Instagram Bookbinding Challenge: September / Flora and Fauna

I've been participating in an online bookbinding community challenge, where each month bookmakers from around the world challenge themselves to create a book on a chosen theme for the month. The theme for September was Flora and Fauna, which led to some really interesting creations.

For my book, I used 2 techniques that I've been interested in: flower pounding and eco-printing (or botanical printing).

For the pages, I tried botanical printing on paper for the first time! I loosely followed this tutorial on YouTube. I used plants from my yard, including cotoneaster, oak, coleus, clematis, peony, raspberry, and others.

Layering the plants between the pages.
Boiling the bundle between two boards.
One page finished and drying.

I was delighted and surprised with the variety of colours and textures that came through. I'll definitely be doing botanical printing again!

For the covers, I printed the fabric with flower pounding. Since I most often work with recycled materials, I chose a thrifted hemp shirt because I loved the texture and softness of the weave, and deconstructed it. I only used the sleeves for this project. 

I layered leaves and flowers from my garden
randomly between two pieces of fabric.

I gathered leaves and flowers from my garden and layered them between the sleeves, which I placed on top of a granite block. I wanted an abstract effect, so I placed them randomly. Then I pounded the fabric with a hammer until the colour from the plants came through. 

I picked off as much of the plant remains as I could, and let the fabric dry.

Once dry, I gently rubbed off any remaining plant material with a table knife. 

Hemp may not have been the best choice, as I did make several holes in the fabric with the pounding. 

Left--after heat setting.
Right--before heat setting.

After heat setting, I made bookcloth the fusible way. You can see in the picture above how the colours changed with heat setting. I used the side of the fabric that did not make direct contact with the plants, as it had a softer look.

Ready for sewing!

 I'm very happy with how this little book turned out!

To see more Flora and Fauna themed books made for the Instagram challenge, check out the hashtag #areyoubookenough on instagram!


  1. I am so impressed! What a lovely little book. I've never been interested in the plant pounding technique myself but have been seeing lots of this eco printing of leaves on both cloth & paper lately, the results of which are changing my mind about wanting to try it. You're helping to push me over the edge!

    1. Thank you! I am definitely more into the eco printing as well, and will definitely be trying it again! Could make some beautiful quilting fabrics if you do it with fabric.


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