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The Art of Botanical Rubbings: Plant Calendar

Turn ephemeral elements of the outdoors into long-lasting decorations.

Source: Martha Stewart Living, May 2005



A plant evocative of each month -- pine needles in January, sugar-maple leaves in September -- reveals itself on the petal-thin pages of a handmade calendar. We worked with 13-by-19-inch Japanese rice paper, available at art-supply stores. For the February winterberry, only a branch was used -- berries were drawn in with a crayon. A single hydrangea bloom was repeated for August; a stem of lily of the valley for May. We cheated on September, with green leaves colored to suit the month.



  • Pressed leaves or flowers

  • Plain thin paper, or Japanese rice paper

  • A paperweight

  • Crayons or colored pencil sticks

  • Ribbon


  1. Collect leaves and flowers you like. Thicker leaves, such as those from magnolias or geraniums, work best; many flowers are too delicate, but hydrangeas and Queen Anne's lace are sturdy enough.

  2. Flatten your selections in a phone book or between sheets of newsprint under a heavy object.

  3.  use Japanese rice paper or tissue paper to make framed art, a calendar, an album, or wrapping paper.

  4. To assemble the calendar, punch two holes 5 inches apart and 1 inch from top of each page. Tie with ribbon, and hang.

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