First of all, thank you all for all your sweet comments on our summer home tour! So, it turns out our front porch feels welcoming to more than just friends and family. This past week, we discovered that a family of birds made their home in our hanging ferns on the porch. It’s been a little challenging keeping the ferns watered without disturbing our tiny guests, but I’m determined to keep both the baby birds and the ferns healthy and alive.
As promised in the summer home tour, I’m sharing 25 free printable vintage botanical illustrations that I used to add color and character over the fireplace mantle.
There’s just something about the casual elegance of vintage botanical prints that I’ve been drawn to since I was in my early twenties.
As soon as I graduated college, I moved out of my parents house and rented a small duplex in the historic district near the one of the colleges.
Not having much money, I shopped thrift stores and consignment shops to decorate my new place. One of the first things I bought was a set of framed vintage botanical prints I found at the Goodwill for $20. The prints were yellowed from time and the frames were antique gold (which wasn’t in style at the time) but I felt like I hit the jackpot. To this day, I haven’t been able to let them go and still have them hanging in my hallway upstairs.
Since then, it’s much easier to find botanical illustrations on the internet. There are hundreds of free public domain websites that allow you to download prints, but I found that the New York Public Library was the easiest to navigate and find the prints I was looking for.
All the prints I used were are by the renowned painter and botanist, Pierre-Joseph Redouté, from his book Les Liliacées. Redouté was the official court artist of Queen Marie Antoinette.
Instead of you having to scroll through all 495 images from the book, I selected 25 images for you to download as a PDF.
To give the prints a more vintage look, as if the paper had become brittle over time, I trimmed the edges using Fiskars deckle edge scissors from Joanne’s Fabric. If you can’t find them in the stores, you can also buy the scissors on Amazon.
Then, I staggered the height, overlapped the edges, and hung the pictures using masking tape.
Later, I can hang the art the same way I hung the vintage inspired lithographs in my oldest son’s bedroom or I can frame them and add to the collection in my upstairs hallway.
Now it’s your turn! Tell me in the comments what you would use these vintage botanical illustrations for.
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