Homemade Botanical Wallpaper

A while back I came across an idea to cover an entire wall with vintage botanical prints, like a homemade wallpaper. Since that very day, the idea has not left my mind. I knew I had to try it.

But I wanted to do it differently. I wanted to make it unique. So in lieu of perusing every flea market in hopes to find that perfect book filled with beautiful antique botanical prints (as fun as that may be), I decided to make my own vintage prints. Even though they aren’t actually vintage. Nor are they prints.

You can turn standard white printer paper into an aged creation quite simply. I used soy sauce — the perfect way to use those tiny packets that have been collecting in my kitchen drawer forever. You could also try coffee or tea.

Aging paper with soy sauce

First, pour your liquid of choice into a small bowl, and use a sponge, paper towel, or paintbrush to cover an entire piece of paper. You don’t have to go crazy making sure the coat is totally even — irregularities give character here! — but I would advise making sure to cover every white spot and using circular motions, as white streaks can end up looking a tad fishy.

How to age paper with soy sauce2

Preheat your oven to about 200-250 degrees Farenheit. Place each coated paper on its own cookie sheet, and place in the oven for about 2-8 minutes. Make sure to keep a close watch — you don’t want your paper to burn! Once the edges of the paper start to brown and curl up, you know your paper has finished the aging process. Voila!

Homemade aged paper

This definitely takes practice. Some of my earlier tries came out looking pretty strange, like this:

Paper dyed with soy sauce

I won’t use these for this project, but will definitely save them to use as cards or gift wrap. They may not look like antique paper, but they still look awesome!

Now it’s time to make your prints. I just used acrylic paint and some paintbrushes.

Acrylic paints

I gathered some dried leaves and flowers, and used those for inspiration as I painted. I’m not a good painter in the slightest, but I found that having an actual plant to refer back to while painting made things pretty simple!

How to make vintage botanical prints

I also wrote the name of the plant on each page to make it look like more like a true botanical print.Homemade vintage botanical printA lot of the plant names I was unsure of, so I found myself writing whatever came to mind… like “the yellow one” or “the one I love to press.”

Homemade aged botanical prints

Then I decided it would also be cool to actually attach some of the dried flowers to their own piece of paper.

Aged paper with dried flowers

Before I knew it I had created quite the collection of botanical “prints.”

Homemade vintage floral printsThen it came time to hang them up. I chose a large open wall, and attached the prints just using some standard masking tape — I love this look.

Hang botanical prints on wallI really like the idea of covering an entire wall with these, and also including a few pieces of blank aged paper to add a dried flower to in the future.

Dried flower on wallI’m so excited about how this came out. This was so much better than using actual vintage botanical prints — although once I find some I will certainly add them to the wall for an eclectic mix of new and old.

Vintage botanical prints on wall

Dried flowers on wall

Which wall in your home would you cover in botanical prints?!

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Comments

  1. These are so inspiring! I’ve always wanted to make my own botanical prints, but it was just one of those things I never got around to. Perfect for the spring!

  2. the one you love to press is a maidenhair fern! with a closer look, i might be able to tell you ‘the yellow one’ as well. i’m curious to know if these smell umami-salty like soy sauce! they’re gorgeous though!

  3. Beautiful work!! The one you love to press is called in Portuguese: Avenca, and it’s known (at least here) for its proprieties of cleaning the air and protecting the house, and also known for only growing in sacred places and for being very sensitive to negative energies. Love what you’ve done here: very inspiring!

  4. i believe rachel is right, the one you love to press is a maidenhair fern :) i have one in my garden!

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