Let's Make Petal Paint


I love being out in nature, as I’m sure most people do, and right now we’ve reached the peak of summer. We’ll be heading into fall soon (my absolute favorite) and I wanted to take advantage of everything around my house that’s in full bloom. I was inspired to do this blog post from a digital magazine that I downloaded the other day called Plants are Magic Volume 4, I follow her on Instagram and I was so glad I purchased the magazine. It’s really beautiful and chock full of information. So after reading the article I thought I had better try it now before fall makes its debut, so I grabbed some flowers around my garden and began experimenting. Below are several videos that I made documenting my journey into making petal paint, which was really fun and I know I’ll be on the lookout for wildflowers to try this with too. This would be a lot of fun for kids to do too!

The water came to a boil, I turned it off and let it sit for just a minute before pouring over the flowers. In the article from Plants are Magic, they mention mashing up the petals before placing them in bowls, which I didn’t do but still had good results. They recommend disposing of the bowls after you use them in case some of the flowers are toxic, so use paper bowls if you can. Mine are glass and I just washed them well with hot water afterwards. If you’re working with children, be safe and use something disposable.

These are the results from steeping the petals overnight, which I didn’t mean to do. I started this project and ended up getting sidetracked for the rest of the day, so I wasn’t able to do anything with them until the following morning and I wasn’t thrilled with the results. If you plan on making petal paint, be sure to set aside a couple of hours to enjoy the paint at their brightest.

I decided to make the morning glory paint again, because the colors are so vibrant right after you pour the water over them and I wanted to experiment with them at their brightest.

After I made my fresh paint again from the morning glories, I took everything back to the studio to play around with the ph levels. Adding baking soda makes the paint more alkaline and the white vinegar (you can use lemon juice too) alters the acidity. Here’s what they looked like while I was playing. Just a little side note - if you grow hydrangeas this is the reason the flowers are either blue or pink, it depends on the ph of your soil.

My Results

The results were interesting in the bowls, and I noticed the paint with the baking soda seemed to have more of a noticeable effect on paper than in the bowl. I swatched out all of the original petal paint, and moved on to swatching each of them with the added baking soda and vinegar to see all of the differences.

I’m glad I documented the results and I plan on picking more just out of curiosity! The colors were not as vibrant on paper as I had expected, and some of them were completely different once they dried. For example, the rose petals were pink in the bowl, they went on the paper a grayish blue and dried green, very weird. I’m wondering if the watercolor paper I used effected the color, something I’ll have to play around with in future experiments.

Below is a little painting I did in my hand made journal using the petal paint!

That wraps up this little art experiment! I hope you were inspired to get out there and pick some flowers to make your own, if you have any questions don’t forget to comment below. See you soon!