Bright colors and nature prints are a perfect way to add a bit of “summer” into your home’s decor. If you’re looking for an easy weekend decorating project, try this do-it-yourself with our uncut mat board, artificial greenery, and spray paint. Uncut mat board, also called a pre-cut mat blank, is simply a mat board without the window cut-out. They are great for all kinds of creative endeavors.
We used a combination of our 4Ply and 8Ply uncut Alphamat and Alpharag mat boards for this project. The technique is incredibly simple. Lay a piece of greenery on a board. Spray it and the surrounding mat board to make a reverse stencil. Let it dry and then frame it. Krylon makes 3oz containers of spray paint called “Short Cuts”, which are the perfect size for doing individual prints. Be sure to do this in a well-ventilated area due to the paint fumes.
DIY - Easy Botanical Artwork Project
- Uncut 4Ply or 8Ply mat board in white or black (standard sizes like 8.5x11, 8x10, 8x12, 9x12, and 11x14 are good choices)
- Silk or plastic greenery – look for bold
- Spray paint in blue, red, yellow, green, purple, orange, pink, etc…
- Painter’s tape
- Cardboard, newspapers, or a drop cloth for covering your workspace
Using the painter’s tape; cover the outside edge of the mat board to create a border. (This is optional. You can leave off the border if desired. ). The border’s size is your preference, but 1/8” – 3/8” is a good range. Don’t worry if it’s uneven, that just makes it looks more artistic when the tape is removed.
Prepare your workspace and lay out the mat boards. Place greenery as flat as possible on the boards. It’s OK if the greenery extends beyond the board’s edges.
Spray the boards evenly with your choice of paint(s).
Remove greenery and allow the paint to dry.
Once dry, remove the painter’s tape (if using). The finished artwork can be framed as is if desired. For a more polished look, you can affix the images to the front of a larger piece of blank matboard using double-sided tape, and then frame your finished piece.
*This project was adapted from the article “A New Leaf” in Better Homes and Gardens 2014 “How to Paint Anything” magazine.Our uncut mat board can be purchased here. Check out our wood and metal picture frames as well. BTW - the leftover multi-colored greenery looks great in clear vases.