How to Make Your Own Fern Prints to Display

A fern.
  • 2-3 hours
  • Beginner
  • 25-50
What You'll Need
Fern leaves
Sheets of paper
Acrylic paints
Oil based paint
Scraps of cardboard
Wood planks
Sharp knife

Decorating with fern prints is a simple, inexpensive way to adorn your garden, patio, or other outdoor areas. Making your own fern prints is fairly simple. Here we shall be discussing some basic tips which will help you go about making some yourself.

Step 1 - Gather Ferns

If you happen to own a fern, this first stage is very easy. If you do not, buy fern plants and gather some of their leaves or ask your friends who own fern plants if they could spare a few leaves. Choose some which are not too small so that you will better manage to make prints out of them. Also, you should try to cut them not long before starting to use them so that they will not dry out and lose their moisture.

Step 2 - Place the Fern Leaves Under the Paper Sheets

Once you have gathered a nice selection of fern leaves arrange them on a table and carefully place sheets of paper over them. Make sure you place them bottom side up as the veins, stems, and roots of the leaves need to be visible so as to manage to create a better print when starting to rub the top paper sheet with colors.

Step 3 - Start Rubbing with Colors

Start rubbing onto the paper with some acrylic paints. Rub gently at first and then increase the force little by little until you the fern leaf’s composition becomes visible on the paper. Rubbing forcefully will cause the features to get lost and smudged and the fern leaves underneath may easily break.

Step 4 - Cut along the Fern Print and Cover with Plastic

When satisfied with the result, cut out the sheet along the fern print, leaving just a small border around the whole area or leave the sheet rectangular as it is. At this point, you may wish to cover the whole print with some transparent plastic if you intend to hang these fern prints outdoors. This will make them resist outdoor conditions more.

Step 5 - Alternative Method

Paint the actual fern leaf with an oil-based paint. Then, press it downwards onto a piece of cardboard or wood. This will result in the fern’s composition getting imprinted onto the cardboard or wood plank. You can create multiple prints by pressing them onto other cardboard or wood pieces or else create an artistic composition of various fern leaves all imprinted onto one plank. Here again, you may cover with plastic in case of cardboard creations or else seal the prints with varnish coatings to protect the wooden plank from outdoor conditions.

Step 6 - Presentation and Displaying

Another good way of displaying the fern prints is to frame them and hang them outdoors. The glass will protect the prints and the paint from the moisture of rain, dew, and frost. Another way is to insert the prints inside the glass facades of a lantern which can then be covered on top. You can use multiple lanterns and hang them to create a nice atmosphere. A spotlight on top of them will do the job to lighten them up from above rather than from inside.

These are just a few ways of creating fern prints. Needless to say, the truth is, your imagination is the limit.