. See them leaves on the ground over there? they can be used for pigment, just as them walnuts can also be used. OH WOW! isn't that a pretty rock? more pigment for your paints.

    80% to 95% of what you will need for making your own paint, can be found in Nature, & here's the best part: IT'S ALL FREE!!

    CAUTION:
    some of the plants you can use are very beautiful..AND ALSO VERY POISONOUS!!
    Be careful...supervise small children, never leave them alone with these paints because if hey ingest them, GOD only know what may happen.

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  18. This is an informative blog by which I have got that info which I really wanted to get. here

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