Nature Press Fern

By  Hilary Stephens  for  Environmental Technology Inc.

size: 7"x7"

  • Nature Press Fern
  • View of Fern
  • Photo 1
  • Photo 2
  • Photo 3
  • Photo 4
  • Photo 5
  • Photo 6
  • Photo 7


  • ETI EnviroTex Jewelry Clay
  • Fern and leaf fronds
  • Shadowbox frames, 7”x7", two


  • Jacquard Products Pearl Ex Powdered Pigment: Brilliant Gold, Super Copper, Reflex Violet, Spring Green
  • Copper spray paint
  • Clear varnish spray
  • Adhesives: craft glue, tape

Basic Supplies

  • scissors, cardboard scrap, plastic wrap, paintbrush, ruler, disposable gloves, baby wipes, travel-size spray bottle filled with vegetable oil, rubber bands, toothpicks, newspaper
  • 1. Cut four 4"x4" squares from cardboard. Wrap each square with plastic wrap and tape in place on back. (Note: For on-the-go imprint on location, pack pre-wrapped cardboard, pigments, paintbrush, gloves, spray bottle of oil, baby wipes, rubber bands, and toothpicks in plastic box.)

    Photo 1
  • 2. Follow manufacturer's instructions to mix half package of jewelry clay while wearing gloves. Roll clay into ball, flatten, then smooth ball onto cardboard square. Repeat with other half of clay. Clean gloves with baby wipes.

    Photo 2

    Photo 3

    Photo 4
  • 3. Find interesting-shaped fern or leaf. Spray light layer of oil on one side of fern. Firmly press oiled side of fern into clay; carefully push any edges down with paintbrush handle. Repeat with second clay panel using other fern or leaf design.

    Photo 5
  • 4. Apply pigment powders to exposed clay surface using paintbrush. Do not remove excess. Let clay cure for five hours. (Note: If traveling, place smooth side of another plastic-covered cardboard square on top of imprinted clay. Secure with rubber bands and place flat in plastic box.) After five hours, use toothpicks to remove ferns from clay. Let cure for another 18 hours.

    Photo 6

    Photo 7
  • 5. Remove any excess pigment from clay surfaces using paintbrush. Apply several layers of spray varnish to set pigment powders.
  • 6. Remove glass from shadowboxes. Paint shadowbox frames copper. Let dry.
  • 7. Cut, stack, and adhere small pieces of leftover cardboard three layers tall. Adhere cardboard risers to back of clay panels, so imprint is even with shadowbox opening. Adhere risers to frame backing. Let dry 24-48 hours before hanging.
  • Tip
  • 1. Try this technique with other materials like seashells, flowers, and pinecones. Impressions can be used for magnets, coasters, and jewelry.