Botanical Crafts Ideas: Creative Ways to Use Plants in DIY Projects


Botanicals provide a wealth of creative possibilities for crafty DIY projects. From pressed flowers to plant-dyed textiles, herbs in soaps and wreaths made from foraged branches, the diverse forms, colors, scents and textures of plants offer endless inspiration for handmade crafts. This comprehensive guide covers unique ways to transform botanicals into beautiful, nature-inspired home décor, gifts, apparel and more through a variety of techniques and materials.

Pressed and Preserved Flowers

Collecting and pressing flowers allows you to capture their beauty forever. These delicate preserved botanicals can then be used to add pops of color and texture to handmade papers, framed art, cards, candles, and countless other projects.

Pressing Flowers

  • Pick flowers in peak condition. Choose flowers that are fully open and free of blemishes.
  • Remove excess foliage that might brown or rot during pressing.
  • Place flowers between sheets of absorbent paper and press firmly between the pages of a heavy book. Change papers periodically.
  • Allow 4-6 weeks for flowers to fully dry and flatten. Monitor for moisture.
  • Store pressed flowers in an airtight environment away from light to preserve color.

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Project Ideas

  • Frame pressed flowers under glass for wall art
  • Create stationery, journals or scrapbooks using pressed flowers and leaves
  • Make personalized greeting cards with pressed botanicals
  • Decorate candles by embedding pressed flowers into melted wax
  • Arrange pressed flowers on lampshades or sconces for a stained-glass effect

Plant-Dyed Textiles

Using plants, herbs, flowers, vegetables, and even tree bark, you can create beautiful naturally-dyed fabrics and yarns. Experiment with botanicals from the garden or foraged from nature for an endless palette of plant-powered colors.

Plant-Based Dyes

  • Red cabbage, beets, madder root – pinks/reds
  • Turmeric, onion skins, annatto – oranges/yellows
  • Cherry blossoms, sunflowers – pale yellows
  • Blueberries, red onions, purple cabbage – blues/purples
  • Spinach, nettles – greens
  • Tea, coffee, black walnuts – browns

How to Dye with Plants

  • Simmer botanicals in water to extract pigments and create dye baths
  • Soak fabric in pot of prepared dye bath for 30 minutes or more
  • Increase intensity by using a mordant like vinegar, iron, or alum
  • Rinse and air dry newly dyed textiles before use

Project Ideas

  • Dip dye napkins, towels or tablecloths using natural gradients
  • Hand dye silk scarves or clothes with botanical colors
  • Solar dye canvas tote bags, curtains or pillows outside over weeks
  • Make custom botanical prints by arranging plants on textiles
  • Mix dyes from multiple plants to create custom shades

Herbal Soap Making

Infusing handmade soaps with beneficial herbs and flowers makes for wonderful gifts while also providing an opportunity to use botanicals grown in your garden.

Herbs for Soapmaking

  • Calendula – skin soothing
  • Chamomile – calming
  • Lavender – relaxing aroma
  • Mint, eucalyptus – invigorating scents
  • Rosemary, thyme, sage – aromatics
  • Poppy seeds, oats, dried flowers – natural exfoliants

Basic Herbal Soap Recipe

  • Use melt and pour soap base for easy process
  • Prepare herbal infusions by steeping plants in water
  • Melt soap base, mix in infusions, essential oils or dried herbs
  • Pour into molds, allow to set 1-2 days, then unmold
  • Slice into bars and wrap in paper or give in jars

Project Ideas

  • Make personalized gifts for friends and family
  • Prepare soothing soaps with calendula, chamomile or lavender
  • Design an invigorating soap with eucalyptus and peppermint
  • Create novelty soaps shaped like flowers, stars or hearts

Flower Pressing in Resin

Preserve delicate flowers in clear resin for stunning jewelry, paperweights, coasters and other items. The resin locks in the flower’s beauty and creates a transparent window for viewing.

How to Press Flowers in Resin

  • Select flowers and press flat between books to dry
  • Prepare mold and coat surface with release spray so resin won’t stick
  • Arrange pressed flowers in mold how you want them displayed
  • Mix resin according to package directions and carefully pour over flowers
  • Allow resin to fully cure for 24-48 hours before removing finished piece

Project Ideas

  • Tabletop paperweight or coaster embedded with flowers
  • Jewelry pendants, beads or rings with a pressed flower centerpiece
  • Embellish trinket boxes, mirrors or frames with a resin-preserved flower
  • Capture wedding blooms, roses or baby’s breath to commemorate special occasions

Nature Printing

Capture the intricate textures and details of leaves, ferns, feathers and other natural objects through the traditional art of nature printing. Replicating botanicals with ink creates beautiful, organic prints.

How to Nature Print

  • Gather leaves, seed pods, dried plants to print
  • Brush ink directly onto specimen or onto rubber stamp pad
  • Place object ink-side down onto paper and apply pressure
  • Gently peel plant away, leaving detailed印 behind
  • Repeat process on same page to build up layered prints

Project Ideas

  • Stationery or gift wrap printed with leaf designs
  • Nature printed tea towels, pillows or curtains
  • DIY botanical notebooks or journals
  • Vivid prints framed in shadow boxes or under glass

Botanical Wreaths

Fresh foraged branches, vines, evergreen boughs, dried flowers and other plant materials can be crafted into living and preserved wreaths to display year-round.

Fresh Wreaths

  • Gather flexible branches and vines to bend into rings
  • Incorporate fresh herbs, berries, succulents or blooms
  • Use florist wire to bind wreath shape and attach embellishments
  • Hang freshly made wreaths outdoors and mist to preserve

Dried Wreaths

  • Create rings from grapevines, willow or rattan as bases
  • Add dried flowers, curly willow, seed pods and spray-painted foliage
  • Attach elements with hot glue, keeping fullness even
  • Finish with ribbons, fabric or burlap bows

Project Ideas

  • Grapevine wreaths with dried hydrangeas and raffia bows
  • Evergreen holiday wreaths with pine cones and red winter berries
  • Foraged corkscrew hazel wreaths coated in glitter
  • Painted straw wreath forms holding bundles of dried lavender

Pressed Flower Wall Art

Preserved pressed flowers become dazzling when incorporated into original wall art. Frame pressed botanicals or create stunning murals by arranging flowers to form larger designs.

How to Create Pressed Flower Wall Art

  • Plan out placement of frames or overall design for murals
  • Press and dry flowers, leaves, ferns, butterflies or other natural materials
  • Cut pressed elements into shapes or leave whole and position onto backing
  • Adhere pressed botanicals using glue, resin or silicone adhesive
  • Finish framed pieces with glass or plexiglass to protect

Project Ideas

  • Geometric frames filled with pressed flowers and leaves
  • Delicate wreaths, crowns or animal shapes framed in gold
  • Mass frames grouped into wall installations
  • Silhouettes or landscapes created from myriad pressed blooms

Botanical Watercolors

Capture the vibrancy and delicacy of flowers by painting with watercolors. Use fresh cut or dried flowers as models for creating colorful painted studies and compositions.

How to Paint Flowers in Watercolor

  • Select fresh or recently dried flowers to use as subjects
  • Sketch out preliminary compositions in pencil
  • Mix bright watercolor washes and apply colors loosely
  • Details like veins and stamens can be added with fine brushes
  • Preserve finished art by pressing between books or framing behind glass

Project Ideas

  • Vivid floral greeting cards or stationery
  • Watercolor field guides about local wildflowers
  • Filled sketchbooks devoted to flowering plants
  • Loosely rendered art to accompany pressed flower displays

Leaf Castings and Rubbings

The shapes and venation of leaves and other botanicals can be preserved by creating castings or rubbings. These projects transform ephemeral plants into lasting works of art.


  • Mix plaster of paris and water into thick liquid paste
  • Apply coating over leaves face down in molds or directly on craft paper
  • Once plaster sets, remove leaf, leaving its imprint behind
  • Enhance castings by painting with metallics or adding patina


  • Collect textured leaves, pinecones, flowers and seed pods
  • Tape botanicals underside down onto paper or cardboard
  • Rub side of crayon over specimen until its details are transferred
  • Build up layers of color for more definition

Project Ideas

  • Use leaf castings to create holiday ornaments
  • Frame glyph or fern rubbings as abstract wall art
  • Decorate vases, cans or boxes with metal leaf casts
  • Embellish stationery and gift wrap with flower rubbings

Botanical Bookmarks

Handmade bookmarks featuring plants and flowers make great little gifts and mementos for fellow book lovers. They also provide a nice way to preserve delicate blooms.

How to Make Botanical Bookmarks

  • Select thin pressed flowers, leaves, ferns or other plants
  • Cut bookmark backings from cardstock or thin wood veneer
  • Adhere pressed botanicals onto bookmark with glue or adhesive paper
  • Finish with sealant spray or laminate to protect
  • Add ribbons, tassels or gift tags

Project Ideas

  • Pressed four-leaf clover bookmarks for good luck
  • Bookmarks with inspirational plant quotes
  • Personalized floral bookmarks for bridesmaid gifts
  • Preserved wedding flowers for parent gifts


There are endless possibilities for bringing botanicals into your handmade crafts. From drying delicate flowers to felting aromatic herbs into wool, nature provides exceptional inspiration. Experiment and find new ways to transform your garden or foraged plants into personal, eco-friendly works of art. Your creativity combined with the beauty of diverse botanicals will lead you to produce stunning and sustainable DIY projects to enjoy for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

What botanicals are best for pressing? Thin, delicate flowers and leaves with low moisture content like ferns, wildflowers, baby’s breath, and lavender press beautifully. Avoid thick or fleshy plants.

How do I dry botanicals quickly to use in projects? Quickly dry plant materials by hanging small bunches upside down in warm, dry, dark conditions with good airflow. Drying times vary but can range from 1-6 weeks.

What are good beginner projects using pressed flowers? Some easy starter projects include pressed flower stationery and greeting cards, framed botanical art, bookmarks, and dyed silk handkerchiefs.

What plants are best for natural dyeing? Plants high in pigments like cochineal, madder, indigo, turmeric and catechu tend to produce the boldest dyes. Focus on locally abundant plants.

Can I use my botanical soap scraps to make new soap? Yes, any unused soap scraps can be shredded, melted, and added to new soap batches, though the final bars may be discolored.

How do I polish metal leaf casts? Remove rough edges then buff leaf casts to a shine using very fine grit sandpaper. Finish by polishing with a jeweler’s cloth or very fine steel wool.

Where can I find botanicals to press if I don’t have a garden? Look for flowers at farmers markets, florists, or nurseries. Forage for plants in nature taking care not to over-pick wild areas.

What common plants should be avoided for crafts? Avoid plants known to be highly toxic like foxglove, poison ivy, and lily of the valley, especially if skin contact is likely. Research all plants before using.

How can I make my botanical crafts more eco-friendly? Upcycle used materials, utilize renewable sources like pressed flowers, minimize waste, and use natural materials like beeswax instead of plastics when possible.

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