Introduction: Preserving Nature With Spray Paint ... Really!

About: ♫ Basking in sunshine ☼, creating new dishes... growing zucchini and swimming with fishes. Rattlesnake hunting the desert in Spring; these are are a few of my favorites things. When the wind flies, when the p…

Spray paint is one of the greatest beautifying and  time-saving mediums ever invented.

In the right hands, spray paint can turn an ugly-ducking dresser into an heirloom. It can transform  a sheet of poster board into a museum-quality masterpiece. It can even metamorphisize an ugly brick wall into a work of art that even Michaelangelo could admire.

What you might not know is that spray paint can also be used to preserve flowers and "weeds" into an eye-popping, show-stopping WOW FACTOR in any floral arrangement from centerpieces to bouquets.

Take a LOOK-SEE!

I know I'll never look at a "weed" the same way again... and I don't think you will either! ;-)

Step 1: Preserving Pressed Flowers:

When it comes to preserving book-pressed flowers, forget hairspray.  

It doesn't get easier, better, or more permanent than good quality clear spray paint.

Krylon makes a Triple-Thick Clear GLAZE that covers beautifully in a single coat.* 

I always try to leave the stem on the flowers I dry because it makes them easier to handle. When that isn't possible, a toothpick can be attached to the dried flower with just a tiny dab of white glue if there's no stem.

A gentle burst of clear spray paint is all you need to preserve your pressed flowers. 

They need to dry thoroughly after being coated with spray paint.  I use bowls filled with sand to stand the stems/toothpicks in.

You can also use sand-in-a-fancy-dish to make  a pretty flower centerpiece!

*lol... Before you think (or say) I'm just plugging a Krylon product because they're the sponsors, check out the picture of MY can. It's 4 or 5 years old and it still sprays perfectly. 

Step 2: Dried Flowers and Weeds- Hidden Beauty Revealed.

The fun really begins when you start transforming/preserving plain old weeds and give them color! 

Collect every dried weed and flower that catches your fancy. Some are sturdy, some aren't.  lol... JUST PLUCK! 

I had no previous experience with preserving dandelions or their GIANT  5" cousins I encountered this year... I'm just sharing my trial and error technique. 

When you're spray painting dandelion-type seed pods, remember they are fragile.  Try to pluck them while their stem is still green. The spray paint will work like a fine mist of GLUE if you take it slow and easy.
  • Hold the nozzle of the spray paint can at least 8-10 inches away from the target.
  • Point the nozzle directly toward the CENTER of the target.
  • Spray in short bursts. Gently rotate the target, spraying over the entire surface.
  • DON'T overdo the first coat. BE PATIENT and allow it to dry completely before you apply a second coat.
  • 3-4 coats should keep the pods intact. Be sure to spray up the stem and onto the base where the seeds attach to the stem.
You can use ANY color spray paint. I used white, black, red, gold, silver, lavender, blue, pink and yellow spray paint. 

White spray paint seemed to accentuate the natural, 3D honeycomb appearance more dramatically than black.  

Yellow paint attracted tiny bugs like CrAzY!

Hummingbirds naturally gravitated toward the red.

As you play with the spray paint, you'll get more confident and start layering colors. It is so easy... and there are no mistakes.

HAVE FUN WITH THIS!  Who cares if you get some spray paint on your hands? A dab of acetone on a rag will clean them up in a jiffy! 

Step 3: So PRETTY!!!

The idea and inspiration for this instructable came out of nowhere... almost. ;-)

A few weeks ago I looked out my window at an unusually lush, green and colorful landscape and began gathering wildflowers to press.

Then Summer finally showed up and within a few days, that same landscape turned "tan".  Along with the tan, Mother Nature also added dozens of HUGE dandelion-type seed pods and other strange, furry plant creatures I'd never-ever noticed before.

Maybe I just wasn't looking all these years???  (Well... I'm looking now! ;-)

Instructables does that to a person. You start looking... then you start seeing... and imagining the possibilities.

I just grabbed my shears and started clipping whatever looked interesting. The variety of "subjects" was immensely varied and the whole process became a little addictive... to say the least! 

My apologies, but aside from a few Pansies,  I don't have a clue what flower or weed species are represented in this Instructable. Besides, you'll have different indigenous weed and flower species to choose from anyway.

I'm just SUPER excited to share the (MANY) pictures and the (FEW) simple spray paint techniques I used to preserve their beauty! No special skills or tools are needed.

I think you can glean a GAJILLION different ideas on how to present these spray paint-enhanced beauties.

Bouquets and Table centerpieces are just the beginning.

I've got a few ideas of my own... but I'm sure you knew that already! ;-D

Thank you for visiting my Instructable!

2nd Annual Krylon Summer Contest

Finalist in the
2nd Annual Krylon Summer Contest