UpCycling Botanical Illustrations to Framed Prints

in Natural Medicine22 days ago

When I was a kid, my Mum taught me to respect books. I was not allowed to dog ear them, where you folded the pages over to mark your spot, and we were given bookmarks to do that job instead. Books were precious, revered and worshipped. The bookshelf took pride of place in our house, and every house I've ever lived in, the bookshelf has been one of the first things to go in. So for me to tear up a book is a bit strange.

But then, books aren't as expensive as they used to be. They are easy to pick up at garage sales and opportunity shops. And some books, as much as I like them, I really never open. What's the point, then, if they're not being enjoyed? So I had little qualms in tearing apart this edition of 'A Modern Herbal' that I picked up at a garage sale for the grand old price of $1. New, this book costs upwards of $70, so by all accounts, this find was a bargain - but the thing is, it was already falling apart and the print is so tiny I can barely read it. It's also quite a big book - if I was to purchase it, I'd buy it in two parts, as it's sold online. I've already put it on my wish list.

Why tear it apart, you ask? Well, for the plates. They're really cute illustrations of various herbs, which I wanted to frame and dot about the house. I purchased some super cheap wooden frames for $2 each and began figuring out which ones I wanted and where. There's some frames in my house I hate and that I was a bit bored of, and I wanted to change things around a little, as I often do.

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This one by the front door is the flyagaric mushroom. I like the way it's under an Acid Trance flyer for a club night called 'Enlightenment' from the hubs clubbing days - 'enlightenment' and mushrooms seem to go hand in hand.

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Next is elder and elecampane, in the kitchen. I have three or four elder trees in the garden and they provide shade for the chickens, plus, I make elder syrup for the winter. Elecampane I've recently been using in fire cider and the inulin in it gives it a lovely sweet taste. It's great for the lungs.

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In my herbal cabinet in my yoga room I've placed willow, horseradish and marshmallow.

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On the other side of the kitchen is white poppy. I did have cardomom underneath it, but the frame fell off the wall and broke, so it's sitting on the windowsill waiting for a new frame.

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The next four are coriander, ginger, liquorice and coltsfoot. I'm actually going to put the ones in the medicine cupboard and these on the floor in some kind of arrangement on the wall in the yoga room, where the medicine cabinet fits, but I have to be feeling the muse to arrange them on the wall. The fence pail frames I've had for a very long time and I was about to chuck them, but I think they'll look good in an arrangement with the cripser birch frames.

I really love botanical drawings, and of course I'm really in love with herbs and always have been, so it feels appropriate that they take pride of place on my walls. I like they seem to fit nicely with the other art I have on the walls - landscapes, a red fox, a drawing of Saraswati bought in Bali and a beautiful illustration of a flyagaric mushroom I bought Jamie from an art gallery once, an indigenous dot painting from desert country in Australia, and a few Albert Namijiri prints. The herbal plates don't overwhelm the space, but seem to just fit as part of our identity as a herb worshipping household.

What do you think? Have you put book plates in frames before? Do you like or possess botanical illustrations?

With Love,



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I love that you have turned the book into art. The fact that you have repurposed it has brought its otherwise closed pages into new life.
And it looks amazing.

This one by the front door is the flyagaric mushroom. I like the way it's under an Acid Trance flyer for a club night called 'Enlightenment' from the hubs clubbing days - 'enlightenment' and mushrooms seem to go hand in hand.

haha this made me chuckle. Subtle yet a very cool statement. 😂

💚🤗

Briliant!

Im also hate when found a mark in my book after my friend borrow it! Sometimes I keep my book to myself cause my book so precious and others i mean not booklovers can understand it!

 22 days ago 

Haha yes that's true! I changed my mind though, as now I just think it's a sign of love and use. Books should be enjoyed. I did get upset though when a friends puppy ate my favourite book on tiny homes!

I want to do that but My books just novel there's no picture inside so I can't do same idea 😆

 22 days ago 

Ah, yes, you need to find old botanical books or picture books! Do you have second hand bookshops where you are? Maybe you can ask people if they have old herb or plant books they no longer use or need.

Yes we have. May be anytime, Ill go there 😆

What a beautiful way to make art too, the botanical illustrations are gorgeous, I like to browse through herbal encyclopedias to take mental images of plants, flowers and fungi. A beautiful way to give life to the walls of your home.

In my particular case, I have thought of making art journal with this kind of illustrations, I am a fan of artistic notebooks. 🤣

 22 days ago 

Oh gosh yes I'd love to see your botanical art !! I am always looking for old books to make prints out of. There's amazing art in books that gets discarded!

I don't know if I could overcome my training to take a book apart, even if it was coming apart. But I LOVE what you've done with these. And I couldn't imagine chucking those 2 older frames, I love them!

But I have 2 sets of color botanical prints I saved to put up around the addition when it gets done. I just need frames and they are large prints, so we will see....

 21 days ago 

Oh I would love to see them!!! Yes it is hard to do, but I console myself with fact the spine was broken anyway and I couldn't read the too small print!

Love the rustic and vintage look!

Have you put book plates in frames before?

Yes I have and I also made collage from old books and magazines. It's pretty fun. I plan on doing that again as soon as my studio is done. It could be money-saving decoration too 😁

 21 days ago 

Yeah it sure is. We don't like to spend a lot of money on those kind of things.. we are minimalist too like that! Collages are awesome. One day I might have the time to make one!

That's a great idea for some nice cheap art work.

I agree hate ripping up a book but for 1$ you can't really go wrong

 21 days ago 

Yeah exactly... I've been hunting for the elusive bargain book with plates for ages!

This idea is great, you has also chosen beautiful illustrations, beautiful, and the frames are great. My mother used to do this, in fact, in the living room of my house there are some interesting paintings that she gave me, of photographs with scenes of some trades that are done in the field, such as fishing, herding of cows, cocoa and coffee harvest, and I have other Christmas ones, with illustrations of nativity scenes taken from a book. Maybe I take your example and make a similar post, hahahaha. A big greeting.

 21 days ago 

Oh of course, id like to see those.. let me know when you post!

They look sooo lovely framed! I loooove books and have shelves full of books in every room in our home.
I'm such a sentimental fool that I'd find it hard to do what you did, but it reminds me of the type of thing my Mom would do. She used to do lovely decoupage, sometimes on walls, table tops, even doors, she mostly collected calendars for this. Her philosophy is if you're not using it, give it to someone who has use for it.
Love how you've framed these!
But you're right, I've also picked up once valued beautiful books for next to nothing at charity shops and all most of them are doing, is sitting on the bookshelf!
You've got me thinking now 🤔

 21 days ago 

Ah see.. It's just how we think about it!!! I think your mother would agree.. if you aren't using it, repurposing is a valid reason to cut up a book! Decoupage was - is - such a thrifty way to repurpose furniture. It's gone out of vogue a bit but I'm sure it will return in new ways.

It looks great with those wooden frames, as if they were paintings bought especially for this. Not a bad idea, although it makes me very sad to break a book, but, for a cause like this it wouldn't be a waste.

 21 days ago 

I feel I've made all of HIVE sad for breaking the book haha.

I owned and operated a food business next to a framing shop in the nineties. The framer did this with old books too. You could either get one already framed, or go through hundreds of plates (lithographs, etchings), choose your own, and have her frame them according to your décor. She and I engaged in bartering - I got art, she got food - so my home is loaded with stuff like this. I love them. I love yours too.


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I wasn't allowed to "dog-ear" the pages either when I was young, but we didn't have cool Aussie lingo, so we just said "fold."


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