Budget Ideas #1 ~Fern in painted frame~

Budget Ideas are my favorite things to make for a low cost.  For this one, find a photo frame (I used a brown “wood” frame, very inexpensive), and paint it whatever color you want.   Make sure the glass is removed!  When the paint dries, use sandpaper to take some of the paint off, making the frame look “aged”.   You can even distress it with a hammer or other items.  Next,  look for a fern or some leaves that are attractive.  My fern started out green, but turned to bronze.  I happen to like the bronze color, but if you prefer the colors to remain true, then use your microwave to preserve them.

Microwave leaves, etc:  Blot the leaves dry first. Otherwise they will just cook!  If you have a large leaf or a fern, microwave them alone.  Smaller leaves can be grouped together.  Place your foliage on a double-folded paper towel.  Then place another paper towel over that.  Microwave the leaves for about 30 seconds on a medium or low power setting.  If the leaves are not dry, microwave them for about 10 more seconds.  You don’t want the leaves to get crispy.  They can catch on fire if you microwave them too long.  Keep close to the microwave and check them often.  When they are done in the microwave,  leave them on the paper towel to keep drying. When they are completely cool and dry, store them in a zip lock bag until you are ready to use them in projects.

Lastly~ Choose a paper for the background in your frame, and place your foliage in the frame.  I used a few tiny pieces of double-stick tape to help hold my fern in place on the background paper.  And~Voila!  You are done!

Please practice conservation.  Do not take leaves or other foliage from a park or public area.  Ask neighbors for donations, or find leaves that have freshly fallen.


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