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DIY: Pressed Seaweed Prints

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Aug 28, 2014 01:07 AM
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by Justine Hand last modified Aug 27, 2014

As a native Cape Codder, I've always been fond of seaweed. So when I ran across designer  Karen Robertson 's pressed seaweed DIY on Garden Design , I had to give it a try. Above: Any project that starts with "Step 1: Head to the beach," is going to be A-OK with me. Here I employed my little helpers, Oliver and Solvi, to assist in finding seaweed specimens. We carried them home in a bucket of clean seawater. Materials • Seaweed • Bucket of seawater • 140 lb. watercolor paper • Cardboard sized to cover your paper • Weed cloth or other mesh fabric sized to cover your paper • A medium-size artist's paintbrush •Two pieces of wood sized to cover your paper • Something heavy, such as books, to use as weights  INSTRUCTIONS Step 1: Gather your specimens and then place them in your sink or a bucket filled with clean seawater. Step 2: Fill another bucket with two inches of water. (Instead, I used the other half of my double sink.) Then slide a piece of watercolor paper into the tub and arrange the seaweed on top, keeping both paper and seaweed submerged. Step 3: Carefully lift the paper out of the water, tilting it this way and that so the water drains away but you still maintain your design (more or less). Using a small brush, reposition the seaweed into the desired composition and brush away any unwanted bits of seaweed and sand.  Step 4: Carefully place your arrangement on a piece of corrugated cardboard and gently place a piece of mesh fabric on top. You can layer several prints this way. Step 5: Place your stack of prints between the two flat boards and put something heavy on top, such as a brick or your Introduction to World Art books. Wait several days, depending on the relative dryness of your climate. A fan also helps. Step 6: After several days, remove the weights and layers to reveal your prints. (If they're not fully dry, it's fine to put them back under the weight.) Using Google, I looked up the names of my specimens and wrote them in pencil. The Results Above: Two framed prints now grace my mantel. The most delicate specimens and simple compositions turned out to be my favorites. Above: After trying this project, I have one note to add to Karen's tutorial: More translucent and delicate seaweeds make better (and less messy) prints.  Intrigued by Justine's mantel? Tour her family cottage in our post  The Soulful Side of Old Cape Cod . For two more projects that are fun to do with kids, see her  DIY Leaf Prints  on Gardenista and her Homemade Bayberry Candles . N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on June 13, 2013, as part of our Nautical Notes issue. More Stories from Remodelista 10 Easy Pieces: White Porcelain Doorknobs Cabinet Knobs in Splashy Colors Palette & Paints: Coastline-Inspired Blues






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