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Make a Homemade Herbarium….Guest Writer Therese from Earth and Living

05.21.2010

Now that you have made your Nature Explorer Set, you most definitely NEED to make a herbarium to hold all of those wonderful treasures that you find while exploring.  And we found just the gal to show you how to make one!!!  Therese from Earth and Living shows us how in this wonderful tutorial.

A bit about Therese….


My name is Therese – a homemaker, a crafter and a body therapist from the woods and fjords of western Norway. Married to an acupuncturist and mother of two wonderful children who are both in Waldorf school. Living intentionally with my family and in touch with natures cycles is what my life is essentially about. Sometimes it’s a struggle, and sometimes it’s a graceful flow. As a deep ecologist, being green in the wide sense is a guiding principal in my life, whether it be in repurposing old clothes and cardboard boxes, making gifts, thrifting, green cleaning, eating raw food or exercising. In my blog, Earth & Living, I document my crafting, our green projects, and share the ‘in between’ moments of life – loving and living in the slow lane.

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homemade herbarium

The C.M. Barker covered knitting box made me think of this herbarium I made for my daughter some years ago. This is really the easiest thing to make, but here’s a little how-to. It makes a great gift for a little friend as summer is approaching.


You’ll need:

  • two heavy pieces of cardboard about A4 size
  • decorative paper/cut outs or the like
  • glue stick
  • Stanley (or other sharp) knife
  • satin ribbon
  • contact paper

First, cut your cardboard to two A4 sized pieces, or a different size of your choice. You will make two identical pieces; the front and the back.
Make 4 small cuts to each piece (see photo). This will be where the ribbon will go. The ribbon is used to tie the herbarium  together.
Decorate as desired. I chose to glue pretty paper to one side of the cardboard (using glue stick), just wrapping around the corners, and some heavy white paper to the other side, which hid the corner folds.
Cover both cardboards with transparent contact paper, making sure that every fold is neatly done. Cover both sides. This is to protect your herbarium from moist.
Find the four cuts you made with your fingers (easy, as the cutting will leave textured ‘wounds’ that you will feel through the paper), and cut through the contact paper and decorative paper as well. The reason why I do this in two steps is that it will look much better, with minimal ‘cut wounds’.

Use the tip of your knife to push the ribbon through the cuts. ‘Weave’ the ribbon in and out of the cuts as shown, thus connecting the two cardboard pieces. Look closely at picture no. two, and you’ll see the ribbon that constitutes the back of the herbarium. It’s not glued or fastened to the cardboard in any other way, as it’s meant to expand with the content of the herbarium – so make sure you cut the ribbons  long enough!
Place 10 – 20 pieces of heavy paper inside (grainy paper texture is better than smooth), fold, tie the ribbon – you’re done. The rest is up to the lucky recipient!

Here’s a picture of the prototype I made (which of course ended up being my daughters’ – ‘the pretty ones’ are always leaving our home as gifts, like the knitting box. She thinks it’s bloody unfair. I agree.)
When you attach your pressed flowers, do not cover the whole page with contact paper (as I was taught at school when I was a child) – use only small pieces of transparent tape or contact paper and fasten here and there. Or else, the whole flower will soon turn brown.
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Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful keeper of all things wild with us, Therese.  It really is beautiful.

To learn more about Therese, please visit her in her space.

Earth and Living
6 Comments leave one →
  1. 05.21.2010 5:45 am

    What a wonderful idea! We are studying botany right now and this would make a wonderful addition to our lessons and nature collections. Thank you for sharing how to make this!

  2. Jennie D. permalink
    05.25.2010 8:47 am

    I would love to try and make this with my sons! Thanks for the post. Where do you buy thick cardboard? I went to a craft store and couldn’t find anything that looks nearly as thick as the pictures posted. Thanks!

  3. 05.25.2010 3:17 pm

    Hi Jeannie! I think I bought mine in the paper section of a bookstore. But then, I live in Norway – so I’m afraid I can’t give you any advice on that one! It doesn’t have to be this thick, but the thicker, the sturdier.

  4. Jennie D. permalink
    05.25.2010 5:42 pm

    A bookstore…now why didn’t I think of that? 😉 Thank you!

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