{O} Adding Organic elements to your art journal

There’s something about the fleeting life of a flower that makes me want to stop and capture it and freeze it in time. I used to have a lot of them pressed between the pages of various books. I went through a phase when I was obsessed with taking macro photographs of flowers at various stages of life – bud, bloom, decay, death. And now that I’ve been creating art journals, I’ve been thinking about ways in which I can capture them on the page.


That’s one of the reasons why I am drawn to encaustics – they can be easily trapped behind layers of wax, which would further enhance their ephemeral beauty. But since I’m still a bit scared to venture into encaustics, I’m thinking of other methods.

One that I’ve tried recently is to coat leaves with gel medium to preserve them. For this, you will need the following materials:

Leaves of your choice
Gel medium
Baking paper or plastic sheet

Lay out your leaves on the baking paper and pat dry them.

Apply a thin layer of gel medium on the leaf or flower. Let dry for 24 hours.

Peel it off from gently from the baking paper or you risk damaging them.

Turn them over and apply a layer of gel medium on the other side. Let dry 24 hours.

And viola! They are ready to use.

Note: The gel medium will look white when wet, but will dry clear.

This same technique can be easily used with other organic elements like flowers, seed pods, and feathers.

Do you think you would be inspired to save a little piece of nature to use in your art projects?

And if you would like to have all of this information in a handy-dandy download to keep forever, sign up for my monthly newsletter. All of these posts will be turned into a beautiful ebook and sent out to my lovely subscribers.

Posted in Art Journaling, Artists Toolbox and tagged , , , , , .


    • That’s if you’re using gel medium. If you just want to press a rose from your beloved, press it between the pages of a heavy book and leave it for a month. Or hang it upside down in a well-ventilated space and leave it to dry for 10-15 days. 😉

  1. As a kid, I just pressed flowers and leaves between books and remember doing a project where different shapes of leaves were to be pasted/stuck on sheets. That’s all has been my contribution in adding organic elements in my books/file. 😀

    • I used to do that too! At one point I had dried flowers falling out of almost every thick, heavy book I owned 😉

  2. I still have so many pressed flowers and leaves in my book. In fact, at this moment, I’m doing the opposite of preserving – I have a leaf pressed into a book, and I’m waiting for it to disintegrate till only the veins remain.

    • Yes, I used to collect and press flowers too. I was always a bit sad that they turned a dull brown. I really like how this method preserves the color.

  3. I love pressing leaves, flowers and four leaf clovers in books to preserve them. I was intrigued to learn about this technique using gel medium. I bet it works well. I would love to try it.

    My late mom dabbled in encaustic art a little bit. It looked too involved for me and I didn’t want to invest in all the equipment. I haven’t even painted for ages and tend to use pencil crayons and markers for their fast convenience.

    I think I’ll sign up to your newsletter as I am enjoying your creative posts about creating! Thanks for sharing!

    • Do try it! I hope you enjoy this process it. Though it takes some time, the actual “work” time is hardly 10 minutes (and that’s with a very generous margin).

      I love the look of encaustics too, but have been a bit afraid of plunging into it. I will though…soon!

      And thank you for signing up for my newsletter – I do hope you enjoy it.

  4. Wow… this is a method I have never heard of… gelling flowers and can use them in your artworks(: ///having nature literally in your art, it’s lovely…

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