Introduction: DIY Botanical Wall Art

We made DIY botanical wall art using layered photos of leaves and flowers printed on three separate transparencies, layered between four sheets of acrylic, and framed on the top and bottom with wood and brass hardware. In total it cost under $40 but you could do it for less if you used a less expensive wood or fewer layers of acrylic. It's a pretty flexible project in terms of materials (lots of ways to customize it! Different hardware colors, different types of wood, different sizes) but below is what we used.

Tools & materials:

Step 1: Design Botanical

Picture of Design Botanical

We used stock images of leaves and flowers with white backgrounds and opened them up in Photoshop, arranging them on different layers (with the layer mode set to Multiply so the white backgrounds essentially became transparent).

You could also grab leaves and petals from your yard and use those, take your own photos of them against a white background, or use free printables you find online.

We took our botanical graphic and split it into three different layers so that we could print it on three different sheets of transparency (most printing places will do this for you cheaply). We loosely cut around each of our transparencies with an exacto knife so that the edges of the three didn’t line up perfectly/obviously.

Step 2: Cut Acrylic to Size (optional)

Picture of Cut Acrylic to Size (optional)

This step is optional, because you might find acrylic sheets in the size you want. For us, it was half the price to buy a larger size and cut them in half with an acrylic cutting blade. To do this, we clamped our acrylic and a straight edge to our work surface and scored along the middle of the acrylic to make sure it was perfectly in half. Note that the blade has some thickness to it, so make sure to account for that when lining up your straight edge.

Run the blade over the acrylic til you have a solid groove. Then clamp the acrylic to the edge of your work table so that the groove is just over the edge, and press down on the overhanging piece of acrylic to snap it.

Step 3: Cut Wood to Size

Picture of Cut Wood to Size

We used a thin piece of walnut we found in the scrap bin of our local hardwood store, but any wood will work as long as it’s wide enough to make four pieces to go across the top and bottom of your acrylic sheets (two on the front, two on the back). It should also be relatively thin so that it doesn’t stick out too far from the wall.

We cut ours down to size on our miter saw so that it was the exact width as our acrylic, but you could also use a circular saw, jig saw, or even a hand saw since the wood is pretty thin.

Step 4: Drill & Add Hardware

Picture of Drill & Add Hardware

Stack your acrylic sheets and wood, and clamp them together. Then drill through all the layers at the same time to ensure they all line up correctly.

If desired, then use a countersink bit so that your screws sit flush with the back of the wood.

Then add your hanging hardware to the back. We added both d-rings (for wire, rope, twine, or leather hanging) and a sawtooth hanger (for nails) because we weren’t sure at the time which we wanted to use.

Once you’re done with this step, it’s also a good time to go ahead and finish your wood with wood oil or whatever finish you prefer.

Step 5: Assemble

Picture of Assemble

Flip everything over so that the side of the wood that is counter sunk is facing down, and place your bolts through it (so that they’re point up). Then begin assembling your layers, making sure to keep them in the correct order and orientation.

It goes:

  1. Two back pieces of wood with bolts through them
  2. Back piece of acrylic
  3. Back transparency
  4. Another piece of acrylic
  5. Middle transparency
  6. Another piece of acrylic
  7. Front transparency
  8. Top piece of acrylic
  9. Top two pieces of wood
  10. Thumb screws to secure everything

Make sure you get any little sawdust or dust that gets in between the layers of acrylic as you go, you don't want to have to disassemble to get them later!

Step 6: DONE!!

Picture of DONE!!

Now you’re all done! Hang in on your wall using a nail, some wire, a decorative rope, or whatever you think looks best and marvel at your glorious botanical.

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Comments

Mousepotato01 (author)2017-10-20

Awesome project. May I add a suggestion in here??? Maybe try to add some led lighting in it in the bottom and maybe top pieces of wood by cutting a second slot in the wood to accommodate the led strip lighting. IDK if RGB led strip lighting will highlight this beautiful art or not it was only a suggestion. I do know how led lighting does accent great art though that is why I added it in for you. They have clear wire almost invisible to sight that could run down the side or even inside the art mixed in amongst the foliage to hide it or add a ful wooded frame is another idea to improve this beautiful art. A good looking frame always adds glamore to great art. I was going to say good wood but it sounded not right lol...

I should have added when you add the led lighting if you do it must be at the very bottom or top of the plastics used to encapsulate the foliage ok. My bad i am sorry I thought it was framed at the bottom and top when I wrote the suggestion. You could cut the slots for the led's then add brass screws to hold the plastic in place much the same way as you did in this art. If you still are lost to my meening please send email with questions and I can explain much clearer ok. Also if you have a friend who does codeing or programing you could add arduino into it to control the lighting for the colors...

Sweet, thanks for the suggestion! Could definitely work for this or another future project :D

Awe heck I am so sorry again I just forgot to say very nice job with this. I am always extremely impressed as all hell when I see a woman working with power tools it is just amazing to see a woman not afraid to use them. I do want want it to sound wrong ok. I just think its great when a female steps into an otherwise man's world my own daughter's are my IDOLS. They followed in my footsteps and became an auto mechanic. My 2nd daughter followed in my footsteps for my 2nd career and became a programmer and electromechanical assembler and engineer as well I am so proud of them both. I worked hard my entire life with two full time careers to take care of my family. So I have seen how arrogant and ignorant most men can be like when they feel threatened by a female it really make them insecure. I was raised the right way to respect a woman and stand behind her as much as I expect her to be by my side. Words can not say how proud I am of them and with a hard ass dad like myself they get advise all the time how to handle the guys in the shops when they act up. If you need to know what I meant about arduino please send a email with the question and I can explain clearer ok. Love this work maybe try butterflies, or feathers see how they look. You could sell them on ETSY or Facebook.????

patytrico (author)2017-10-18

Nice! You could print it in acetato too ;) And use the wood ends as weight so it would not roll up ;) I think I would give it a try that wat, thank you very much for sharing your work ;) It's beautiful ;)

evanandkatelyn (author)patytrico2017-10-18

Thanks so much!! You should try it, best of luck!

wannabemadsci (author)2017-10-17

Beautiful and very elegant!

Great job. I originally thought they were pressed flowers, but transparencies are great also. I suppose it could be done with images or actual pressed flowers.

Thanks for sharing!

Appreciate it!! Yeah, definitely interested in learning how to press flowers and doing something similar with them in the future :)

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2017-10-17

So pretty! I love how you layered it, makes it so much more interesting than if it was just a flat piece.

Thanks so much Penolopy! We definitely want to experiment more with it one day and try other types of layered art :D glad you enjoyed it!

meraki (author)2017-10-17

Thanks for the nice idea and the instructable.

But Katelyn, please don't let your hair down while working with power tools. It's extremely dangerous. These tools are really powerful and apply their power several thousand times per second to whatever they come into contact. So it's almost impossible to respond to such a contact neither properly nor timely.

Please .. Safety comes first.

evanandkatelyn (author)meraki2017-10-18

I try to keep it out of the way but every now and then I'll forget to put it up, thanks for keeping an eye out for safety!

Oncer (author)2017-10-17

How about actual dried flowers pressed between the acetate and acrylic? Or would they fade over time?

evanandkatelyn (author) Oncer2017-10-18

Yeah I think that would be beautiful!

mxx (author) Oncer2017-10-17

It should work.

AmaliaH3 (author)2017-10-17

I can't find your links.. to the botanicals!!!!

patytrico (author)AmaliaH32017-10-18

They say we have to look out for the ones that pleased us... or take a picture from a nice place ;)

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Bio: A husband & wife team. Amateur makers. Expert high fivers. New video every week (or so).
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