Handmade Wednesday's: Botanical Calendar

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Now I know what you're thinking: "Starting a new calendar in September? Isn't that a New Year project?" But since the Fall is coming, I loved the idea of using pretty plants to make this calendar and then you'll have your calendar for next year all set and ready to put up on January 1st! This is also no ordinary calendar. We will be making this calendar by rubbing plants onto thin paper! Since this is a Martha Stewart project, you know it's going to be immensely beautiful.

What You Will Need:
13 x 19 in. thin Japanese rice paper
Crayons or Colored Pencil Stick
Pressed Leaves or Flowers
Calendar Template

  1. Choosing Your Plants: In order to make the calendar fit your home, personality and season try collecting leaves and flowers that you enjoy all throughout the year when certain plants are in season. Martha recommends thicker leaves, such as those from magnolias or geraniums. And when choosing your flowers be aware that most are too delicate but that hydrangeas and Queen Anne's lace are sturdy enough for this pretty craft. If you are having trouble finding leaves and flowers, you can always order them on-line. Here are Martha's choices for a few months: Pine needles for January and since it's september you might want to grab sugar-maple leaves! For the February winterberry, only a branch was used -- berries were drawn in with a crayon, a single hydrangea bloom for August, and a stem of lily of the valley for May.
  2. Flatten Your Plants: Next you are going to want to flatten your selections in a phone book or between sheets of newsprint under a heavy object.
  3. Make the Rubbing: Place paper on specimen, and secure with paperweight. Rub one section at a time with crayon or pencil stick, holding paper with free hand. (For large elements, such as leaves, hold utensil on its side; for small parts, such as stems, use its tip.) Fill in details, such as small flowers, with crayons.
  4. Making the Calendar Dates: Make the plant rubbing on Japanese rice paper, then position this calendar template under the paper. Use a colored pencil to trace the days, then add the dates for that month using the template's lines as a guide. Add the name of the month.
  5. Assemble the Calendar: When stacking the pages, slip blank sheets in between if the next month's design is showing through. Punch two holes 5 inches apart and 1 inch from top of each page. Tie with ribbon, and hang.


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