How to Gild Botanicals
Celebrate your love of nature by creating stunning botanical art works.
Choosing Your Botanicals
Choose and clip a variety of botanical specimens. I recommend choosing more than you think you'll need, as a few may not work after they are dried. Lay botanicals face-down on paper towels on a hard surface, making sure all leaves are straight and placed appropriately: they will dry just as you position them. Top with another layer of paper towels and lay heavy books or magazines on top. Make sure to locate this in a place that can remain undisturbed for several days.
Tools You Will Need
Here's what you will need: Clippings from yard (choose sizes and textures that will look nice when gilded and framed) / Frames in sizes of choice (the ones shown are 16x24 poster frames) / Brass gilding liquid / Small angled brushes / Archival rubber cement / Spray adhesive / Colored mat board in size of choice / White mat board in size of choice (should be at least 2 inches smaller than colored mat board)
Gilding the Botanicals
You may want to gild some of the plants fully, while others look nice with the tips gilded or just part of each leaf. Reapply an additional coat if necessary after one hour. Allow the final product to dry for several hours before framing.
Arrange Botanicals on Mat Board
Using the white mat, arrange the specimens on each mat, keeping in mind how you want to arrange the final framed pieces. When you have the botanicals arranged in a pleasing way, use a small brush to lightly apply the rubber cement to the backs of the leaves and stem and press lightly onto the white mat board.
Adhere Botanicals to Mat
After they have dried, use spray adhesive to attach the white mat board and center onto the colored mat board that has been cut to fit your frame.
Gilded and Framed Botanicals
Place your prints in frames and hang in the desired location. These prints tend to look best when hung in multiples of two or more.