Make your own fern art using real plants and inexpensive supplies from the craft store. A pretty and creative way to freshen up any space this summer.
How are you keeping? I hope you had a lovely Mother’s Day. Our weather has been below average for May, so I’ve been thinking of ways to give our home a summer-like vibe until we can spend more time outdoors. Over the weekend, I created this printed fern art using paint and a canvas I already had on hand. Have you been digging through your craft supplies too?
Did you know you can use fresh fern leaves, also known as fronds, to make art? It’s quite simple once you know the steps!
For my fern art project, I used a leatherleaf fern that was part of a pretty bouquet my husband picked up for me. Good timing! Almost any type of fern will work (even the one below), but it’s best to select one that can lay flat without being damaged. Leatherleaf ferns are durable and graphic in appearance making them a good choice.
I also printed a smaller canvas using a tassel fern (shown above). It’s a bit more delicate, but definitely doable. I think I’ll also make some pressed fern art using these fronds. So pretty!
Related: Learn how to make those faux concrete pots.
The Complete Book of Ferns was kindly provided for review purposes. As always, opinions in this post are my own. As well, some affiliate links are included for the book and supplies in this post. Check out my blog policies here to find out what that means.
How to Make Printed Fern Art
- fern fronds (leaves)
- flat artist canvas
- white paint (I used Americana Chalky Finish Everlasting)
- texture medium– optional
- acrylic black paint (I mixed DecoArt Zinc and Lamp Black)
- paint brushes
- paper towels
- heavy books
Remove any debris from fern frond(s). To flatten, sandwich between two pieces of paper towel, then top with heavy books. Allow to sit for at least an hour or until flat.
Meanwhile, paint canvas with white paint. If you want a bit of texture like mine, mix Fresco medium with white paint and apply to canvas in an uneven format. Allow to dry, then finish off with coat of white paint. Dry completely.
To print, paint frontside of fern frond evenly with a light coat of black paint. Go back over with brush and a bit more paint to ensure surface is completely covered. DO NOT over-apply or you’ll get blotchy spots when you print.
Carefully flip fern over onto canvas. Gently place a couple paper towels on top, followed by a heavy book or two. Press down firmly and evenly for about 30 seconds.
Finally, remove books, peel back paper towel and fern. Allow the print to dry flat.
Tip: You may want to play around with printing the fern on paper before trying on your canvas.
I’m loving the look of the black fern art, but indigo or dark green would look lovely too.
Decorating with Fern Prints
I haven’t decided if I’m going to frame the art or leave it as is. I tried this wood one I picked up at the thrift shop a while ago, but I may go for something a little larger. What do you think of the lamp I salvaged? I’m still on the fence. The colour is a little out-there, so I may try spray painting it once the weather cooperates. Any thoughts?
I was playing around with different vignettes and will likely keep the art on the mantel in our living room for now.
Although, I do like it in our kitchen too. Hmmmm… Stay tuned!
I rounded up some of my favourite fern prints if you’d rather buy than DIY. So pretty, right? I love their simplicity.
Shop Fern Art Prints
The Complete Book of Ferns
If you love ferns as much as I do and want to know more about them, I highly suggest The Complete Book of Ferns by Mobee Weinstein. Not only is it an amazing reference on fern botany, it also provides every aspect of fern care you need to grow healthy plants both indoors and out.
One of my favourite sections of the book is where Mobee shows creative planting projects and fern decor. Naturally, my fern art project was inspired by some of her ideas. Hopefully this project will inspire you to try a fern project of your own.
Isn’t this cyanotype or sunprint pretty? I must give it a try!
If you have a gardener in your life, I highly suggest this book as a gift. Find it online at Amazon (CAN or US), or Indigo. Such a pretty coffee table book too!
Be sure to pin this DIY art project to your Craft or Decor boards on Pinterest!
More Summer DIY Projects
Today I’m excited to be joining my friend Krista from The Happy Housie once again in her Seasonal Simplicity series. We’ll be sharing all kinds of summer ideas throughout the months of May and June along with some of our favourite bloggers. Enjoy!
How to Seed a New Lawn from Scratch at The Happy Housie
DIY Palm Leaf Shadow Art Box (PB Knockoff) at Craftberry Bush
How to Make an Outdoor Pallet Tabletop at My Sweet Savannah
Outdoor Planter with Candle at Clean & Scentsible
DIY Hanging Patio Garden at Tatertots and Jello
DIY Outdoor Candle Holders at The Handmade Home
Painted Coasters at My 100 Year Old Home
Outdoor Tabletop Herb Garden at Inspiration for Moms
DIY Modern Sun Art at Cassie Bustamante
DIY Shell Candles at Finding Silver Pennies
Beaded Garden Markers at Zevy Joy
Easy DIY Macrame and Driftwood Wall Hanging at Dans Le Lake House
DIY Printed Fern Art at Satori Design for Living
DIY Criss Cross Outdoor Planters at She Gave it a Go
Coastal Coaster DIY at Rambling Renovators
Stamped Spoon Garden Markers at Life is a Party
Summer Porch Updates at Taryn Whiteaker Designs
Other Ideas for Creating, Selecting and Hanging Art
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Have a great day!
cassie bustamante says
this turned out so beautifully! fern is one of my favorite signs of summer!!!
Shauna Oberg says
Aww, thank you! Yes, easy, breezy ferns :)
Jennifer Hadfield says
Such a beautiful project! I pinned it to my summer board so I can make some! Love it Shauna!
This is so lovely, Shauna! I adore ferns for summer!
Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse says
This is so beautiful! Such a summery idea for DIY art.
Shauna, I want to try this! A few years ago we did sunprints and we’re huge fans of those!
This is such an elegant and beautiful project! I love how simple it is!
Sue G. says
I wouldn’t spray paint the lamp. The original colors are gorgeous and every home needs pops of color here and there! Thanks for sharing your fern art. I’m planning to get creative this summer!
This artwork is lovely! Thanks for sharing! I’m including it in my newsletter blog post this week!
Shauna Oberg says
Thank you, Cindy! I hope your readers enjoy it too :)