Drying Ferns for Framed Botanicals

While out in the Pacific Northwest on our recent adventure, I loved all the ferns I saw growing wild in the woods.  So, I decided to pick a few fronds to dry and frame.

I had to try to keep them from getting crushed on the way home in the plane, so I carefully placed them in some newspaper I had and put that between 2 magazines for the time we were there.  They were pretty much dry in just a few days and they made it home just fine.

So, my next plan will be to find some plain black frames with white mats that will fit these 3 pretties and they will end up on my wall somewhere.  In fact, I may just change out some of my current botanical prints for these.  I love the texture and natural feel that they have.

I’m delighted that they are retaining their original beautiful green shade and hopefully that will continue even when they are under glass.

I also picked these tiny little pinecones which I’ll add to my collection. These are so teeny and cute and I love having something that we don’t grow around here.

My star gazer lilies bloomed recently and I brought in a little bouquet for the dining room.Have you ever dried plants or flowers before for framing and how did it turn out?

I’ll keep you posted when mine are in frames!

- Rhoda


  1. My grandmother was a garden club lady and did beautiful pressed flower arrangements. She had piles and piles of old phone books that she used to press the flowers. I don’t recall her pressing ferns and I’m curious to see if yours will retain their color. I think they’d still be pretty even if they turned brown in the frame.

  2. i’ll be anxious to see how your ferns turn out! we have a lot of them in our back woods and have thought of pressing them and framing them too 🙂 have fun!

  3. Oh, that sounds neat! I have only dried them for hanging, not to put in frames. I am sure it will look awesome. Good luck!


  4. Those pinecones are so cute!

  5. I’ve pressed ferns and framed them between glass. They looked great at first but mine have begun to loose their beautiful color. Think I should have sprayed with some sort of preservative first.

  6. I have done a leaf press project in grade school..It turned out pretty good and I think I still have some of the book marks I made out of it..
    Can’t wait to see your ferns!

  7. I believe they will turn brown and crunchy and crumble…BUT I think there might be a spray that will preserve them? So I’m guessing you don’t have all those ferns around your place? Yep, they are a staple in most yards around here! Of course you will get fined $10,000 for taking them off Mt. Rainier (just kidding).

    Can’t wait to see how they look!!

  8. Hello – I would love to know where you bought your chairs for the DR? I have been searching for paint colors and have ended up at your site twice on two different searches. LUV YOUR STYLE.


  9. I have pressed flowers and framed them once. After awhile they dried up and boke up a bit. I would be interested to see how using a laquer would work out. Can’t wait to see the finished product.

  10. Melissa is right. Ferns grows wild all over the place here. You can use glycerine or some other material to preserve the ferns. While there may or may not be a fine involved, only Native Americans are allowed to remove indigenous plants from a National Park. If you happened to pick up an eagle’s feather or two while visiting , please don’t post pics. Huge fine and possible jail time for possession 🙂 I’m sure none of your readers would rat you out, but you never know what Uncle Sam is monitoring.

  11. I dried leaves two years ago for a fall project. It was so much fun picking out the perfect colors and shapes. I totally embarrassed my son by pulling off on the side of a busy road just to get the perfect purple leaves for my project.

    The leaves stayed beautiful throughout the fall! When Christmas season came, I just took the leaves off the plate I had glued them to (it was a wall decoration), so I’m not sure if they had stayed on for longer if the colors would have stayed as pretty. I’d love to try it again this year.

  12. Hi blog friend, I thought I would let you know I mentioned you in my post today (see link below)! Thanks again for being an inspiration. My house is pretty because of you =)


  13. good day . nice dried ferns . perfect as framed wall decorations. very impressive . i think its perfect inside or outside the house . love it

  14. Such pretty specimens! However, I had the same concerns for you that a couple of others expressed. Even our local parklands say “leave only footprints, take only pictures.” Maybe edit the post a bit?

  15. I owned a freeze-dry floral preservation business for 15 years. For best results make sure your ferns are completey dry before framing. I would recomend Design Master floral spray in Fresh Green. You can see a post I did about it here.
    They will be a fun keepsake framed!

  16. I am so interested in how this turns out… I love the idea of drying ferns yourself… much better than purchasing them !!

  17. Love those tiny little pinecones. They are precious. And, your pictures are wonderful!

  18. What awesome earthy treasures you took back from your trip!!!

    That soooo reminds me, though, of the family vacation we took as a kid to Maine (drove up from Ky).

    Wouldn’t you know it that my Mom fell in love with these BOULDERS (i’m not exaggerating) and this huge piece of driftwood on the rocky Maine coast that we had to lug back up a MAMMOTH rocky hill and then with us the 18 hours (if it wasn’t that long, it FELT that long) back home!!!!


    At the time I was miffed.

    Now I treasure those stones/that piece of driftwood…yes, they’ve survived (the rocks are still in her big flowerbeds outside) almost 30 years since then.

    Your fern fronds….a much better idea… 😉


  19. hello, there!:-)

    your ferns are beautiful!:-)…and they made it home unscathed!:-)

    enjoy your botanical memories!:-)

    thanks for letting us see:-)


  20. Can I do this with cactus?? hahaha. I live in Arizona!

  21. Hi Rhoda!

    Just catching up with you today. I find it harder and harder to even find the time to LOOK at blogs these days! 🙁

    Those teeny pinecones are just darling!! I’ve dried leaves and framed them but not flowers or ferns. If they stay green those fronds should be really pretty framed.


  22. I live in the Pacific Northwest and have not dried ferns yet. You have inspired me. I do collect plenty of pinecones from my yard, we have always enjoyed gathering pinecones of all sizes.

  23. I dried ferns, backed them with old sheet music and enjoyed them until they turned brown. Wondered if spray paint would keep them green. Now there are four note cards of ferns in each pane of an old window. I backed each with red handmade paper. Looks sharp with the white, peeling paint of the window.

  24. Karen Manuel says:

    I want to dry leaves to frame. I want to use tropical leaves.
    I want the leaves to turn brown. I need to know how to do this as
    well as preserve them before framing.

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